For anyone who follows us on Instagram and/or LinkedIn, you’ll have known we just rolled out our company-wide Innovation Day [we host these on a quarterly basis], and this time the theme was ‘connection’.
When we sent out the agenda for this Innovation Day I wondered to myself, “will the team look at this and think to themselves, tools down for an entire day for … connection?”, and I even shared those same thoughts with my team but I admittedly needn’t have bothered: we were seemingly all on the same page, i.e all craving better and deeper connection with one another.
At the beginning of this year I went to a leadership retreat and did a range of assessment to pulse check how TDP’s culture is going/isn’t going, and we did really well in a lot of places … but where we fell down? An absence of trust within the team, and without trust, the impacts ripple out to a variety of different places.
I knew what contributed to that, too: some things have been the obvious things like navigating a pandemic, and growing our team significantly throughout that period, but doing so throughout a pandemic [so connection felt … disconnected]. Other things were more subtle, and silent; but I’m addressing them.
What I know for sure? An investment in better overall connection will build trust, or rebuild trust, and in today’s fast-paced business environment … the importance of team dynamics cannot be overstated. At the heart of every successful team lies a foundation of trust, and this trust is cultivated through genuine connection. But why is building connection so crucial in fostering trust within a team? Let’s delve into the transformative power of connection and its pivotal role in enhancing team trust.
Because as I do this, you’ll quickly realise why there was such a big emphasis on connection in TDP’s most recent Innovation Day: it really is the bridge to every good thing I want established, or re-established, at TDP.
1. Understanding the link between connection and trust
Connection and trust are two sides of the same coin. When team members feel connected, they are more likely to trust one another. This trust is not just about believing that a colleague will complete a task. It’s about feeling safe to express ideas, take risks, and show vulnerability without fear of judgment.
Suffice to say, we built an agenda for our most recent Innovation Day that really spoke to all o’ the above … and I’m genuinely blown away we managed to fit so much, and achieve so much, in x1 day.
2. The ripple effect of trust within teams
When trust is established:
Enhanced Collaboration: Team members are more willing to share ideas and resources, knowing that their contributions are valued.
Increased Productivity: With trust, teams can bypass the unnecessary hurdles of second-guessing and micromanagement, focusing instead on the task at hand.
Higher Morale: Trust fosters a positive work environment where members feel valued, leading to increased job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.
3. Building connection: where to start?
Open Communication: Encourage open dialogue where team members can express their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear.
Team-Building Activities: Regular team-building exercises, both formal and informal, can help members get to know each other beyond *just* their job roles.
Feedback Culture: Constructive feedback, when delivered with empathy, can strengthen bonds and build mutual respect.
4. The role of leadership in fostering connection
Leaders play a pivotal role in setting the tone for connection and trust. By being approachable, showing vulnerability, and actively listening, leaders can create an environment where connection thrives.
5. The long-term benefits of a connected team
A team built on connection and trust is not just beneficial in the short term. Such teams are more resilient in the face of challenges, adapt better to changes, and are more innovative, driving long-term success for the organisation.
Cherie’s final thoughts
In the digital age, where remote work and virtual teams are becoming the norm, the essence of human connection is more vital than ever. I’ve always craved connection with people, especially the people I employ. If I don’t have that, I wouldn’t even want to do this entire TDP thing … but gee, even the most connected souls became a little disconnected throughout the lockdown years [and now: we find ourselves catapulted from a pandemic, to an economic downturn. And, well, sh*t gets real … and connection gets de-prioritised].
By prioritising connection again, I hope that TDP can continue to build teams that are not only more trusting but also more effective, innovative, and resilient. Remember, at the heart of every successful team is a web of interconnected relationships, each strand strengthened by trust. Prioritise connection, and watch your team’s potential soar.
I was just awarded the title of LinkedIn Top Voice for my contributions to LinkedIn within the organisational leadership space.
If you’d like to follow along with me there, you can connect with me here.