How To Build Trust With Your Team

Building and maintaining trust is a key goal for every leader. When leaders achieve this, the entire company benefits from improved morale and productivity. The saying I always love to use when I talk about trust is “it can take years to build trust and only moments to lose it.” Building and maintaining trust is a constant challenge for every leader, particularly with the change that is happening all around us.

Recent research from Gallup, paints a fairly poor picture of the current levels of trust in organisations. There has been a drop in trust since the start of the pandemic, with only 21% of US employees strongly agreeing that they trust the leadership of their company. The drop in trust levels also coincides with a historic decline in employee engagement. Both these results wouldn’t be too dissimilar here in Australia and NZ.

Gallup found that there are three specific actions that leaders can do to build and earn trust, and they are:

1) Communicate clearly – great leaders provide a clear vision for their teams. They explain where the company is coming from and where it’s heading. This requires leaders to set clear expectations, create stability (as much as they can) and establish priorities to move forward.

This requires a higher level of two-way communication as well.

2) Inspire confidence in the future – this is all about communicating where the business is going, what is required to get there and regular updates on progress. Employees don’t need the whole plan in detail, but they need a broad sense of the primary goal and the next steps to get there. Highlighting the big and small success along the way, helps build confidence.

3) Trusted leaders lead and support change – the keys here are to articulate the vision, explain the why, answer questions and help their teams believe in the change. This requires leaders to hold regular team meetings and one on ones so each team member knows how the changes affect them specifically.

When leaders communicate clearly, inspire confidence in the future and support their people during times of change, they will build the trust necessary to reach higher levels of productivity and performance.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.