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Leading with Trust: How to Build Trust on Your Team

By Ian Klaes

Over 50 percent of employees say that workplace trust has a huge impact on their overall daily work experience. Trust is a key ingredient for effective teamwork and successful leadership outcomes. It is good for morale, promotes communication, improves employee satisfaction and boosts productivity. This is why trust must be constantly nurtured to ensure strong and healthy relationships. As a business leader, you have a responsibility to create a high-trust workplace culture. But how exactly can you build a loyal and trustworthy team?

Here are some tips to help you.


Trust is a two-way street. To successfully build trust, all the parties involved must participate equally. You can show your teams you trust them by giving away your authority from time to time and allowing members to make decisions. Once you have set goals and expectations, give team members the autonomy to succeed on their own.  

Showing trust in your team members is not only a gesture of respect but will also strengthen their trust in you. This will go a long way in increasing employee loyalty. 


Transparency will play a critical part in helping you to build trust. In these times of uncertainty, you want to make sure that your teams have the right information. This way, they will not have to deal with wrong or inaccurate information that could disrupt their trust and productivity. 

Share important information with your teams, including relevant company updates. Make sure the information is shared in a timely manner and communication is personalized whenever possible. This will make members of your teams feel appreciated and help to foster trust. 


As a team leader, you should always appreciate and acknowledge employees for their hard work. Avoid taking all the credit for your team's work and instead allow individual members to shine. Be sure to reward outstanding members and create a culture where people recognize each other's efforts. Shining the spotlight on team members will help you earn their trust and inspire them to work harder. 

To build trust, step away from the practice of blaming and shaming members for mistakes. Instead, offer constructive criticism and give them a chance to be a part of fixing the mess. 


Team leaders should help their followers become the best that they can be. Giving individual team members responsibilities will help to build their abilities, judgment and decision-making skills. This way, employees will feel trusted and reciprocate the trust. However, you should avoid unconscious bias when assigning responsibility. 

After giving team members responsibilities, give them autonomy over their work and emphasize accountability. In short, you should resist the temptation to micromanage them.


Your team members look up to you for guidance and assistance. Doing your job properly makes it easier for them to do theirs. Part of this involves helping them deal with issues that could compromise their work experience. This includes creating a positive work environment, handling challenging customers, resolving workplace conflicts and dealing with office bullies. 
When tackling difficult issues, you should always be objective and treat everyone fairly. This will help you build credibility and make team members feel like they are part of a family. As such, make sure you use every available opportunity to engender trust. 


Being a great leader will help you to close the trust gap between you and your followers. This is why your actions should be in line with the values that your company stands for. As a leader, you need to demonstrate passion, be honest and keep your promises. 

Effective leadership will also involve owning up to your mistakes and being vulnerable. This will make you come across as human and approachable, something that will strengthen trust. You should also strive to make sound decisions at all times. 


Engaging your team members will help you earn their trust and build loyalty. When members feel like they are an important part of the organization, it creates a sense of belonging. Even as you engage your team, make sure you create a sense of purpose so that they get the feeling that they are making a meaningful contribution. 

Regular engagement will enable you to connect with team members and get to know them better. Find out how they are doing, seek their opinions and ask about the changes they would like to see. Finally, take time to listen. 


Effective communication builds understanding and trust. This is why you will want to promote open and transparent communication within your team. Encourage peer-to-peer communication and make it possible for team members to communicate with you. Investing in the right communication solutions will empower members to share knowledge and information.

Part of building trust will involve providing and asking for feedback. Positive feedback will help people to understand and develop their skills. When communicating, make sure you use a human voice in order to build a trusting culture. 


It gets tedious when your team focuses on work and nothing else. From time to time, consider arranging informal settings where members can interact freely with each other. The sessions will allow team members to share their aspirations, personal challenges and experiences, and engage in small talk. Regular social interactions will help you to create bonds and build trust, making it easier to work together as a unit. 


One of the best ways to build trust is to adopt a human-centric approach to leadership. Putting your team members first will make them feel empowered and valued. Your team will also have trust in you, what you do and what you say. 

As a team leader, treat your members as human beings rather than production units. Make their interests a priority by making decisions with their best interests in mind. Show team members that you care about them by enhancing their work experience and compensating them fairly. This will help you build trust and ensure a strong and effective team. 

In the end, building trust in the workplace will benefit both your company and employees. However, you need to remember that trust building is a continuous process. This is why you should ensure that everyone constantly works to reinforce their trustworthiness. Feel free to contact us for more information on how to build trust within your company. 

Tags: Business Development, Leadership