Trust plays an important role in how well teams work together and how successful they are as a group. When people work in a high-trust environment, the benefits abound. Studies from the Great Place to Work Institute show that employees in high-trust companies have more energy at work, are more engaged in their work and are more productive. They are also less stressed, take fewer sick days and report more satisfaction with their lives than those who work in low-trust environments.

To create a culture of trust, it helps to understand the four main types of trust on teams. Kimberly Archer, a senior leader at management consulting company, Russell Reynolds Associates, says these four types of trust all come into play. We discuss her thoughts in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Do teams trust their leader? If they do, they are more likely to engage in the leader’s vision and apply their best thinking and efforts to deliver against it, Archer says. This type of trust is especially important during major changes. Whether or not your team trusts your ability to lead them can make the difference between success and failure.

2. Do teams trust each other? In high-trust environments, team members work cohesively. They share information and help each other. On the flip side, when teams don’t trust each other, Archer says there’s a higher chance of disagreements, duplication or efforts, credit-grabbing, finger-pointing and overall slower performance. Without trust, teams become toxic.

3. Does the leader trust their teams? Leaders must also trust their employees to use their talents and do their job to the best of their ability. Otherwise, leaders are likely to micromanage, which can kill creativity and innovation. High-performing teams are often high-trust teams because leaders believe in their employees.

4. Does the leader trust in themselves? The fourth type of trust on teams involves leaders believing in their leadership abilities. The most resilient leaders trust in themselves and don’t let any bumps in the road trip them up. Instead, they view failures and losses as learning experiences. Plus, if leaders don’t believe in themselves, it makes it difficult for employees to believe in their boss.

How To Build More Trust On Your Team

Work on your soft skills. This means showing more humility, honesty, self-awareness and authenticity. Remember that people follow people. Winning employees’ trust requires leaders to develop these soft skills, Archer says. She points out a recent global survey that showed only four in 10 C-suite leaders thought their organization’s top leaders showed empathy or self-awareness. There’s room for leaders to develop their soft skills.

Show humility. This tip aligns with the one above. Leaders don’t need to have all the answers. The key is to stay open and honest with your team. When you do this, it gives you credibility and an opportunity to share an authentic vision that is both reassuring and realistic, Archer says. This can lead your team members to believe that you can navigate the way forward for your team.

Follow through on your promises. Doing what you say you will do is one of the most important elements of trust. Make sure you deliver on your promises and that not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.

Trust matters on every team. Think about the four types of trust above and consider how you can work to cultivate a high-trust environment at your company.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Kimberly Archer serves on the senior leadership team for Russell Reynolds Associates, a management consulting company.