Last-minute holiday experiences are still available. Book now for your team! Browse Experiences →
Virtual Team Building

Formula of Trust – Predictors and Outcomes

  • Thursday August 13, 2020
  • Teamwork   

In today’s teams, trust is often seen as a critical success factor to ensure effective collaboration. Indeed, multiple studies have proved positive relationships between team trust and team effectiveness, including the research by the University of Münster’s Guido Hertel and Technische Universität Dortmund’s Joachim Hüffmeier.

Furthermore, these studies confirm that the relationship between team trust and team performance is stronger in virtual teams as compared to face-to-face teams. It is an important finding for modern distributed teams – leaders must pay strong attention to cultivating trust in their organizations.

Trust is defined in many ways, for example:

(1) “Confident reliance on someone when you are in a position of vulnerability” (HBR article)

(2) “A kind of reliance on other people based on a belief that the other person will do the right thing for the right reasons” (Kellogg School of Management article)

But do we know enough about trust in teams? What does it mean to trust a team member or be a trustworthy team member? In their research, Guido Hertel and Joachim Hüffmeier provide a comprehensive and actionable model of trust. It lists and categorizes perceived trustworthiness signals in teams, and identifies concrete risk-taking behaviors resulting from team trust:

Research shows that this model applies both to face-to-face and virtual teams. However, in virtual team situations, the availability factor is critical for trust emergence significantly more than in face-to-face team situations.

What are the implications for teams?

There is a scientifically-proven checklist of skills and behaviors that create trust in teams. Leaders should learn and apply these practices. This is especially important for virtual teams. Building trust does not happen instantly and takes time and consideration to build. We’ve co-created a 3-part trust journey with Frances Frei and Anne Morriss to guide your team towards increased trust.

Latest Posts
View all posts

View our managers guide to hybrid work

Learn where "hybrid" is failing and seven tactics to ensure your team thrives.

View Guide

  • Teams
  • Remote Work
  • External Connections
  • Leadership

Want more insights and ideas?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter! Sign up!