The Best Leaders Build Trust
The best leaders build trust, display mutual respect, encourage healthy conflict, and have a culture of responsibility and accountability. This creates high levels of collaboration, employee engagement and performance. High performers want a trusting environment where employees feel safe to communicate openly, feel comfortable with one another and take reasonable risks in order to learn, grow and perform.
A Lack of Trust
A lack of trust undermines a team’s performance. Rather than work collaboratively, team members set up silos and work on their own, often at cross purposes and certainly less efficiently. They don’t share information, they may get into disputes over roles and responsibilities, and they don’t cooperate. No matter how talented individual team members may be, a team without foundational trust will never reach its full potential.
3 Ways Leaders Build Trust to Increase Engagement
Can you fix a team that is suffering from a lack of trust? Yes, if the team leader is truly committed to improving the team environment and operating principles. Based upon feedback from over two decades of employee engagement training, here are three ways leaders build trust to increase Employee Engagement:
1. Set the Example
Clearly define and agree upon goals, roles, responsibilities, processes, and success metrics. Ensure full understanding of and commitment to expectations and then let the team work to fulfill them without micromanaging them. Show your trust in their abilities by allowing them to make small mistakes so they learn and grow. The best leaders choose the right people and then trust them to do their job well while “having their back.”
2. Show That You Care
Get to know your team as individuals. Learn what makes them tick and what excites them about life and the job. What do they like to do when they are not at work? Be authentically curious and listen well.
Your genuine interest in both their personal and professional lives will help connect you and build links of trust while you help them to achieve their personal and professional aspirations.
3. Share Information
Actively involve your team by always share as much information about the business’ plan for the future as you can. Our organizational alignment research found that the timely flow of information differentiated high from low performing teams. This is one important way to show that you value their contribution and that you trust them to act in the best interests of the team and the organization.
The Bottom Line
The best leaders build trust to increase engagement and performance by modeling the way, caring about their team, and ensuring the timely flow of information. Is your team set up for success?
To learn more about how the best leaders build trust, download 29 More Ways Leaders Build Trust According to Employees
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Why Employees Change Their Mind
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Workforce Planning Bureau
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HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics
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Director of HR
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Vice President Human Resources
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