Whether you are a business owner, an executive or a professional team member, surely you have felt the impact of trust – or the lack thereof. Defined in broad terms, trust is the ability to rely on a person or organization, fully believing that they will make good on their word and deliver excellent results.
When it comes to workplace efficiency practices, it comes as no surprise that trust ranks right at the top of the list. In large organizations and small businesses alike, people work together to achieve common goals. They can’t do it alone; in order to work effectively as a team, they need to feel that their team members and colleagues are every bit as invested as they are. Once mutual trust is established, everyone works better and productivity soars. It’s that simple.
High Trust = High Speed
Author and lecturer Stephen M.R. Covey is one of the world’s leading experts on trust. In his breakthrough book The Speed of Trust, Covey discusses the impact of trust on internal organizational culture – as well as on relationships with clients and other external parties. As the title of the book suggests, trust greatly impacts speed. Once trust is established, people work faster with one another. They become more attuned to one another, they feel more comfortable with one another, they don’t feel the need for constant verification. Thus, processes become much shorter, with much fewer steps. To put it simply: more gets done, and deadlines are easier to meet.
Increasing Trust Levels
How can businesses and organizations increase trust levels? The quick solution would be to bring people closer together. When people communicate freely, trust levels rise up. Research emphasizes the clear advantage of face-to-face communication, as opposed to email and phone communication. When people respond to a face rather than just a voice, or acknowledge one another via facial gestures, good things happen.
Yet what happens when team members are forced to communicate with one another from a distance? In today’s global marketplace, with new virtual teams popping up frequently, this happens more often than not. In order to maintain face-to-face familiarity, the recommended communication method with remote team members – or clients, for that matter – is video communication.
Tools for Trust Enhancement
Video communication has been around for a while, yet its enormous advantages are constantly being discovered and analyzed. More and more organizations use video conferencing solutions and smart meeting room products to enhance communication between remote teams and team members. It is becoming increasingly evident that, among its many assets, video communication is a top-notch trust enhancement tool.
How does video communication improve trust and increase workflow effectiveness?
Here are a few examples:
- Getting to know fellow team members: when working as a part of a virtual team, team members may never physically meet some of their closest colleagues. Given the circumstances, meeting face-to-face via video conferencing is a worthy alternative – as it allows them to see their colleagues and establish trust via eye contact and human gestures that do not resonate in emails or over the phone.
- Establishing relationships: when video-communicating on a regular basis in order to reach a business objective, team members gradually establish close professional relationships. Over time, these relationships help build significant levels of trust, which rub off on other personnel, departments, and even entire organizations.
- Prioritizing: common goals cannot be reached without collaboration, and the best way to collaborate is to prioritize the needs of fellow team members. That’s what collaboration is all about, and video conferencing makes it so much easier to accomplish.
- Communicating needs: there’s no better way to communicate personal needs to remote team members, than through video. Messages are clearly conveyed when speaking face-to-face. When your colleagues deeply and genuinely understand your goals and needs, their response is more likely to be spot-on.
- Exceeding expectations: video communication enables team members to understand each other’s needs and requirements. Because they are communicating directly, many will feel compelled to report back to their colleagues with optimal results. Their main performance trigger is seeing the satisfaction on their fellow team members’ faces. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.