Build Trust at Work to Drive Performance
Authored by Abhinaya K
According to a survey of CEOs by PWC, 55% of participants believe that lack of trust in the workplace poses a fundamental threat to the company. Trustworthiness amongst coworkers is not just an important factor that drives company’s success, but also an individual’s career growth. Trust is the bedrock of a professional relationship. To build a strong network and team it is important that employees rely on and believe in each other.
Lack of trust can make teamwork, communication and even individual performance suffer greatly. On the other hand, greater trust amongst employees or coworkers usually extend to the larger organization as well. This, in turn, help drive better performance at an individual as well as team level. And, the best way to build trust is to do it right from the start and do it consistently. This not only helps create a better work environment but also boost morale. Here are few sure-fire ways to create and maintain trusting relationships at workplace.
#1 Stay true to your word
An age old yet one of the most effective ways to build trust is keeping your commitment. Nothing projects trustworthiness and strength of character better than the habit of delivering on your promise. So, if you commit to have that task or report done by a certain day, make sure you have it done to the best of your ability. If you’re taking a lead on a project, don’t let it fall by the wayside. You are always watched, stay true to your commitment and you can win the trust of your seniors, subordinates and coworkers, break your promise and you will be perceived as such.
#2 Listen actively
Active listening is a skill that plays a key role in helping you earn trust and respect and also drive career growth. In a workplace fueled by pressure and stress, people truly trust colleagues and managers who focus, engage and listen carefully to peers’ concerns and business issues, and offer genuine advice and support. People feel valued and tend to reach out to someone who shows empathy and understanding. Attentive listening and genuine support help you display intellect and efficiency while inspiring confidence and camaraderie, driving you and your team to accomplish greater things.
#3 Learn to say no
While honoring your commitment is key to maintaining trust in a relationship, saying ‘no to unreasonable requests is equally important to avoid falling short on your promise. That said, no one wants to appear uncommitted or lazy or a bad team player. However, when you cave in to unreasonable service or work-related requests or even timelines, you are often stretched too thin. Inability to say no and overcommitting often results in missed deadlines and in turn impact client or peer relationship. To build a lasting impression and trust, you need to stand your ground and avoid bending backwards to please your clients and colleagues. Being trustworthy requires you to do the right thing even if it means saying ‘no’ at times, this shows integrity and honesty. The best way to avoid overcommitting or say no is to offer choices, people appreciate and are often flexible when you suggest better alternatives, such approach go a long way in building stronger relationship.
#4 Empower rather than impose
As line managers you are not just tasked with delivering projects but also motivating your team to optimize productivity. As organizations are moving towards less hierarchical structure, delegation of work needs to be more tactful and encouraging than imposition. Telling people what to do will not work in the long run. Instead, delegate tasks, define your expectations clearly and how performance will be measured and give them the right amount autonomy to perform these tasks. Such an approach makes people feel empowered and in turn motivated to perform to the best of their ability. Also, when you trust people they reciprocate in the same manner.
#5 Maintain consistency
Consistency is key to building trustworthiness. Legendary players across sports have one thing in common and that is — they are all consistent in their performance, which makes them reliable- someone you can count on. Whether it is meeting deadline, delivering quality work or showing up on time for work and every other meeting, consistent actions and behaviors make you a reliable person helping you build a solid relationship with coworkers.
#6 Appreciate and give credit when due
Critical remark or feedback is important for an individual to improve performance and grow, but, equally important is to recognize and appreciate their efforts more frequently. Recognizing and appreciating employees or coworkers for their efforts and performance not only motivate them to do better, but reflect positively on you, who is seen as genuine and gracious. This sets a solid foundation for a team that can rely on each other.
#7 Keep an open channel of communication
Transparency is the cornerstone of reliability. It is therefore crucial for coworkers to communicate frequently and openly in order to build a sense camaraderie within the team. For instance, conducting informal employee gatherings to listen to employees concerns or to discuss business goals and missions, make way for better employee engagement. It also encourages better team work and knowledge sharing. Fostering an enviorment of positive communication can help employees better trust one another and build a sense of belongingness, motivating them to perform better.
Adopt and nurture these practices in your everyday interactions and watch the benefits unfold, eventually developing into a team that is more confident and competent.