Essay on Strategies for Developing Trust Within Team Setting

Published: 2021/11/22
Number of words: 1699

Executive Summary

Trust allows the establishment of productive relationships that enable the business to attain its objectives and success in the long run. In most cases, team members and leaders must work jointly to increase the levels of honesty and credibility; they must engage with strategies that develop trust in their organizations. In order to build confidence in a team setting, this paper offers leaders some practical strategies that teams can implement, including developing a culture of credibility in their organizations, which is attained by following what organizations promise, developing a sense of respect, using appropriate communication strategies, including active listening and speaking, and setting team values and goals which are useful in developing trust within a team setting. By engaging with the team members on a personal level, leaders can build a sense of trust.

Strategies for Developing Trust within a Team Setting


In most cases, business leaders strive for respect above anything else from their subordinates. Despite the importance of respect, Lee et al. (2010) believe that trust is the most fundamental aspect of building a strong team. According to Lee et al. (2010), trust is the most critical business asset leaders ought to manage. Without the aspect of trust in an organization, it becomes challenging to lead and oversee business functions. Furthermore, a study conducted by Sarker et al. (2011) found that lack of trust is one of the main factors that trigger business failure. Businesses that do not invest in developing and maintaining trust find it hard to compete with companies that have substantial confidence in their teams. This paper is critical as it looks at some of the strategies that business leaders can use to develop trust within their organizations.

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Develop a Culture of Credibility

It is important to note that employees’ level of trust increase when they are immersed in a culture of credibility. Importantly, business leaders can establish credibility by following what they promised, as this is the initial step in developing a culture of trust within an organization. Fulfilling promises and committing to what was first promised are some of the common ways leaders can establish credibility. However, there are times when keeping promises becomes challenging. For instance, the management may have promised a salary increment, but due to unforeseen business changes, this promise was not fulfilled. Rather than hiding from the employees’ disappointments, an adequate leader must be transparent and explain why the promise was not met. He or she should explain the challenges that affected the plan, and more importantly, the leader should outline a program that will avoid making similar mistakes in the future. By this, the leader will have created an environment that values honesty. Developing a culture of credibility goes a long way towards helping team members establish a sense of trust with each other and more significantly with the organization.

Emphasize Respect

In addition to establishing a culture of credibility, influential leaders should emphasize on respect. Respect is a critical aspect of trust as it helps draw the lines between professionalism and other aspects of life (Lee et al., 2010). In like manner, encouraging an environment of mutual respect helps reduce work-related stress and organizational conflicts that significantly affects organizational performance. Also, a mutual sense of respect increases team engagement, and this allows a flow of ideas. Developing trust by increasing the levels of respect reduces the amount of pettiness and work politics, and this assists in improving the overall organizational productivity. Establishing corporate respect will also require leaders to lead by example (Lee et al., 2010). Notably, this can be achieved by treating team members’ ideas as valuable, engaging in active listening, showing compassion, and, more importantly, speaking openly, honestly, and with respect. Likewise, leading by example is critical as most of the time, employees are often observing the actions and behaviors of the leader. In most cases, employees do not just watch; they imitate their leaders’ practices and actions. Therefore, if a leader wants to trust, it is paramount that he or she displays an increased level of honesty and consistency. Also, being inclusive in assigning organizational assignments is another way leaders can show respect. Corporate assignments should not be issued according to racial characterizations, but according to qualification and experience.


Communicating and displaying appropriate communication skills can be useful in establishing team trust. According to Xue et al. (2011), communication is an integral aspect of building and maintaining improved trust levels within a team setting. By engaging in active dialogue, leaders can ensure trust. Importantly, this can be achieved by remaining open to all concerns, including team members’ questions. In like manner, the leaders should display honesty when responding to members’ concerns (Xue et al., 2011). Team members usually take cues from their leaders, and in most cases, the leaders’ communication style serves as a framework for developing their own.

Moreover, clear communication and openly sharing information can help create a culture of honesty and transparency. Sharing and being honest does not mean conveying all the details regarding organizational management; it means being upfront regarding issues that matter most to the team. Leaders should be inclined to explain changes in a detailed manner, and their communication styles should highly be focused on internal change management. More significantly, leaders should limit communication barriers; they should establish an environment that values open communication. Team members should be able to meet and discuss anything with their leader.

Establishing Team Values and Goals

Setting team values and highlighting team goals can be important not only in helping the team attain its objectives but also in establishing team trust. Communicating the overall team objective, targets, and procedures ensure that members are well acquainted with the team’s mission; the members will understand what is expected, and more importantly, what to accomplish. Neininger et al. (2010) agree that team values can be determined by asking what the team cares about when performing their jobs. Establishing goals, on the other hand, provides a game plan for moving forward; this ensures that all the members are aware of how they should contribute to the larger picture. However, establishing values and goals is not the final thing that leaders ought to do. For instance, to cement the achieved trust within the behavioral nature of the team, leaders should always evaluate team performance. By this, the leader can address the challenges that members face while conducting their duties. This also allows the leader to assess how the team is working together as a unit, highlighting the strengths and establishing ways to overcome any weaknesses.

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Engage With Team Members in a Personal Level

Engaging with team members on a personal level does not necessarily mean being all over their issues or regularly visiting them at their homes. It means considering the minor things such as hosting several out of the office and after-work gatherings where employees are allowed to bond over issues that do not involve work (Alsharo et al., 2017). A leader can engage in such instances by sharing personal information, talking about hobbies, discussing personal tastes, and admitting weird quirks. Notably, this is important as it allows employees to view the leader with a new perspective; they view their leaders as ordinary people with personal lives, fears, and strengths. Seeing leaders as people allows team members to feel more comfortable; it will enable them to open up and connect with others in ways that significantly increase trust and overall organizational performance.


Successful organizations are built on trust: trust between employees and their leaders and between the organizations and the market. Trust also allows the establishment of productive relationships, which in the long run, enable the business to attain its objectives and success. Apart from organizational productivity, trust improves employees’ morale and allows a healthy employer-employee relationship to thrive. Despite the importance of trust in an organization, achieving and maintain it is never easy. Team members and leaders must work jointly to increase the levels of honesty and credibility; they must engage in strategies that develop the levels of trust in their organizations. First, they must create a culture of reliability in their organizations. This can be attained by following what was initially promised, fulfilling organizational promises, and creating an environment that values honesty. Secondly, trust can be developed by emphasizing respect. Encouraging mutual respect will increase team engagement; it will allow cooperation, and more importantly, it will strengthen a system where team members freely engage with others’ ideas. Thirdly, trust can be achieved by establishing appropriate communication strategies, including active listening and speaking, communication team goals and objectives, and removing communication barriers within the organization. Setting team values and goals can also be useful in developing trust within a team setting. This is because goals and values act as a map for the team and help the organization in moving together as a whole. Lastly, engaging with the team members at a personal level can help develop a sense of trust. Out of office groupings and sharing can reinforce team bonds that can last over time.


Alsharo, M., Gregg, D., & Ramirez, R. (2017). Virtual team effectiveness: The role of knowledge sharing and trust. Information & Management54(4), 479-490.

Lee, P., Gillespie, N., Mann, L., & Wearing, A. (2010). Leadership and trust: Their effect on knowledge sharing and team performance. Management Learning41(4), 473-491.

Neininger, A., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Kauffeld, S., & Henschel, A. (2010). Effects of team and organizational commitment – A longitudinal study. Journal of Vocational Behavior76(3), 567-579.

Sarker, S., Ahuja, M., Sarker, S., & Kirkeby, S. (2011). The Role of Communication and Trust in Global Virtual Teams: A Social Network Perspective. Journal of Management Information Systems28(1), 273-310.

Xue, Y., Bradley, J., & Liang, H. (2011). Team climate, empowering leadership, and knowledge sharing. Journal of Knowledge Management15(2), 299-312.

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