Due to COVID-19 a huge number of people are now working remotely. In this new reality, it is becoming a significant challenge to build trust and ensure remote teams work both efficiently and productively together.
If you are wondering how to build trust when you can’t even see your fellow colleagues, this article will explore five key strategies to help you overcome these challenges and become part of a successful remote team.
Communicate regularly and be predictable
When working in remote teams, regular communication is critical. There is no point having virtual meetings for the sake of it, but communication should be clear and frequent to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Ideally meetings should be kept short to ensure the whole team remains motivated. A good example is a daily 15-minute meeting (and 15 minutes maximum!) Alternatively, try a short weekly meeting. It really depends on the nature of the work that you do and how frequently you need to collaborate with colleagues or clients.
Be a team player
When working in remote teams it’s important to look out for your team members and where possible provide help and support. Don’t just focus on your own needs and challenges, if you hear a colleague is struggling with a task then offer to help. This enables you to build a stronger relationship and improve your trust, especially if you purposely help a colleague without expecting anything in return.
Get quieter members involved
Frequently in teams there are one or more members who are slightly quieter and more reserved. This situation can be amplified when working virtually as more introverted colleagues might not feel comfortable during video calls.
To keep them motivated and strengthen trust, it’s critical whenever possible to get them to speak up and share their opinions. This will ensure the whole team actively participate in virtual meetings and should enhance confidence.
Be transparent and set clear goals
Managers should set clear goals so that team members understand the bigger picture and know what their priorities are. Information should be shared freely, and cliques and gossip should be kept to a minimum. Everyone in the team should know what others are doing and how their role fits in to enable the team and the organisation to work towards its goals.
Build personal connections
It’s important to take the time for virtual team members to build personal connections. Without face-to-face contact it’s more challenging for human beings to bond and truly trust each other.
This could be achieved by asking questions, finding things in common and trying to mention these small details in future conversations. Showing that you listened carefully and took the time to remember what’s important in your colleague’s life or work can have a huge impact on rapport and trust.
Creating a climate of trust and connection in a remote team is not quick and is not easy. However, by following these straightforward strategies you can achieve an environment where team members feel they can rely on each other, especially you!