Trust is the foundation of human relationships. The people we trust are naturally closer to us than the ones we don’t. When there is trust in a relationship, there are also respect, honor, a sense of safety, and integrity. Trust plays a critical role in the success of any organization, especially one that is related to healthcare. That’s because patients rely on their healthcare providers to make life-altering decisions. And this trust also depends on the trust between colleagues in the workplace.
As healthcare leaders, it is our responsibility to build and maintain a culture of trust among our team members. In this article, I’ll explore some effective ways you can build trust in the workplace.
1) Lead By Example
As a leader, you set the tone for your team, and by extension, the entire organization. When you demonstrate trust toward your team members, you are essentially telling them that it is okay to trust each other. It creates a sense of comfort and gets the ball rolling in that regard.
You can also build trust the old-fashioned way: bit by bit. Every day, when you act in a transparent manner, follow through on your commitments, treat everyone with fairness and respect, you are building trust in the hearts of your team members. They will also model this behavior in their interaction with their fellow members and trust would become a natural group dynamic.
2) Encourage Open Communication to Build Trust
Open communication is one of the best ways to build trust, whether it is in personal or professional relationships. This is because when you communicate, you understand a person. And when you understand a person, it is easier to trust them! So, as a leader, not only should you communicate openly with your team members, you should encourage them to do the same.
To do that, you need to create an environment where your team members feel comfortable and safe to speak, share their ideas, and give feedback. A great way to do this is by holding regular team meetings or one-on-one check-ins where everyone has an opportunity to speak and be heard.
3) Foster A Culture of Accountability
Accountability is key to building trust in the workplace. When team members feel like they are being held accountable for their actions, they are more likely to behave in trustworthy ways. This is seen time and again across many different types of organizations.
So, as a leader, you should ensure that everyone on your team understands their roles and responsibilities clearly. On your part, you could set clear expectations for performance and behavior. And you should also hold them accountable for meeting their goals and deadlines. If any team member falls short in any way, you could address the issue in a respectful manner. If you feel like they need your help, you could work with them to develop a plan for improvement.
4) Celebrate Successes
This is a fun way to build trust among team members. When you recognize and celebrate the successes of your team members, it not only builds morale—but also trust. It shows them that you value and appreciate their efforts. It creates a connection on a human level. So, whether it is their individual goals or the larger team goals, you should celebrate each win.
Celebrations can take many forms. It could be a simple congratulatory email, a team lunch, a weekend retreat, bonus days off, or anything else that your team would love. The important thing is to take the time to acknowledge the accomplishment and to show gratitude for the team’s efforts. It is taking the time to instill an element of fun within the workplace.
5) Address Conflicts Quickly to Build Trust
When conflicts arise in the workplace (and they will), it is important to address them quickly. As we have all experienced, little problems can turn into big problems if left unchecked. As wise people say, a small spark can burn down an entire forest! So, as a leader, you need to be proactive in your approach and recognize a conflict as soon as it arises. Then, address it quickly and fairly.
To resolve conflict effectively, it is important to listen to all sides and work with your team members to understand the situation clearly. Once you have a good understanding of the situation, you can work to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone involved. If you are unable to find a solution that everyone agrees on, you should try to find common ground. When your team members see you taking this approach to conflict resolution, they will feel heard and valued. This will help to build trust and a positive working environment.
6) Create A Supportive Work Environment
A supportive work environment is one of the most important factors in employee happiness, success, and satisfaction. As a leader, you have the power to create such an environment for your team members. Here are a few things you can do:
- Provide adequate resources and tools. Give your team members the resources they need to do their jobs effectively, such as hardware, software, and training. Create a positive and productive work environment where team members feel comfortable asking for help when they need it.
- Be there for your team members. Be supportive both professionally and personally. Be available to answer questions, offer guidance, and provide encouragement. Also, be understanding when team members are going through tough times.
- Encourage a healthy work-life balance. Encourage team members to take breaks and vacations, and to avoid burnout.
- Create a culture of collaboration and teamwork. Foster an environment where team members feel comfortable working together and sharing ideas. Celebrate team successes and recognize individual contributions.