One of the most important things COVID-19 has taught us is that trust is the make or break element of a team. The other thing we’ve learned is that creating a culture of trust is easier said than done.
The struggle is real
Despite technology and virtual collaboration tools, I’ve heard from many leaders that they are uncomfortable with having employees work remotely and don’t report high confidence levels that work is getting done.
How do I know they are being productive?
Are you asking this question because you are seeing actual evidence in a drop of productivity or because you have a high need to know what is going on, and you are feeling like you don’t know right now?
As a fellow “High A” with a need for influence and control, believe me when I say, I get it. I see you, and I feel your pain. However, trying to control the uncontrollable is not the solution for us or our employees.
On the flip side, employees and HR professionals are reporting that employees are struggling to keep up with their work and personal lives, which have been turned upside down by things outside of their control. Between immunocompromised or sick family members, closed schools and day cares leading to home schooling, some of your employees are carrying a heavy load.
Meanwhile, employees who are stressed out are dealing with leaders at all levels turning into micromanaging control freaks, which is causing frustration.
Some leaders, in an effort to amp up productivity, are actually killing it by decreasing employee morale and making life harder during an already-challenging time.
Everyone take a deep breath.
All of these symptoms point to a lack of trust. Trust is the foundation of any high performing team, and it doesn’t just happen. We have to work at building trust every single day.
Leaders… establishing a culture of trust begins with you. You must model behaviors and create a workplace built upon mutual trust.
Building trust is a full-time job. You should be keeping a pulse on the level of trust among your team, where we have deficiencies, and working on activities that build trust.
I’ve created a leader pledge to build trust among your team. If you keep these in mind, and work on them, you will move towards building a high trust, high performing team.
- Building trust is not a matter of compliance.
- Assuming positive intent has never been more important.
- I must establish clarity and consistency in the face of uncertainty.
- My coworkers are human and their personal lives are relevant to me.
- Work is measured in outcomes not hours.
- I will overcommunicate my expectations.
- I will be transparent with my team and admit mistakes.
- I will invite feedback and listen to the concerns of people.
- I will help our team build a communication covenant to foster collaboration.
- I need the people on this team.
If you are not sure where to begin, reach out and we can help you with assessing trust levels on your team and ways to improve.