Trust is tricky. It’s tough to gain, and even easier to lose. As a leader in the workplace, building trust among your team is essential, even if it’s challenging. Trust is the glue that holds a group together, and without it worry builds, micromanaging grows, and employee retention slips. We can agree that not lying and treating teammates with success are the basis of trust on a team, but what other steps can you take to ensure trust in a group?

Focus on Feedback

You can build trust and transparency with your teammates by providing constructive feedback on a one on one basis. This input should be focused on creating a dialogue with co-workers about what’s going well, and what could be improved on. Unlike annual or quarterly employee performance reviews, this feedback structure could be as casual as coffee every other week. The critical part is keeping the lines of communication open.

Having regular feedback discussions makes teammates feel that their voices are being heard and that they’re making progress within a position. This, in turn, can boost morale as well as employee retention rates within a company. Just remember that feedback is a two-way street. These check-ins should also be a time for teammates to provide you with constructive feedback.

Lead by Example

Consider the act of building trust to be like maintaining good posture - it’s something you need to be aware of at all times. If you want to create trust within your team, you need to be trustworthy and always lead your team by example.

As a trustworthy leader in the workplace, don’t fall prey to the office cliques or workplace gossip. This doesn’t mean you can’t be social with coworkers, but do your best to steer conversations away from topics regarding teammates. Keeping your demeanor above the board will show that you are someone your entire team can trust. While it’s tempting to jump into a topic of gossip, in the end it will strip you of any trust you’ve built up with your team.

Leading by example takes practice. In some instances, utilizing leadership team development workshops is a great way to hone this tool. In turn, you can bring that training back around into your team, using seminars or an executive coach. This will encourage the entire team to hold themselves to the same standard.

More Mindfulness

Trustworthy leaders tend to share the same few characteristics: patience, calm and flexibility. Doesn’t sound like you? It can. These traits can all be adopted using mindfulness techniques - you can even work with a coach to develop these interpersonal skills.

Sound too challenging? Consider the importance of mindfulness as a leader. Being a good leader requires patience on your end. Showing patience can build trust within your group. Team members are much more likely to bring up issues or contribute ideas if they can trust you. Also, being calm can change the entire dynamic of trust within a team. Mistakes will be made, and nothing crushes trust in a leader faster than laying blame on an individual in the group. Finally, having flexibility - whether it’s understanding when a teammate leaves early for a family commitment or rearranging a timeline to fit team needs - will build trust with your team.

Forming habits with these traits in mind can transform the way your team considers you and can foster trust on a deeper level.

Trust can seem immaterial, or impossible to create. Many of us think it’s something that naturally builds. An effective manager understands the importance of building trust with employees. Creating a workplace that feels comfortable for teammates will foster more collaboration, boost employee morale and will keep employees around longer. Instead of waiting for it to happen, you can take steps to ensure trust grows.


Interested in learning more about leadership team development for your employees? Talk to an Ace-up representative or read about what we can do for your team or organization.

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