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fostering a culture of trust - 5 tips from industry leaders

The #1 success factor for thriving teams? The glue that holds it all together?

Trust! Trust forms the foundation of effective collaboration, communication, and productivity. In this article, we delve into the key insights shared during a recent panel discussion on trust-building strategies in partnership with Meister, the company behind MeisterTask and MindMeister. From personal anecdotes to practical advice, we explored how trust can be nurtured and its impact on team dynamics.

“In today's fast-paced world, building a culture filled with trust, empathy, and collaboration is essential to attract top talent. Leaders must embrace these values and create an environment where talents can flourish.”

- Mahdis Gharaei, co-founder & co-ceo of the female factor

As the panel discussion unfolded, five key insights emerged that were identified as crucial elements in building trust within fast-paced organizations:

open and authentic communication

When it comes to building trust in fast-paced organizations, open and authentic communication is the secret sauce. Leaders need to make it a priority to keep the lines of communication clear and consistent. This means ensuring that team members are in the loop about goals, expectations, and the progress of projects. By being transparent, leaders empower individuals to make informed decisions, contribute effectively, and feel a sense of ownership and camaraderie within the team. It's all about fostering an environment where everyone feels heard and valued.

"What I honour at Dynatrace is that there is a lot of open communication, authenticity and realness at its core.”

- Eva-Maria Meyr, Global Director of Employer Branding & Comms at Dynatrace

“Something I’ve learned in my journey at Runtastic is that leaders need to be authentic, but they also need to be aligned and have a shared narrative for the team to be able to trust them.”

- Monika Dauterive, People & Culture Manager at Runtastic

build trust on different levels

Trust operates on multiple levels within an organization. At the strategic level, it involves transparency, consistency, and effective communication to build confidence in the organization's vision. On the company level, trust is nurtured through collaboration, respect, and accountability, fostering a positive work culture. On a personal level, trust is built through empathy, active listening, and meaningful connections between leaders and team members. By focusing on trust at each level, organizations can create a cohesive and thriving environment.

“Especially when your company operates at a fast pace and is undergoing immense growth, you will fail on the way if you can't build or retain this foundation of trust. So we look at three elements: strategic trust, company trust and personal trust. These are the elements we focus on to decide what actions we take and what initiatives we drive.”

- Eva-Maria Meyr, Global Director of Employer Branding & Comms at Dynatrace

share the right information at the right time

Good leaders understand that withholding or delaying critical information can breed uncertainty and erode trust. Instead, they embrace transparency by proactively communicating relevant details to their teams at the right time. By sharing information in a timely manner, leaders empower their employees to make informed decisions, foster collaboration, and navigate challenges with confidence. This open and honest approach cultivates a culture of trust, unity, and shared understanding, propelling the organization towards success.

“You can’t share all information with everyone all the time because it will be confusing- it has to be the right information, in the right place, to the right people and in a timely manner.” - Mariann Bencze, Head of Culture, Engagement, and DEIB at Adverity

create psychological safety

Creating a safe space for individuals to express their thoughts, ideas, and concerns without fear of judgement or retribution is crucial for building trust.

Leaders should foster an inclusive and supportive culture that values diverse perspectives and encourages collaboration. By creating an environment where everyone feels respected and included, trust can flourish, enabling teams to reach their full potential.

“Being vulnerable and embracing the ups and downs of your journey as the leader is something you should share as much as possible with your team members. It provokes the law of reciprocity: you share your vulnerability, and people feel safer opening up to you and you can develop trust better.”

- Irina Mitrofanova, Executive Coach

“The people with whom I immediately felt a lot of trust were the ones who I could have an honest conversation with - where I could say if something didn't work, and it was not chaos if something failed.”

- Rabea Thies, VP of People & Operations at Meister

use feedback effectively

Leaders must embrace the art of giving and receiving feedback, including both constructive criticism and positive reinforcement. Actively engaging in this process encourages a culture of continuous improvement and also strengthens the foundation of trust within teams. While constructive feedback helps individuals identify areas for growth, positive feedback plays a vital role in acknowledging and reinforcing their strengths and accomplishments. By providing sincere and specific praise for a job well done, leaders create a supportive and uplifting environment. This balanced approach to feedback fosters trust, boosts morale, and enhances collaboration, ultimately leading to improved performance and shared success.

In conclusion, by incorporating these strategies, leaders can foster an environment where trust thrives, unlocking the full potential of their people.

about the contributing experts:

  • Monika Dauterive: Monika is a skilled People & Culture Manager at Runtastic, leveraging her expertise in DEI and organizational culture to create an inspiring workplace environment.

  • Rabea Thies: Rabea is a strategic VP of People & Operations at Meister, combining her extensive experience in HR and operations to optimize organizational effectiveness and employee well-being.

  • IIrina Mitrofanova: Irina is a highly respected Executive Coach, known for her transformative coaching approach that helps individuals gain clarity, overcome challenges, and achieve their professional goals.

  • Mariann Bencze: Mariann is a visionary Head of Culture, Engagement, and DEIB at Adverity, leading initiatives that foster a culture of inclusivity, belonging, and innovation within the organization.

  • Eva-Maria Meyr: Eva-Maria is Global Director of Employer Branding & Comms at Dynatrace, driving employer brand strategy and communication efforts to attract top talent and create an engaging employee experience.

  • Mahdis Gharaei: Mahdis is a passionate co-CEO & co-founder at the female factor, dedicated to advancing gender equality and empowering women in the workplace.

about Meister:

Meister creates online collaboration, productivity and creativity tools that enable teams to work seamlessly with each other, wherever they may be based. MeisterTask and MindMeister bring joy to teams of all sizes and all industries by turning their ideas into reality and simplifying work.


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