Leading a remote workforce is becoming more common for many managers and business owners. While working in a remote setting can be just as effective and rewarding as working face-to-face with your team, it may necessitate the use of different management strategies.
When you work in an office, trust and camaraderie among teammates are frequently built or reinforced through natural “watercooler” style interactions. As these are less likely to occur naturally when working remotely, you may need to make a concerted effort to develop online collaboration with your team.
If you are a team-building pro looking for new ways to engage your remote workers, or if you are hiring a remote workforce for the first time, these tips may be useful.
What role does trust play in remote work?
When everyone on a team works remotely and autonomously, trusting one another is important. If you are in a position of leadership, this may entail trusting your employees to meet deadlines and complete tasks even if you cannot see them doing so. Others may interpret trust as believing that your coworkers are working as hard as you are towards common goals.
Friction can arise if this trust is not established. Because of mistrust, some team members may feel overworked, while others may feel left out of the loop. Business communication and productivity may fall over time. Fortunately, this friction can be avoided and resolved. You can build a strong and trusting team by following each of the suggestions below.
Trust-building strategies for your remote team
Each of the suggestions below will assist you in creating a high-trust remote work environment. You can improve online collaboration and productivity while reducing burnout and turnover by actively cultivating trust among your remote team members.
1. Be open, responsive, and dependable
As the leader of a remote team, you must model the values you want your colleagues to share. One of the most important things you can do to build trust is to be open and honest. Your example of these characteristics inspires team members to emulate you.
- 2. Plan regular team meetings
Creating a regular team meeting is also beneficial for increasing transparency. Team members may become misaligned on project goals if regular meetings are not held, or they may be unsure who to turn to if they have questions. But do you not need a trustable tool to host meetings? Clariti helps you at this place.
Determine the best meeting cadence for your team. Some teams with rapidly changing project needs may find that quick daily meetings of no more than 15 minutes work best for them. Weekly or even monthly meetings may suit the needs of teams working on a longer project cycle.
- 3. Set your expectations
Another important aspect of maintaining transparency is setting clear expectations for your team. When a new team member joins, communicate your expectations for work hours, skills, development, communication, and other factors.
The key here is to be concise while remaining flexible. For example, rather than requiring team members to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, you could state that they must work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in:
8 hours of work per day
- 4. Set specific goals and objectives
Setting clear goals and objectives for specific projects is just as important as communicating overall job expectations. Setting goals and tracking progress prepares your team for success. Everyone will understand their and their colleagues’ roles, which is important for establishing trust.
- 5. Determine team roles and encourage accountability
You will want to be clear about everyone’s individual responsibilities after you have identified and communicated your team’s goals. If you do not clearly define roles and responsibilities, you might find that some team members feel overburdened. They may believe that their colleagues are doing less work than they are. This misunderstanding can result in an unfavorable lack of trust.
- 6. Encourage consistency
Encourage consistency to strengthen the bonds of trust among virtual teams. Do so by:
- Time tracking and workload distribution
- Setting personal goals and tracking progress with team members
- Ensuring that all team members have the necessary tools to carry out their duties
- Promoting peer-to-peer feedback
- Recognizing a well-done job
You can help team members settle into their roles and responsibilities by establishing a consistent workflow and processes. Clariti is a cloud-hosted application that helps to build a consistent workflow throughout.
- 7. Introduce team collaboration tools
Online collaboration tools are important for successful remote work. These tools make it simple for team members to stay in touch and often reduce the number of meetings required.
Without a dedicated set of online collaboration tools, team members frequently fall back on channels they are already familiar with from previous jobs. Aside from making communication difficult and cluttered, this can sometimes result in teammates being left out of the loop unintentionally. You can strengthen trust and remote collaboration by aligning your team’s workflow and business communication.
If you are not sure about which tool to use for your team collaboration, try Clariti for the best experience.
- 8. Help team members create connections
You can also use online collaboration tools to help boost teammate camaraderie. Colleagues’ trust in each other’s abilities grows as they get to know each other better. For example, Clariti has an instant messaging feature that helps to make one-on-one quick conversation with other colleagues.
- 9. Promote peer-to-peer feedback
As your remote team members become more acquainted with one another, you can foster a culture that values peer-to-peer (P2P) feedback. There are several approaches you can take. Some team leaders employ a standardized peer-to-peer feedback form. They distribute this form to their team members several times a year to help them with the feedback process.
Other team leaders would rather train their team members on how to give and receive constructive criticism. Having project drivers, for example, provide P2P feedback to contributors could be beneficial.
- 10. Focus on team output and celebrate successes
You may also be able to assist your team in developing trust by highlighting how well they collaborate. You can celebrate your team when: key performance indicators (KPIs), project progress, and results are tracked.
If teams never see how working together improves the company’s output and success, they might be less inclined to seek out their coworkers for collaboration opportunities. As your team members begin to see how they can work better together, their trust in and reliance on each other should grow.
- 11. Avoid micromanaging your team
Try not to micromanage your team. Staying out of day-to-day activities can be difficult to master at first, especially if you are used to working in the office within arm’s reach of your team. On the other hand, it may give the impression that you do not trust your team members’ abilities and work ethic when working remotely.
Micromanagement can cause friction between team members and team leaders over time, making it difficult to build stronger bonds of trust.
- 12. Support a healthy work-life balance
Finally, one of the most effective ways to build trust with your team is to demonstrate that you support their efforts to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Your actions could include:
- Helping your team adjust their hours due to an appointment or a change in their personal lives.
- Encourage your team to use their vacation time throughout the year.
- There is no need for after-hours phone calls or email communication (except in special, occasional circumstances).
- Collaboration with your organization to provide resources for team members’ health and well-being.
- Creating a backup system so that when one person is unavailable, the team knows who to contact for specific needs.
- Requesting that team members working after hours schedule emails and messages in group communication tools for delivery during normal business hours.
If your team struggles to strike a work-life balance or believes they lack the trust and support to do so, you may see higher levels of burnout and turnover. However, if they feel supported and trusted, they are more likely to remain energized and engaged in their work.
Trust is an important component of team productivity. Without it, you are unlikely to accomplish anything significant. However, with it, teams can achieve everything they set out to do… and more.
Conversation between the team members can be the best solution to any trust issues between them. But making it quick and easy can help them avoid frustrations and work pressures. Use online collaboration tools like Clariti to make quick conversation and have instant calls within a single tap. It is a free tool which you can share with your team members in the workplace by just signing up with your mail ID. The special feature of Clariti is its “Content-rich subject chat” which makes the conversation in an easy and convenient way.
You can also do multiple tasks using Clariti. It is helpful in creating To-Dos, scheduling meetings, sending instant messages, and pining important files and documents all under one platform. If you want to develop your business communication, try Clariti now!