A team without trust isn’t really a team, it’s just a group of individuals who will never reach their full potential. Without trust there is less innovation, collaboration, creative thinking and productivity. People spend their time protecting themselves and their interests instead of building together.
In the service industry, there is often a “Us vs. Them” mentality between teams. Whether it is front of house vs. back of house staff, opening vs. closing shifts, bartenders vs. servers, this kind of miscommunication and misunderstanding can lead to conflict and poor customer service.
Poor performance, high turnover, problem employees, tension between teams, burnout and lack of commitment are all symptoms of this type of culture. Building a trustworthy team helps combat this phenomenon and allows the business to set common goals to achieve together. Trusting each member of the team to contribute helps with employee accountability and buy-in to the common goal of the business.
Communication is Key
Communication that is honest and assertive (without being aggressive) tells the listener what you need. Clear direction and honest communication can go a long way when building a trustworthy team. This kind of communication starts with upper management and works its way down. When managers trust each other and can work together, this sends a clear message to those they manage. Staff should also feel secure discussing when problems arise with management, or when there is an idea to help improve how the team can achieve their goals.
A good supervisor or manager is a leader who can bring a group together and build a positive environment for all. In addition to the authority associated with these leadership titles, a strong leader has influence over his or her team. They can make suggestions and guide discussion in a way that is healthy and effective.
There is a variety of different management techniques, but a good leader acts as a:
- Management representative
- Problem solver
- Manager of daily operations
The best way to build a trustworthy team is to get to know them personally. Every person has a different skillset and experiences that make them into the person, and employee, they are today. Getting to know everyone on your team and connecting on a personal level will allow team trust to develop naturally. It can be hard to do this while working, so consider hosting after hours or outside events for your team. These kinds of activities will foster stronger personal relationships between employees and will build more resilient ties in the team.
Teamwork is not something that just happens; it is created through good communication, leadership, caring for individuals as people, and an understanding of group process. The hiring process is a major part of building a team you trust, but trust is fostered over time, so be patient and put in the work. It will pay off.