How Do You Approach Rebuilding Trust Within a Team?

How Do You Approach Rebuilding Trust Within a Team?

For advice on navigating the delicate process of rebuilding trust within a team, we turned to seasoned HR professionals for their pivotal strategies. From emphasizing transparency and professionalism to implementing consistency and accountability, discover the transformative insights shared by HR Managers and other adjacent professionals in these top four responses.

  • Emphasize Transparency and Professionalism
  • Facilitate Upskilling and Re-Leveling
  • Foster Open Communication and Collaboration
  • Implement Consistency and Accountability

Emphasize Transparency and Professionalism

When it comes to rebuilding trust in a team, the main theme should be 'transparency.' Being open, admitting mistakes, or taking accountability for something, but also explaining the ‘why’ and ‘how’ something had to happen, is crucial.

Being honest and putting effort into mending relationships will help to show that you and managers are still humans, trying to do their job–what's best for the business, and also for the employees. It's important to remain professional and not speak ill of anything or anyone–stay diplomatic, but emphasize that you want connections to improve, and to create a positive environment and workplace for everyone.

I have found that in this situation it helps to go off-site, away from any awkward atmospheres–possibly a walk in a local park, or an outdoor activity together as a team. It literally removes the walls, and encourages more constructive conversation freely.

Wendy Makinson
Wendy MakinsonHR Manager, Joloda Hydraroll

Facilitate Upskilling and Re-Leveling

We recently created a job grid with progressive levels for some areas. The grid aimed to encourage employees to cross-train and continue upskilling, to receive promotions as they mastered specific skill sets and moved up in levels.

One of our employees was upset with our assessment of which level they should be on the grid. Although they had worked in the library for a long time, they were new to the specific area, and did not have all the skills required to be at the level they had hoped for. They openly shared this dissatisfaction with their team, who grew concerned. The discussions were quite emotionally charged.

The turning point came when they understood that we didn't want to hold them accountable for things they did not know. We reached a mutually agreeable resolution by expediting their training on the missing skills, and getting them re-leveled.

Michelle Forstrom
Michelle ForstromHR Manager, BYU Library

Foster Open Communication and Collaboration

When faced with rebuilding trust within a team, I believe the key is to foster an environment of open communication and collaboration. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, it's important for HR professionals to focus on creating self-awareness and establishing a common language among team members. By doing so, we can shift the conversation towards future growth and success, rather than getting stuck in the past.

One effective approach is to utilize the five behaviors of a cohesive team, with DISC as a framework for facilitating discussions. This allows team members to understand each other's communication styles and preferences, fostering empathy and mutual respect. By separating emotions from facts and focusing on driving team success together, we can create a positive and constructive atmosphere where trust can thrive.

The turning point often comes when team members realize that they are all working towards a common goal and that their individual contributions are valued. Through transparent communication, active listening, and a commitment to continuous improvement, HR professionals can play a pivotal role in rebuilding trust and strengthening team dynamics.

Melinda Honcoop
Melinda HoncoopFractional HR Consultant & Advisor, Agile in HR

Implement Consistency and Accountability

As an HR consultant and leadership coach, I am often brought in to address team dynamics. One particularly challenging situation I faced was with two employees who were constantly at odds. Surprisingly, one of them was promoted to a managerial position, a decision that initially seemed misguided due to his history of missed deadlines and flaked deliverables. Kudos to the company–they recognized his potential for growth, and asked me to coach him.

During our sessions, we focused on the importance of consistency, accountability, and transparent communication using the DISC assessment. He began to hold regular feedback sessions where employees could voice concerns, consequences were implemented for failed deliverables and commitments, and he learned how to adapt his leadership style to meet the needs of the individuals on his team.

As a result, not only did his reputation and performance begin to transform, but the performance of the team excelled. As the new manager excelled, tensions that once interfered with daily performance began to fade.

Stacey Dennis
Stacey DennisStrategic HR Partner, Possibilities Unlocked

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