A lot of things go into a successful team, but one of the biggest factors is trust. Having trust means you have the four C’s.
Commitment, Competence, Communication and Collaboration. Your team is comfortable opening up, taking risks and even exposing their vulnerabilities.
So where do you stand with your team? Ask yourself these three questions to find out if trust is present within your group:
- Do people own up to their mistakes?
How often does a vendor, another department, leaders or co-workers get blamed for something? This is a sure sign of lack of trust. When people don’t have trust in their leader, each other or even in their job security, they are quick to blame others.
But when employees hold themselves accountable, it shows they feel safe. They trust that you, their leader, will believe they did their best, even if the result wasn’t ideal.
People who own up to their mistakes also tend to take bigger, more creative risks. Since they’re confident their team has their back, they are more likely to speak up to better a process or approach problems with unique solutions.
Don’t have the feeling of accountability in your office? Implement a “no blame” policy. You can set the tone by admitting to and communicating your mistakes, and what you learned. It’ll show there aren’t big consequences to small mistakes – just lessons.
- Do people speak up about their challenges?
When there’s no trust, employees don’t feel comfortable enough to speak up about the challenges they’re facing in the workplace. Rather, they keep quiet and try to hide their stress.
This can be bad news, because they’re more likely to leave for a new job or simply quit.
Transparency can go a long way when it comes to trust, says Nan S. Russell, former executive and author on numerous workplace culture books.
Be as honest as possible when your employees ask questions, and be straightforward – ask them what their concerns and challenges are.
- Do they celebrate taking new initiatives?
When a team has a high-level of trust in management, they get excited about updated goals and initiatives. Because they feel connected to the company, they understand their contribution to these goals matter.
Even when the company has a bad quarter or a project didn’t go quite as planned, employees with trust are still on-board with making things right.
Again, transparency can be your friend here. Because your team doesn’t always get to hear from your peers or executives, they don’t get to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Be open about the meetings you attend with executives, so you can give them the right information (when appropriate, of course.)
You’ll instill the sense of trust while keeping them informed about viewpoints, beliefs and future moves.