It’s just a fact: teams that don’t trust each other are incapable of performing to their highest possible standards. Teams that do trust each other rise above many of their limitations and innovate with relative ease.

Earlier this week I wrote about why trust is so crucial in the business environment now more than ever. Below are four strategies that are crucial if you want to build trust into the foundation of your organization.

Collaboration. Nothing induces fear and paranoia like sitting around in your own world day after day while everyone else does the same solitary thing. Collaboration does exactly the opposite. Get people to express their ideas. Foster a safe environment where even the wackiest ideas are heard without a smirk. Beyond coming up with great ideas and solutions, collaboration creates an environment of safety and trust.

Transparency. Don’t be afraid to reveal sensitive information or potentially bad news to your employees. If you walk around with a forced smile, they will sense something is wrong and won’t entirely trust you. Good or bad, your employees need to be able to take you at face value and understand what kind of ground they are standing on. Better work is done when people have a clear picture of the state of the company.

Candidness. Set the example. Be comfortable being who you are. Don’t walk on eggshells around your employees and don’t expect them to do so either. Joking around and sharing a bit of your personal life with your employees is a good way to “leave the door open” and display that you want to have an open, trusting environment.

Accountability. I understand that not everything in the office is going to be good jokes and thrilling brainstorm sessions. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and the responsible party needs to be held accountable. The same goes for you. If you failed in some respect, it’s best to raise your hand in front of everyone and say, “my mistake.” At the same time, show that accountability goes both ways by publicly rewarding great work.

Organizational trust isn’t something like a dress code that can be turned on or off at the board or CEO’s discretion. It’s built over time through the repeated practice of habits like those listed above. But, building trust is absolutely crucial if you want to have a company culture that attracts and retains top talent in the new world of work.

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