When putting together a new team or if you’re new to the team yourself, getting people on the same page can be challenging. It’s not uncommon for new teams to feel like they’re walking on eggshells as they figure your or each other out. The main issue is a lack of trust.
When trust is missing, the company might not be able to accomplish tasks at top efficiency, which can cause delays and poor output.
To build trust within your team, you need to focus on five main points:
- Leading by example
- Keeping roles and responsibilities clear
- Promoting a feedback culture
- Creating opportunities for collaborative work
- Establishing effective communication
Each of these things will help your team members become more comfortable with one another and with you, and be open about their insecurities, mistakes, and personal goals so everyone is aligned from day one.
Let’s explore these ways to build trust within a new team.
Why Trust Matters at Work
Companies with high-trust cultures become more financially successful. According to a study published by Great Place To Work, stock market returns can almost double annually when there’s trust.
Here are other advantages of building trust in your new team:
- Attract top talent
- Boost productivity
- Promote engagement
- Reduce stress and burnout, increasing the retention rate and decreasing the number of sick days taken
5 Ways To Build Trust Within Your New Team
Building trust within your team is critical to your company’s growth. There are many ways you can help establish trust. Here are the five most recommended ways:
1. Lead By Example
As a leader, you need to walk the walk and talk the talk. If you want your employees to be honest and open with one another, you need to be the same way. When you’re new to the team or putting together a new team, you have the opportunity to set the tone for how your team members treat each other and define what good communication looks like within the company.
If your team members see that you are honest and authentic, they are more likely to do the same. By setting the example and modelling trustworthiness, you’re making it easier for your employees to open up and interact with one another. You can do this by sharing personal stories (within boundaries), being transparent about the challenges the company is facing, and encouraging feedback from your employees.
The ideas is to ensure you’re setting the tone for open communication so that your team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas and asking questions when needed.
This also applies to how you treat your remote employees. In a recent study published in Forbes, 74% of remote workers are concerned about their leaders monitoring their work and how much they have finished. If your remote employees understand you hold them to the same standards that you hold yourself, they may be more willing to trust you.
2. Keep Roles And Responsibilities Clear
A big part of building trust is making sure everyone knows what to expect from one another. Each employee should be able to identify their task and which person to communicate with in case they need to collaborate with someone.
By ensuring roles and expectations are clear, you can mitigate the risk that one person on the team feels they are doing more than others while another feels they are doing too little. This can cause resentment and trigger feelings of distrust, which you want to avoid at all costs.
You can impart these things via your new hire orientation checklist, or discuss them during one-on-one meetings while helping set their goals.
3. Promote A Feedback Culture
When you promote a feedback culture, you invite your employees to give honest feedback about their work, coworkers, and day-to-day responsibilities. This can help you identify potential problem areas before they cause issues for the team. It can also help you determine if holes in your team’s skill sets need to be filled.
People who can give and accept criticism positively tend to become more successful. The main challenge when creating this culture is acceptance.
People are afraid of comments, and they might not take them positively. The best thing to do is to hold workshops on how people can give feedback without being harsh with their colleagues. Feedback should never focus on criticisms; instead, it should promote praising someone, especially when they did an excellent job.
If an employee receives positive feedback, his morale will be uplifted, making him trust himself more and become more productive.
Creating a feedback culture might take some time, but it could lead to long-term improvements that can help your team and your business not just grow, but thrive.
4. Create Opportunities for Collaborative Work
As a leader, you must bring your employees together so they can learn from one another and get comfortable working together as a team. Encourage the team to learn from each other. When someone doesn’t understand an aspect of a project, then they should work with a team member who is more knowledgeable in that area.
One of the most common ways to promote collaborative work is to hold team-building activities. For example, invite everyone to team lunches or happy hours, or create project-based teams that let people work together on company projects and share their ideas of working together optimally. This will help your employees get to know each other better and feel more comfortable working together.
5. Establish Effective Communication
It is much easier to build trust in small and medium-sized businesses with effective communication. That’s why you must ensure that you and your team members are comfortable reaching out to one another whether you manage a small or a large team, and whatever be the size of your organisation.
If your team members are communicating poorly with one another, they won’t be able to build trust. Poor communication can also lead to misunderstandings, feelings of frustration, and unmet expectations. The most important element of effective communication is listening before answering.
By establishing clear communication standards, you help your team members build trust with one another. This includes having regular one-on-one check-ins, holding meaningful team meetings, and making sure there are not too many communication channels, but just enough to enhance work communications. Too many options can make it difficult for people to feel heard.
Trust Is a Must
Building trust within a new team can be challenging, but it’s an important step toward making your company successful. When a team trusts one another, they are more likely to collaborate, get along, and accomplish their tasks effectively. If you want your team to get off on the right foot, you need to focus on these five points. You can start by leading by example, making sure roles and responsibilities are clear, and promoting a feedback culture. You can also create collaborative work opportunities and establish effective communication to help your team members get to know each other better.
So, build trust in your company, and turn it into a part of your company culture.
Photo credit: Thirdman