When managing issues around employee engagement, productivity or performance in any business; creating a sense of trust is one of the key factors to consider. Trust is the foundation of all relationships and interactions; it is just as important in professional relationships as it is in personal ones. When you find poor productivity and performance within a team environment, you can be sure a level of mistrust lies at the heart of the issue.

A business that creates a strong sense of trust in the workplace, and actively encourages Leaders, Managers and Team Members to build trusting relationships is better able to grow and develop. Productivity and performance are high and engagement scores tend to go through the roof.

The biggest lack of trust I see in business today is managers who mistrust their team members. The environment could be great, and the team may be happy, but output is low.

When a team member is unable to complete a task, they often turn to their manager for assistance. The manager takes over and completes the task themselves as it is the easier and quicker option. Alternatively, when a team member is not yet confident in the work they do, they may require some initial hand holding before they get up to speed. If a manager doesn’t make allowances for this to occur, the team member’s confidence and skillset will never improve. Both of these situations signal a lack of trust towards the team, whilst also placing added pressure on the manager’s time.

The LearningCog four C’s of building Trust

After many years of delivering training courses and coaching with all levels of management and their team’s, I developed the four C’s of building trust.

To drive high performance, we must look to how much trust is built within the relationships across the whole organisation. While almost all employers consider trust in the workplace to be of significant importance, many are unaware of the actions that build or erode it.

  • Competence
    • The skills and knowledge to perform well within a role or task is the key to their job role. Competence is about how well someone demonstrates their ability.
  • Connection
    • How well someone is connected to the people around them. How they care about and communicate with others, building rapport and taking a genuine interest.
  • Commitment
    • How much someone is motivated and committed to their work and actions, reliably managing others expectations.
  • Credibility
    • Someone who Is honest and open, and treats others fairly. Acts with integrity in line with the values of the organisation.

Here’s an exercise to help you asses Trust

Take a moment and think about the relationships you have in workplace:

  • One relationship where you feel you trust someone well
  • Another that you feel you don’t trust so well.

Now, using the four C’s of Building Trust, asses why you may not have full trust in one relationship where you do in another. You can score yourself on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being high and 1 being low.

It is always important to self-assess when building relationships. It may be you that scores lower in one of the four C’s and thus someone may not have total trust in you.

Workplace Trust

Trust isn’t built through words, it is the actions that you take as a Manager, a Leader or a Team Member. There’s little use in saying you trust a particular employee or team. You need to show that you trust through the actions that you take having carefully considered the bigger picture of why you trust.

As a manager you must be able to trust your team members and in turn, them be able to trust you back. This enables trust to flow between team members, other teams and other departments. You can support building workplace trust by:

  • Developing team members skills and capabilities. Empower them to own their day-to-day responsibilities.
  • Ask questions rather than give answers. Next time a team member tells you they have completed a task correctly, ask them why they believe they have.
  • Be H.O.T, Honest, Open and Trustworthy .

Trust takes time to gain, seconds to lose, and forever to build it back up again.

The level of trust you hold within an organisation with colleagues, managers and leaders determines how well you work together and how productive the organisation is.

Want to talk further about how we can support you to understand and develop Trust within your business, get in touch info@learningcog.com