Learning how to build trust elevates your business

Why is understanding how to build trust in the workplace important? If your workplace lacks trust, it isn’t just a personnel problem for HR to take care of. Trust is a business issue – it can actually affect your bottom line. 

Employee retention, achievement levels and even creativity all depend on learning how to build trust in a team. After all, employees won’t stick around in an environment where they don’t feel secure, and they won’t do their best work for leaders they don’t trust. Most importantly, successful brainstorming and innovation depend on employees trusting each other with their ideas. The crazy, outrageous ideas are often the best, but your team won’t feel comfortable sharing them if you don’t understand how to build trust with employees. 

Ultimately, your goal is profits. You need a culture of innovation and productivity to get there. And for that, you must build a culture of trust, from company policies to workplace relationships. When your approach inspires confidence, your staff and company are able to thrive. 

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Why is understanding how to build trust important?

As tempting as it is to relegate trust to the realm of personal or romantic partnerships, the reality is that security forms the basis of every extraordinary relationship, including professional ones. With a solid base of trust, we’re able to discern when others are deceiving us, setting the stage for success in our relationships. 

So why is building trust important in places of business? Psychology Today reports that people lie in 20% of their conversations – with strangers, coworkers and even romantic partners. Since most adults spend most of their time at work, it’s this capacity for deception that ultimately drives the need for understanding how to build trust in a team and in the workplace. Employers must actively work to instill confidence among their team members. 

How to build trust in a team

Learning how to build trust in a team of employees is critical for building a healthy company culture. When coworkers can trust each other, they are able to produce their most outstanding work. 

1. Build real relationships

As a business owner or manager practicing how to build trust in a team, you must lead by example. Don’t talk to your employees in corporate jargon, and definitely don’t skip talking to them at all. Even the C-suite needs to interact with employees on the front lines – and frequently. Get to know the people on your team and tell them a little about yourself, too. Building trust in teams can be as straightforward as hosting social events like a pizza lunch or Friday happy hour where you fully participate along with the team. Higher executives should occasionally attend department meetings or listen in on client calls to see what’s going on. Don’t become detached in your executive office.

how to build trust

2. Celebrate achievements

how to build trust

No one wants to work in an environment where they fear making a mistake. This type of workplace will also kill any innovative spirit. As Tony says, “You have to fail to be successful.” Every mistake is an opportunity for improvement and should be treated that way. At the same time, every achievement must be celebrated.

If your team just finished a big project or the company signed a big contract, it’s time for a toast or an announcement during a company-wide meeting. Did an individual do something above and beyond? Send out an email of appreciation or give them a shout out during your morning scrum. You’ll soon find your employees are inspired to achieve even more. It’s in celebrating hard work and innovation that you’re able to learn how to build trust in a team.

How to build trust in the workplace

Understanding how to build trust in the workplace means putting appropriate policies and procedures in place. As a business owner or manager, this is your opportunity to create a framework that enables your company to reach the top. 

1. Set the right expectations

Begin with the basics. Don’t tolerate lying, stealing or unprofessional behavior – ever. Set the bar high when it comes to quality of work and interactions with clients as well. These are areas where it’s important to have clear expectations and hold employees accountable.

At the same time, as Tony Robbins says, “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” To learn how to build trust in the workplace, you must know your end goal – scaling and growth, followed by your exit strategy. That means you must build an excellent company culture that keeps innovation flowing when you’re not there. You won’t get that by chastising employees for being three minutes late or taking time off when they need it. You’ll lose your best employees by focusing on strict rules that may seem important to you, but that ultimately break trust rather than build it.

advice on how to build trust in the workplace

2. Lead by example

how to build trust in the workplace

Building trust in the workplace starts with you. “Leaders are what transform organizations,” says Tony. “What will make you the leader is when you have a higher expectation not of other people – anybody can do that – but of yourself.” Mastering how to build trust in a team means holding yourself to the same standards as your employees – in fact, even higher. If you skip meetings, reschedule constantly and don’t keep your word – your employees won’t either.

Great leaders bring passion and purpose to their work every day. They inspire employees to do great work and believe in the company, because they live and breathe those things themselves. Finally, great leaders inspire others to become leaders themselves – and you’ll need those people as your company grows.

3. Be honest

As you drill down on how to build trust in the workplace, honesty is another area where you must lead by example. You cannot expect your employees to be honest if you are not. While you certainly don’t need to tell your employees everything, letting them know about decisions that affect them helps to build trust. Share the current health of the company, like performance metrics and even quarterly or bi-annual financial results.

Admit when you’ve made a mistake, and always keep your word. Don’t make promises you can’t keep or don’t intend to keep. When you say one thing but act differently, it’s a form of dishonesty that breaks trust.

tips to building trust in the workplace

How to build trust with employees

Learning how to build trust with employees boils down to the fact that businesses are the people they employ. By nurturing one-on-one trust between everyone onboard, you create a workplace that fills many of the 6 human needs, from certainty and significance to connection, growth and contribution.

1. Focus on the individual

If you want to truly inspire your team to do great work, you also need to discover what drives them as individuals. For some people, friendly relationships and team-building lead to trust; others may just need cold hard data and results. Some people may need weekly 1:1s where they can talk to you openly – others might need to see precisely-executed work. Learning how to build trust with employees means taking the time to find out what each person needs in order to trust you and each other – and then making it happen.

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2. Ask for opinions – and take them seriously

building trust in the workplace

Want to know how to build trust with employees in the workplace? Just ask your staff. Seems too simple, right? But an open-door policy can go a long way. When employees feel like they can talk to you – and that you’ll truly listen – trust is built. Along the same lines, talk about trust, fears and the company culture in general on a regular basis. Make it a part of your normal conversation, and you’ll build a safe environment where employees can truly be heard.

Ready to raise your standards and get to work learning how to build trust in a team? With the right combination of leadership, honesty and relationship-building, you’ll soon have a team that trusts you and each other – and that leads to growth for everyone. Learning how to build trust takes real leadership and communication skills. Take yours to the next level with Tony Robbins’ Mastering Influence.

Want to raise your standards and get to work building trust in the workplace? With the right combination of leadership, honesty and relationship-building, you’ll soon have a team that trusts you and each other – and that leads to growth for everyone.

Ready to build a corporate culture of trust?

Discover how to build trust in the workplace with Tony’s 7 Forces of Business Mastery guide.