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6 Ways to Build Trust in the Workplace

In our previous article, Virtual Team Performance Health Check – The Trust Monitor, we identified five key symptoms that flag trust as a challenge in teams. Following this diagnosis, the next step is to find ways to immediately build trust in teams and the workplace as a whole. Here are 6 ways to get you started.

  1. Meet face-to-face (if possible) early in the development stages of the team
    By investing the time and travel early on, this enables the team to establish connections and build personal relationships which will carry through the project. This will avoid unnecessary miscommunication in the early stages of the team’s development. A Google study found that intentionally building relationships between managers and team members resulted in outperformance in quality and quantity of their work.
  2. Build self-esteem of team members
    Show respect for team members’ opinions. Ask questions even if you know the answer. Learn about your team members’ area of expertise and seek their advice where necessary.
  3. Walk the talk
    One of the best ways to build trust is to follow through with your commitments. Do not make promises you cannot keep. Team members find it easier to trust each other when they have confidence in each other’s performance.
  4. Create a high energy environment
    Long and dry meetings where team members divert their attention to emails and messages show disrespect and ultimately create mistrust. Ask that members close unrelated applications and focus on the team meeting. Keep meetings engaging by finding ways to highlight team progress and accomplishments.
  5. Encourage the opportunity for each team member to contribute
    Avoid a heavy reliance on team members that are at closer locations or time zones. Rotate presenters so each member has an opportunity to present information, accomplishments, issues and action plans.
  6. Recognition, recognition and recognition
    Neuroscience studies prove that recognition has the largest effect on trust when it comes from peers immediately after a goal has been achieved. By displaying gratitude and celebrating team success, this provides an environment to inspire the team to strive for excellence.
    Due to the large impact trust has on our personal and work lives, establishing the above mechanisms to improve trust supports many other areas. Statistics show that people in high-trust companies, compared with those at low-trust companies, reported, 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, and 40% less burnout.

For more information on enhancing team performance contact TMS on, or phone us on (07) 3003 1473.

Zak, Paul J (2017), The Neuroscience of Trust, Harvard Business Review.
HR Executive Development (2010), Creating an Environment of Trust, pg 17.

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TMS Consulting