Trust is a core part of organisational culture, but it remains a delicate dynamic to sustain. When there is a lack of trust within a workplace, we notice ourselves withdrawing and reducing our level of engagement. This can lead to a lack of energy, creativity, and passion for the work we do. For our organisation, this means lower productivity, less innovation, and unmotivated employees. In fact, studies show that people working in high-trust organisations report 106% more energy at work. But why does trust have such a significant impact?
Trust allows for psychological safety
Psychological safety has been defined as “the ability to show and employ oneself without fear of negative consequences of self-image, status, or career”. If there is not a high level of trust within a team, individual members are much less likely to feel safe to ask questions, make creative suggestions or take risk for fear of negative consequences such as criticism or ridicule from their colleagues. This is why team development is so important.
Communication is improved
The psychological safety created by high levels of trust also directly impacts communication, as people feel confident that they can ask questions to clarify situations, are more open about the work they are doing which allows for better collaboration and people feel safe to express concerns, even to those more senior. Improved communication means that employees have the information they need to perform well, allows for inefficiencies to be eliminated and feeds back into maintaining a high trust working environment.
Tasks are completed more efficiently
With high levels of trust, members of the group feel confident in others’ abilities to complete tasks. This allows work to be completed efficiently because it is quicker for an individual to make smaller decisions about how they work without having to consult a manager. When individuals are trusted to produce work to a high standard much time is saved as others do not feel the need to micromanage or check their work for errors and mistakes.
Relationships are strengthened
Colleagues have an inner drive to help and contribute the group effort when there is high trust, as they are motivated by a shared purpose and knowledge that everyone in the team is dependent on each other. Successful collaboration allows closer connections to be developed with colleagues which provides an additional network of support for future projects. Trust is often the difference between colleagues who will celebrate together after work on a Friday and those who will only politely nod as they pass in the office.
Put simply, high trust allows employees to be more confident, make decisions faster, complete work more efficiently and be more creative. When trust is lacking, teams are less unified, stress levels are higher and everything will take longer which makes the company less productive. This is why trust has such an impact on workplace success. Without it, this huge impact on productivity can also affect the company financially and employee wellbeing. Trust is an ongoing exchange with every person we meet. Trust can be built, trust can be lost and trust can be regained. Luckily, there are established methods for developing trust within relationships.
Executive Coach, Rachel Nuttall, will be delving deeper into the psychological theory behind trust, how you can assess the levels of trust in your relationships and work to increase trust levels in our next espresso session: “Inspiring Trust and Strengthening Relationships”. This session is at the usual time of 08:30-08:50am BST on Wednesday 21st September 2022. Our espresso sessions hold no obligations, they are just a free opportunity for some self-development. You can find out more and register for the event here.
If you need help building trust in your team reach out to us at email@example.com for support.
Future Espresso sessions
Missed this session? Worry not! There are plenty more coming up. See the new sessions here.