Your business is like your baby! You’ve dreamt about it, prepared for it, nurtured it, and well…it grew. A lot! Really fast!! You are SO proud that it is time to build your team yet fear sinks in because you aren’t sure if you can fully let go. How do you trust someone, let alone an entire team, with something so special and important to you? How do you relinquish full control and begin to start trusting your team to “do as you do” out in the business world? Can you learn to trust a team fast or will it take time? These questions are incredibly common because many business owners building their teams feel the exact same way. So how do you start trusting a team?
Trust is Earned, Not Granted
It is as simple and as complex as that! It would be wildly naive to offer trust without any next steps. This is why we live by the “trust but verify” approach. How does this look? Well, the answer is multifaceted yet incredibly important if trust is what you seek to have within your team. By implementing this system, you are sure to see strong results that protect the integrity of your brand while strengthening your team. Let it be known though…YOU are in charge so don’t sit back and get too comfortable!
Performance Goals for Trust Building
You need to tell your employees what they need to do and how they will know when it is done. To do this, set performance goals for your employees. Let’s clarify that: build goals together (let’s highlight that HUGE keyword: together, collaboratively, as a team…you get it) to set realistic expectations for your team. Be sure that the goals are fair, realistic, and measurable. This will not only allow you to set up clear working expectations; it will also give something to work towards while allowing you to measurably follow up on their successes. By setting a goal and agreeing to follow up on a given date, you are saying “This is what I think you are capable of and I trust you to do it!” When they hit a goal, don’t be too quick to set another…celebrate them first! A cup of coffee, a team shoutout, or positive verbal praise will do– no need for a trophy! Remember…verifying and following up is KEY to this model!
Set Regular Meetings to Build Trust
This can look a lot of different ways but setting regular meetings is a great way to build trust with your team. You will naturally need a team huddle or full team meeting regularly to talk about front of house issues but the meetings we are talking about are in addition to those. Yes, more meetings. This can be a 15 minute meeting every week, every other week, or once a month. At first, you will be scheduling these quite often and as time goes on (and trust builds) you won’t need them as frequently. The idea is that you are connecting 1-1 with employees outside of the full team meeting to really support them. This time will be used a variety of ways: personal check-in, support with individual assigned tasks, addressing a concern that wasn’t appropriate for the whole group to be a part of, Q&A, and reviewing performance goals. 15 minutes in a 1-1 meeting can truly transform the level of trust you have with them while providing regular opportunities for verification of their work. If they know you are monitoring their work, they will work harder too! Whether you work in-person or remotely, this regular connection is HUGE.
Allow Responsibilities to Grow With Trust: A Give and Take
As you begin to really trust your employees, you will want to give more responsibilities. This is incredible for your workload as you begin to delegate bigger tasks that are behind the face of your brand. You should feel the weight slowly lift off your shoulders yet don’t be naive. Be certain to verify!! If things are going splendid, continue to give more responsibilities. If things are less than you would expect, it is always ok to reign the control back in and remove those opportunities. Be certain that communication is occurring either way so that your employees know where their areas of growth may lie. You are in charge for a reason– don’t forget that!
Ultimately trust grows and declines with each passing day. It isn’t necessarily a bar that is met and never referred to again. It is not a medal or a trophy. Rather it is a continuum or a flow much like a river. It has dry and wet seasons, strong and light currents, and plentiful or fruitless seasons. The conversation must always continue, communication must be of the highest order, and while you are delegating…you must be aware that without verification, an untrusted team lies in your arms of responsibility or lack thereof. You, as the boss, need to know what trust looks like you to you and what your work expectations are. If an employee is not living up to those values, it may be time to retrain, offer more meetings, set more specific goals, and sometimes…off-board and seek a stronger candidate. You have worked hard for your business to thrive and it is more than ok to say goodbye if things are not working out.
Trusting Your Unstoppable Team
Trust is a critical component of building and maintaining a successful team. If you are seeking additional resources for how you build an unstoppable team, download our free guide!! Learn how to build a team that you are proud of. Learn to maintain a team that you look forward to working with every day! Need help? Send us a DM and we’d be more than happy to help guide you on your way to trusting your team!
Looking for even more? We encourage you to reach out to us and set up a call where we can share more about our intensive! We take great pride in seeing your business thrive!! Let’s talk about your goals and how we can help!