team building in a recording studio

We all know the feeling –  walking into a new team environment unsure of who to trust or how to build strong working relationships. But trust isn’t a one-way street. It’s a reciprocal feeling that needs to flow between employees, managers, and the company itself. The good news? There is help available if you want to learn how to build trust within a company.

Why is Trust Important?

Trust is the foundation of a successful team. When team members trust each other and their leaders, they feel:

  • Psychologically safe: They’re comfortable taking risks, sharing ideas, and admitting mistakes without fear of judgment.
  • More motivated: They’re invested in the team’s success and willing to go the extra mile.
  • Better connected: Communication flows more openly, leading to stronger relationships and collaboration.

Building Trust Through Team Building Activities

Team building activities aren’t just about fun and games, or music, although fun is important. They can also be powerful tools for building trust and fostering a positive team dynamic. Here are some types of team programs that work well to build trust:

Challenge by Choice Activities:

  • Human Knot: This classic activity requires teamwork and communication to untangle yourselves from a human knot formation.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Design a scavenger hunt around the office or outdoors that requires teams to work together, solve puzzles, and delegate tasks.
  • Shared Success Project: Divide the team into small groups and assign them a collaborative project with varying difficulty levels. This allows team members to contribute within their comfort zone and celebrate achieving a common goal.

Communication Games:

  • Two Truths and a Lie: This icebreaker is a great way to get to know your colleagues on a personal level and practice active listening.
  • Back-to-Back Drawing: Pair up team members and have them sit back-to-back. One person gets an image and has to describe it to their partner, who blindly draws it based on the instructions.
  • Telephone Pictionary: This twist on the classic game challenges clear communication and recall. One person starts by whispering a phrase to their teammate, who then draws it. The next person writes a description of the drawing, and so on until the final person reveals the phrase – often with hilarious misunderstandings along the way!
  • Songwriting Programs: Songwriting is all about communication. You’ll work together to share ideas, work with themes and develop a song lyric that tells a story about who you are and what you do. Then you’ll come together to perform and record. Collaboration is key, much like any great musical group. 

Blindfold Trust Activities:

  • Blindfolded Obstacle Course: Create a simple obstacle course in the office or outdoors. Blindfold one team member at a time and have their teammates guide them through the course verbally.
  • The Trust Fall: A classic trust-building activity where one person stands on a platform with their arms outstretched and falls backward, trusting their teammates to catch them.

The Crucial Bond: Why Trust Between Leaders and Employees Matters Most

Within a team, trust is a web that connects everyone. But the strongest thread in that web might just be the one that runs between leadership and employees. Leaders can’t simply declare trust – they need to build it through consistent actions. Here’s how:

  • Be Transparent: Share information openly, even when the news is difficult. Don’t sugarcoat or withhold crucial details.
  • Empower Your Team: Give employees ownership of their work and the authority to make decisions. Trust them to be responsible and accountable.
  • Provide Opportunities for Growth: Invest in your employees’ professional development through training workshops, conferences, or mentorship programs. Show them you’re committed to their success.
  • Recognize Achievements: Celebrate both individual and team accomplishments. Verbal praise, public recognition, and rewards demonstrate your appreciation for a job well done.
  • Keep Your Promises: Follow through on commitments, big or small. Building trust relies on the reliability of your word.
  • Admit Mistakes: Leaders who readily acknowledge their own shortcomings create a more open and human environment where everyone feels comfortable admitting errors.
  • Offer Regular Feedback: Provide constructive feedback that helps employees improve. Aim for a balance between positive reinforcement and areas for growth.
  • Be Approachable: Create an open-door policy and encourage open communication. Make yourself available to listen to concerns, answer questions, and offer guidance.

Building trust between leadership and employees has to be a continuous process to succeed. Leaders can cultivate a work environment where trust thrives by prioritizing transparency, empowerment, and open communication. This, in turn, unlocks the full potential of the team, leading to a more successful and fulfilling experience for everyone involved.

Trust is a two-way street. As a company, demonstrate your trust in employees by providing opportunities for growth and development. Open communication and a commitment to employee well-being go a long way in building a strong foundation of trust.

By incorporating these strategies, you can create a team environment where trust thrives, leading to increased productivity, innovation, and overall success.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you build trust within your company, get in touch!

About Billy Kirsch

Billy is a Grammy & Emmy nominated, CMA & ACM award winning songwriter with numerous Top 10 hits to his credit. His team building programs and keynote speaking presentations help people tap into their creative abilities to become more innovative and engaged in their work. Clients include Fortune 100 companies and organizations throughout the world.