Happiness at work
Why Delegation and Trust Can Do Miracles for Your Team Productivity
written by Ralitsa Golemanova
You know what’s the best way to find out if you can trust somebody?
To trust them.
These are the words of Ernest Hemingway himself, and while applicable for many life situations, they are so impressively true in the workplace.
While the ideals of teamwork are holding strong and inspire many to achieve great things together with their teammates, there’s still a lot of mistrust, unnecessary power relations and lack of proper delegation out there.
And these poisonous habits are killing people’s enthusiasm for what they do.
On the flipside, if as a team leader or a team member you do all you can to inspire others, showing them your trust and respect, there’s barely anything you can’t get done together. Yes, trust is directly connected to your team’s productivity levels.
Mutual trust and empowering others to feel in control of their work are the psychological backbone of any organization’s success. Forgetting about micromanagement and underestimating people’s qualities and focusing on people’s positive qualities is surely the way to go.
A happy and productive work environment lies on the other side of treacherous practices like power misuse and constant doubt. And only such an office climate can truly allow teams to work better together, fostering the collective flow and reaching out for the stars as a team.
In this final, fifth piece on How to Make Teamwork Work, Swipes wants to take you on a journey in building trust and appreciation in your team.
#1. Trusting people to do the right thing
In the workplace, your personal motivation and the trust given to you from peers form an endless circle. Motivation and trust feed into each other easily to boost your productivity and personal responsibility, but when trust is withdrawn, motivation drops dramatically, dragging everything else behind.
If you feel that your superiors and teammates believe in your power - or even only in your honesty and grownup attitude towards work, you’ll likely be more driven, and potentially even better predisposed to get the job done right.
And here we’re not talking about trust that extends up to the first mistake. It’s about the constant, steady belief in the other person’s capabilities and conscientious approach. It’s the understanding that we can’t always be at our best, but even if we’re not, that doesn’t mean we are not trying.
Without this attitude between teammates and from team leaders, it’s tough to make a real change. If there is only a basic level of superficial trust, the first difficult situation will rip the team apart.
And what’s more, only a culture of trust in the workplace can create the right setting for teammates to get into their personal flow state and to bring this further by getting into the collective flow where the real team magic happens.
#2. Empowerment through feeling in control
What is the secret potion that makes people motivated at work? Naturally, there is a myriad of personal and group factors that affect your personal drive that go beyond trust.
But we know something for sure. When you feel that you have control over your workflow, tasks and the general direction of your team’s efforts, you’re much more likely to feel empowered.
Encouraging others to be independent and take charge of their work is the skillful means that both team leaders and peers can apply to increase other’s involvement and motivation.
When people experience a sense of control over their work, it allows them to seamlessly dive deep in it, creating the setting for personal and collective flow states.
By claiming ownership and handling the responsibility for certain tasks, they can immerse themselves in their execution in full. All worries about power relation issues, external judgment or other fears can be left behind.
Not surprisingly, when people feel in control, they experience lower stress levels, improved mood and a general sense of being in charge. And these are things that we all need to feel empowered - and productive.
#3. Delegation - trust in action
Besides being a powerful time management practice, delegation is the art of believing in others. It’s your trust in action.
When you give your full support to your teammates that they can make it on their own, you help them build up their independence and integrity, as you do for yourself too.
But starting to reap the benefits of delegation requires a few other steps that are seen as tedious by many. You need to provide the full picture to your teammate, together with specific requirements, deadlines and any other clarifications they might need. It does take some of your time, but it’s also an investment in the future. Next time, it’ll be much easier to move tasks to them, as they’ll have more experience.
Delegation is a delicate dance that should be handled with care, of course. It’s one thing to identify tasks that you can transfer to somebody else, and a completely different deal to actually delegate adequately.
Besides a solid brief, you need to take into consideration many other factors about the person you’re delegating to. These include the availability of your teammate, their skillset, their level of independence and the support they might need from you.
And always remember to close the trust circle by setting time aside to review their work and give them meaningful and timely feedback.