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Increase Trust and Team Effectiveness

The Challenge

There are many reasons for trust and teamwork to breakdown. Whether it results from “office politics”, power/control struggles, broken agreements, miscommunication or historic “drama,” it causes poor performance and customer service, low morale, and inefficiency. The longer there is a lack of trust and teamwork, the more likely polarization takes place where people advocate their position against others.

While trust is generally thought of as a problem between individuals, many organizations have a lack of trust between departments or functional areas. Then, problems get “thrown over the fence” or blamed on the “other” department.

Most often, trust is viewed as a “relationship issue” or skill-building/awareness issue solved by teambuilding or a training workshop. While increasing people’s awareness, it rarely results in a sustained or measurable improvement.

IMPAQ’s Solution

In our 30-year experience of building functional teams, leadership teams and project teams, we have discovered that trust is less of a relationship issue and more of an “execution” issue. In other words, different functional areas and individuals establish their own norms for making decisions, sharing information, dealing with problems and addressing conflict. When expectations aren’t met by others, we blame them for being ineffective or not trustworthy.

IMPAQ increases trust and teamwork (cross-functional and within a function) by establishing a common Picture of Success and developing agreed upon behaviors (habits) for execution that include openly sharing information, joint problem solving, and other ways in which the two parties must work together. Then, the groups or individuals create Team Interaction Agreements” (not guidelines) that provide clear expectations of behaviors for demonstrating mutual trust, respect, support and effectively managing conflict. A system of measurement and evaluation is implemented to ensure sustained results.

The Result

  • Trust and team relationships improve on average between 15% and 35% within three to six months
  • Team and cross-functional execution improves by 60% to 80% within six months
  • Decrease of blaming others, making excuses or avoiding conflict
  • Increased appreciation for diversity and respect of other’s strengths
  • Improved performance, effectiveness and efficiency