Mutual trust and respect are the foundations upon which managers build productive, collaborative, and passionate teams. They’re also the ingredients for confident employees, which are more proactive and innovative, actively participating in growing the company and contributing to continuous improvement.

In essence, trust and respect within a team not only boost employee engagement and retention but also drive an overarching culture in which every employee feels valued and has a meaningful connection to their work, otherwise known as buy-in.

With that in mind, here are some of the key principles to fostering trust and respect within your team.

Lead by example

As a manager, your working style and attitude are likely to be reflected by members of your team so it’s crucial to set a good example: be honest, upfront, and respectful of everyone you work with.

Set a solid foundation for what you value most in others, especially people who report to you. Working to a high standard and maintaining professional conduct will encourage others to follow suit and set a precedent for mutually respectful behaviour by all employees.

RELATED: 6 qualities of a great leader

Take the time to listen

In a professional team setting, everyone should have the right to voice their opinion and be heard, whether they’re a junior-level employee or a senior executive. Encourage members of your team to share their thoughts and create avenues for communication, such as weekly or regular group discussions and one-to-one meetings that offer your team the opportunity to speak up.

And, if a member of your team comes to you to discuss something specific, demonstrate that you take these concerns seriously by removing distractions and setting aside a more appropriate time to talk so you can give them your full attention.

Encourage accountability

Every employee, no matter what level of seniority, is responsible for driving success within a team – and that comes down to being accountable for their role. Take ownership of your key tasks and responsibilities, and encourage your team members to do the same.

Mistakes also happen and when they do, owning up to and being accountable for them demonstrates you’re honest and transparent, and will lead others to take your cue.

Provide constructive feedback and reward achievements

Whether it’s offering congratulations for a job well done or guidance for improvement, providing feedback is key to not only being a good leader but also garnering respect from your team. Recognising your employees’ efforts demonstrates your awareness of their hard work and provides encouragement for them to boost their performance. Many people leave their roles due to a lack of appreciation or awareness of individual or team efforts so it’s crucial not to overlook this aspect.

In particular, make the time to celebrate accomplishments by taking steps like ordering in a team lunch, sharing wins with the wider business, or presenting a team member with a small gift for achieving an important milestone.

Encourage everyone to be themselves

Celebrating people’s individuality is one of the most important ways to establish respect and inclusivity in a group setting. Give every member of your team the opportunity to share their unique talents and interests by providing everyone the chance to express themselves, such as organising a team event or presenting on a topic of their choice.

By encouraging individuality, particularly with younger team members, you’ll not only be rewarded with a more open and respectful team, but also greater diversity of thought – which is key to business success.

RELATED: How to lead a team at any level

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