Five Steps for Building Better Teamwork and Trust

At Beyond Insurance, we use the end of the year as a springboard to refocus and prepare for new challenges and opportunities. 

But what about you and your team?  Are you focused and energized about the future?  Even more importantly, are you functioning like a united team?

In the book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick M. Lencionia says, “Teamwork remains the one sustainable competitive advantage that has been largely untapped.”  The book states that every team must master certain attributes for a competitive advantage, but the foundational attribute is trust:

  • Do members of your team trust one another? 
  • Do they trust you? 
  • Are they comfortable being open about their weaknesses, mistakes, fears, and behaviors?

Research has repeatedly shown that a team member responds to trust, appreciation, and opportunities more than a paycheck or bonus.  As Dan Sullivan, the Strategic Coach, says, “Providing someone with a paycheck isn’t carte blanche to treat them any old way you like.”

Trust begins with a leader who views his or her team as an investment – not a cost.  The leader is willing to take risks without a guarantee of success and build a collaborative relationship with his or her team.  A collaborative organization, based on teamwork, partnership, and trust works together to find solutions to challenges and leverages opportunities.

Once a leader demonstrates his or her trustworthiness, the rest of the team feels safe in taking risks, building trust, and being honest.

If you are a leader of a team, how can you build trust? 

  1. During staff meetings, let the entire team know how the organization is doing, both the positives as well as negatives. 
  2. Openly share customer feedback and the team’s overall performance.  
  3. Ask middle managers to showcase their talents and focus on the results the team has achieved.
  4. Develop a recognition system for associates who’ve made a significant contribution to the team.
  5. Create a culture of caring about employees.  When they are going through tough times, communicate with empathy.  Show respect for family commitments and special events that occur outside of work.

Teams that trust each other ask for help, accept input readily, focus on team goals, and look forward to working as a group. Building trust in a team is foundational.  When you and your team can come together and share experiences and ideas, you are building a successful future together. Trust gives your organization the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage.

How are you building an atmosphere of trust?