iStock_000005419738hands-stacked1Business, Education and Business group dynamic research produced six principles that make or break workforce culture.  The six principles are trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success. These six principles are essential to anchoring collaboration and cooperation in the workplace. The first element, trust, affects several different organizational outcomes. These include productivity, turnover rates, employee satisfaction, and loyalty among several others.  Therefore, effective leaders understand that when trust is lacking, the consequences are substantial.

One way leaders can successfully learn strategies and tips to improve trust is by joining an annual training program, such as the 6 Principles That Build High Performance Teams Self-Study Leadership Program, which trains leaders to apply the six common-sense principles to improve employee relationships and help team members and leaders achieve measurable business goals. The advantages of this one year audio and video program with coaching handouts is that there are times during the year when leaders are too busy to engage in training, and these are the times when they often need it the most. On-demand delivery frees up the time leaders have to explore training repeatedly during the year rather than a one time shot. This program also offers optional phone coaching support for those leaders who want to transform their leadership style so trust is no longer an issue in their organization.

Team Building strategies to improve trust in the workplace

Be direct.

Assertiveness and directness can sometimes work in the wrong direction for leaders, but in some working climates it is essential. In the case of a team that expects a leader to fail, or in an environment where respect is lacking, leaders benefit from being direct with their team members. They need to assert their authority to get everyone on the same page. While charm can have its place in an organization, in the case of resentment, team members are instead getting the message that they can get away with under performing or behaving inappropriately. To combat this, leaders who co-create team ground rules and group norms with their team that are signed off and contracted by the team, are put in a unique position to tend the boundaries of those ground rule decisions.  This gives leaders team sanctioned authority to establish clear expectations and address problems head-on as they arise.  The team will expect this. Some members might test it. This means that placing and enforcing consequences for poor behavior and under performance is expected and is appreciated. When team members know what to expect from their leaders and feel accountable for their behavior, trust increases.

Put employee well being first.

Leaders can improve trust by putting their employees’ well being first. This includes watching over the health and work-life balance of employees, as well as implementing strategies such as comp time, paid time off or team building activities that build cooperation among employees. Leaders can also improve their employees’ well being by promoting and displaying selflessness. By taking the time to focus on others’ needs, team members will be able to put their personal and work lives in perspective, as well as improve the quality of life for others. Leaders can promote this behavior by setting the example for selflessness.

Show respect.

Team members rarely trust their leaders if they do not feel respected. Leaders who treat their team members they way they want to be treated are able to create a culture of respect within the workplace. This means getting to know employees and what is important to them. Rather than seeing themselves at the top of the pyramid, leaders promote respect by viewing themselves as the part of the team that removes barriers and helps employees be successful through performance coaching.  This means viewing their team members as individuals and seeing them as integral to organization success.

Regularly rate your company.

As teams and organizations succeed and grow, some team members may become stagnant in their performance. Businesses have five important areas that need to be monitored for success. These include executive leadership, finance, operations, HR and sales/marketing. To continuously improve in these areas, leaders can conduct quarterly assessments that employees use to rate each area on a scale of 1-10. This allows leaders to determine which areas are performing well and which areas require attention. Some areas to assess include the big picture, the current business strategy, the company’s culture and leadership development, among others. By having employees systematically rate the company, leaders help team members feel that they have input in the company direction and growth, which helps improve trust.

Ask open-ended questions.

Asking open-ended questions, which requires respondents to think about their answers, is an important strategy that not only builds trust, but also improves leadership performances and success. When asked open-ended questions followed by superior listening skills, team members feel that their opinions matter, which promotes better leader and employee relationships. This also helps leaders to determine what requires attention. When leaders act on suggestions that  team members view as important, the results produce less fear, resentment or frustration when changes are implemented and shore up trust.

The six principles  of trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success are all important for team member and leader accomplishments. Trust is the first principle in the list and affects many different areas of the organization when trust is not present. Examples include higher than normal turnover rates, productivity and employee happiness. To improve trust, be direct, make employee well being a priority, show respect, continually assess the company and ask open-ended questions of team members. With these strategies, trust can be improved over time.

Here are some additional articles that expand on these ideas.

Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton

teamwheel-pkgAbout TIGERS Success Series, Inc.

TIGERS® Success Series is a Bend, Oregon Consultant that helps committed leaders build cooperation among employees and collaboration between departments for impact,  growth and revenue.

We also license and train Managers, HRD Executives, Project Managers, and qualified Consultants to use our award winning resources.  For more information, call 1+ 541-385-7465.