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Team trust is one of those terms that seems simple enough on paper but is actually way more complicated in reality. Many factors need to come together for a team to become cohesive and veer towards the same goal - from individual standpoints to goals and mission. Regardless of whether your team is part of a company or a sport, learning how to build trust in a team is one of the best ways to ensure results, happiness, and unity.
Trust can be defined as the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. When applied to a team, it means that each team member trusts the rest of the individuals regarding their reliability and strength to achieve something. So, why is trust so important when it comes to any type of team formation?
According to Mindtools, “A team without trust isn't really a team: it's just a group of individuals, working together, often making disappointing progress.” This lack of cooperation means that no matter how talented or capable each team member is, none of them may reach their full potential without trust. It may also mean that the information shared between team members won’t be complete, accurate, or useful. It may mean that projects may be hindered and pushed back due to a lack of cooperation. And ultimately, it may mean that the environment becomes a hostile one.
Trust in a team helps promote a safe, healthy environment. This can lead to more innovation, collaboration, creative thinking, and productivity because people spend their time helping the group achieve its goals instead of focusing on protecting their own interests or themselves.
There are a couple of ways any manager can help boost team trust and morale. So if you want to learn how to build trust in a team, all you need to do is check off a few (or all!) of these points.
This is one of the pillars for trust-building. Laying the groundwork for open, unrestricted communication is one of the best ways to build team trust. This is because it can lead to constructive feedback, creative brainstorming, and even bonding situations. It can help manage individual and team expectations, which lead to a more productive outcome.
Keep in mind, though, that this communication must be strictly constructive. Open communication doesn’t mean everyone is entitled to say whatever they want with no regard for others. Communicating for a solution is the key to a trust-building environment.
Team building exercises exist for a reason - they work! Getting to know the rest of the team on a personal level means that a bond is easier to create. Sharing stories, playing games, or even going out for food or drinks can be a great way to break the ice and start building trust within your team. This allows each team member to view others as people instead of threats or untrustworthy colleagues.
Open communication also comes in here. Provide a space where everyone is free to voice concerns, talk about an issue, or discuss a possible strategy. Once your employees or team members open up about how they’re feeling, the next step is to take this feedback seriously. Apply the solutions wherever possible and ensure that your team members feel heard, valued, and cared for.
Uncertainty is mistrust’s middle name. If the times are turbulent, be sure to be honest - brutally so - with your team members. The more every member knows about the team’s plans, priorities, challenges, opportunities, and misfalls, the better. Honesty can help create a trustworthy environment and improve team morale and unity.
Doing an offsite activity with your team can help unite everyone. Imagine a game where everyone needs to participate to achieve an ultimate goal (like capture the flag, scavenger hunt, or solve a mystery). Because it’s a game, every team member has the opportunity to have fun. And there’s nothing like fun and laughter to create some team bonding. After you’re done with the activity planned, you can also get together for a more casual setting, like dinner, where you discuss everything you’ve learned.
Isolation does not help foster a good working environment or a trustworthy relationship. One of the best solutions to prevent team members from feeling isolated is to make them feel like part of the same team. Our recommendation is to give every member something that undoubtedly marks them as a part of a team - custom apparel and merchandise. When you wear your brand or team logo on your sleeve, so to speak, every team member can feel united and work towards the common goals. At Flogo Teams, we work hard to provide high-quality, customised apparel for your team or event. From t-shirts and hoodies to all sorts of merch and accessories, your team will look (and feel) like a unified front, ready to take on whatever is coming next.
There are many ways to build and nurture trust in a team. From getting to know each other and communicating openly, to planning a fun activity or going out for dinner. But our favorite one will always be custom apparel because it lets the rest of the world know one thing: you are a team, you are ready for any challenge, and you are here to win. Browse our collection and find the product that best represents your team. We can help you customise and personalise each piece to your liking!