High levels of Trust and Productivity are intricately linked.
You can have one or the other independently, however to maximize team performance you must have both. And it’s not just a matter of trusting one another.
Every team member must “buy in” to the mission of the team. Why is this particular group of individual being asked to work together? Whether you are part of an ad-hoc team, a formal team, or a virtual team if you don’t have the full trust of each member when it comes to the alignment of vision, mission, objectives, strategies, and tactics you would need a heavy dash of luck to achieve you goals – and the further out your productivity measures are the less likely you are to make them a reality.
Trust exists on many levels in a team.
Interpersonal Trust – This trust allows us to work better together and to properly share information, challenges, and successes. You are trusting your teammates with more than the success of a project. You are trusting them with a segment of your career, and thus your personal wellbeing.
Competency Trust – Perhaps the most discord in team environments comes when team members don’t trust in one another to “do the job” to which they have been assigned. This can lead to protecting information, attempting to breach components of a project that belong to someone else, and causing further disruptions and side-taking as conflicts escalate.
Leadership Trust – The need to trust your team leader is critical. When it comes to resource allocation, time management, clear communication, creating structures and systems, and most importantly - listening – the leader has a major impact on team success before a project even begins. All too often a team lead assumes the trust of the team simply because they have been named “leader” or perhaps have had successes in the past. Each project should be treated as a brand new undertaking with all of the basics of trust covered at the outset.
Organizational Trust – Each team member needs to have a shared vision of project success. When team members are rowing in different directions, or are made to compete for resources at the expense of another, questions will come arise as to what the organization is trying to achieve and productivity will lag. Creating a shared plan with a focus on organizational outcomes rather than just team outcomes can help foster a unified approach to projects.
When each area of trust is achieved, productivity is more likely to flourish and projects will have a higher success rate. Excellent teamwork will spell out productivity because everyone will be working together to achieve one common goal. This goal will be clear to all because it would have been previously discussed at great lengths. Good communication will be put in place, and the art of problem solving will have a sure footing.