We like to think trust is for our personal lives. We can easily know, feel, and build trust when it’s in relation to our children, our friends, our spouses and our family. When we only focus on trust in our personal life, our professional growth suffers. How do we build trust in our organizations? How do we go from “working with our team” to “trusting our team”? First, you have to be willing to recognize when the trust is not there.

Signs you’ve got a problem with trust:

  • People hiding mistakes from one another
  • Resisting taking on anything outside of their scope of responsibility
  • Jumping to conclusions about the intentions and aptitudes of others without attempting to clarify them
  • Wasting time and energy managing behaviors and work drama and gossip
  • Teams that dread meetings and find reasons to avoid spending time together.

Sometimes we see these red flags as personnel issues, human resource problems, or passive aggressive power plays that have to be the norm in today’s competitive work environments. The truth is, when you see these behaviors, you have people that don’t trust each other. If you are a leader in an organization, you played a role in cultivating that. Once you name the elephant in the room and call it what it is, you can focus your energy and time on building or repairing trust rather than getting distracted by putting out fires. When people trust one another they are “all in”. When we are “all in” we all profit.

When you don’t pay attention to trust in the workplace, it’s expensive. It costs you in high turnover, increased burnout, not attracting top talent, and having workers who sabotage or resist growth. Investing in designing a culture of trust breeds loyalty, commitment, and unprecedented productivity of employees who love the work they do and who they work with.