7 Tips To Build Trust On A Virtual Team
After the success many businesses are finding with work-from-home arrangemets for their employees, and the number of employees who have come to appreciate the flexibility that working at home can offer, working remotely is not going away anytime soon.
One of the many benefits of remote teams is the ability to assemble teams of just the right professionals, regardless of location. However, it presents a unique challenge when it comes to team building and establishing trust. Here are seven ideas for helping your team get to know and trust each other so that they can be highly productive and successful.
1. Plan Weekly Team Meetings
Making sure your team connects at least once a week will build famiiarity and trust, helping to establish good working relationships. Using a custom google meet background for every team meeting helps your team build a strong identity, and helps build team spirit.
2. Get To Know Each Other, Virtually
In addition to a weekly team meeting, try to provide other ways for your team to build real relationships wiht each other. Strong on-boarding protocols, social media groups and virtual "coffee hours" can help individuals develop friendships that make work more productive, as well as provide a way to stave off the loneliness that some remote workers can feel.
3. Encourage Team Brainstorming
Allowing your team to bounce ideas off of one another recreates one of the best things about working together in an office. Perhaps allowing your team to design their official Zoom virtual office background is an activity that can help them ge tto know one another and also establish a team brand.
4. Give Everyone the Benefit Of the Doubt
While your style may be to let new employees earn your trust, when assembling a remote team it may be a better bet to give everyone the benefit of the doubt right from the start. By creating an environment of trust and independence, and resisting the urge to micromanage, you will set your team up to be an engaged, self-starting group.
5. Regularly Recognize Excellence
When teams are remote there are fewer chances for informal praise and recognition of people's contributions. Additionally, there are fewer opportunities for a member of the team to see what their colleagues have acheived. Being deliberate about including praise for excellent performance, perhaps by including an agenda item for your weekly meetings, can build strong morale.
6. Provide Training Opportunities
Remote workers do not have the benefit from learning from their colleagues informally. Close that gap by providing ample training opportunities. Including a range of classes, from software certificiations to how to use virtual background in teams, can keep your team's skillsets sharp so that they can perform to the highest standards.
7. Keep Lines of Communication Open
When team members do not have an opportunity for casual communication with team leaders, managers need to create ways to keep communication flowing. Set up multiple options that team members can use to communicate with you, and be sure to check them often and respond quickly. However, be careful to recognize time differences and work schedules.
With remote teams becoming a regular part of our workforce, taking the time to adopt some creative management techniques to build trust and open communication is an investment in the furture.