Struggling with trust among remote team members? Start with trust remote teams – there are some simple and quick hacks towards building trust. Read on!
Remote working is now a common phenomenon in the majority of organizations. The companies are reaping tremendous benefits by hiring remote workers. They can institutionalize the niche skills of employees residing at various geographical locations for better productivity and positive outcome.
But it has its challenges that need to be deliberated for effective resolution. One such challenge is building a relationship of trust remote teams. In the absence of face-to-face interactions companies remain under the apprehension of work negligence by the remote workers.
Many times they may ask for pieces of evidence and proof from the team for verification. It may create an atmosphere of discontent and dissatisfaction among the remote teams, further impacting their productivity and sincerity.
Hence it is essential to build a sense of trust remote teams skillfully whilst maintaining a balance of monitoring their work. Well, the obvious question which may arise is how to achieve a high trust culture among remote workers in an organization?
Several kinds of research and studies have been conducted to analyze the ways and methods to be adopted for achieving the same. In this article, the commonly accepted techniques and methodologies for building trust remote teams will be discussed and elaborated.
What is building trust among remote teams?
Workers’ trust in their employers is workplace trust. Why trust is important in business? Research shows that trusted employees are more productive and loyal. They are less stressed and anxious. However, maintaining and building trust remote teams is more challenging.
Positive leadership plays an important role when it comes to trust remote teams. Thanks to technology, establishing trust remote teams is easier. Here are ways to build trust,
- Motivate employees to check in regularly – checking in regularly with the team is vital. But the manager must not ensure the conversation is focused only on the task. It is a mistake to try micro-managing your employees, instead opt to check-in on a personal level.
- Build trust by allowing your employees to set their own goals – you may want to revisit your office hierarchy now that you have a large remote team and consider flexible working. Consider empowering trust remote teams to give them a greater sense of ownership and job satisfaction.
- Question yourself and your team – while evaluating your team’s performance, you must question yourself if you are distracting your team or helping them become more productive. The manager must request the staff for their input rather than give only directions.
With modern connectivity tools, it is easier to connect with the team and trust and teamwork.
Why is trust important in remote teams?
Trust in the workplace has many fascets, leaders trust their employees to perform their duties, and employees trust they will be rewarded for their effort. There is also a network of trust between employees. Building trust remote teams can be challenging in a remote setting where the two parties do not meet. There are several reasons why trust is important,
- Encourage employees to share their voice – when employees feel they are not in control of their career, they cannot in high-trust relationships with their organization. Employers must give employees opportunities for shared action and empower them with information. In remote organizations, leaders must guard against one-way communication.
- Create a better culture in the organization – Today businesses try to incorporate openness and transparency in their organization. Transparency is showing accountability by giving honest feedback frequently.
- Share important information with employees – In the current pandemic, insecurity is high. Businesses have to balance while giving information and information overload. But you need to ensure information is given on time and make communications more personalized.
- Foster peer-to-peer communication – Remote teams must be connected. It helps to empower the employee and build trust. Employers are now shifting to more centralized employee connection solutions rather than having multiple platforms.
Building employee trust – challenges faced
Building trust with employees is not easy for the organization. Here are some of the challenge a trusted environment at work,
- Trusting in the abilities of everyone – Leaders often have trust few employees and consider others as liabilities. A leader needs to remember the people are different, and some are more efficient. It becomes challenging to trust in each employee irrespective of their contribution, performance, etc. One of the leadership trust activities is having the ability to believe in the potential of each employee.
- Trusting the goodness of everyone – the behavior of people is required for an organization to grow. Leaders need to remember people behave differently. They need to intrinsically trust each employee but ensure the bad behavior by any team-member does not disrupt the system. A system that is fair and transparent is less likely to create problems.
- Ensuring negative feedback and politics does not impact trust levels – Every organization has people who look to pull other employees down, either due to jealously or petty politics. Group politics can impact trust levels, with some coworkers give negative feedback. As a leader, you may be distracted by these allegations and find maintaining an unbiased stand difficult. A leader can establish trust is to understand the nature of the feedback from different people and devise a way of evaluating the situation and not be dependent on the input.
- Building up a genuine level of trust – Build trust in the workplace. Organizations have to nurtured to encourage the employee to trust each other and their managers. It will reduce the scope of many problems typically seen in organizations. It is vital to trust the leadership of an organization. Leadership building trust by examples. Employees follow their work ethics and behavior. To build a culture of trust in business, you need an atmosphere without discrimination by providing equal growth opportunities.
Also Read: Remote working tools | A comprehensive guide
How to build trust among team members?
Building an environment of trust remote teams demands the adoption of cautious and intelligent steps by the company. Organizations need to be aware of the different dimensions of a high trust culture to foster confidence among their remote workers.
- Trust between the remote teams and the company
- Trust between the remote teams and the leader
- Trust between the remote team members
The company is responsible to communicate its core values and objectives clearly and concisely to the remote team. It must convey faith and trust in its employees in achieving the objectives. This generates confidence and positivity among the remote employees in striving to attain the expected results.
A leader of a team is equally responsible for building and maintaining trust remote teams. He must ensure a feeling of acceptance and mutual respect is prevalent within the team. On one hand, he is responsible for tracking and monitoring the progress of the team through strict controls and deadlines.
Whereas on the other hand, he has to strike a balancing act of maintaining an atmosphere of trust. He must utilize the modern methods of communicating effectively and frequently to ensure the team is working as per his expectations without any grievance or discomfort.
Important Fact: A trust-based remote workplace rates high in employee satisfaction, a direct impact on the quality and efficiency of work
Trust remote teams – how to recruit trustworthy candidates?
To build trust in the remote workplace, it is essential to recruit a trustworthy candidate. The main reason behind this need is the inability to check in-person the performance and sincerity of the employees. It is advisable to judge the candidates from the recruiting stage itself to avoid any surprises in the future.
Over and above it becomes easy for the companies to build a trust-based remote workplace easily without any major disappointments. The key principles that can guide you in recruiting a trustworthy candidate for remote working:
- A candidate will follow the schedules, deadlines, and work hours if the interview is attained as per the stipulated date and time. You can rely on the candidate’s sincerity and punctuality even when the person is operating from a different location.
- A candidate will be sincere and honest if both the drawbacks and good qualities and skills are spoken out clearly without any kind of exaggeration during the interview. You can expect the candidate to develop the competencies and improve on the drawbacks for the betterment and future growth.
- A candidate will provide the status and progress of the assigned work if the person is inquisitive to understand the communication media adopted by the company and the mode of interactions among the team members. You can assume safely that the candidate will be dedicated enough to provide correct updates on the work progress.
- Last and foremost, companies must match the profile of the candidate with the queries answered and information provided by the person
Tips: Though the principles described above can be true while recruiting candidates for remote work, but there may be exceptions when the remote professionals are onboarded. Hence continuous monitoring through online tools is also essential for trust remote teams.
Must read: Best Practices For Remote Onboarding
Trust remote teams – build trust from day one
Once the remote professionals are onboarded, companies need to ensure they do not feel insecure or jittery about the norms, regulations, work for culture, team, and assignments. A person who is accepted within a company with zeal and enthusiasm feels at home.
He or she develops a sense of confidence and trust with the company and is ready to work with utmost dedication. The company must spell out the expectations from the beginning to build trust in remote workplace. All the queries of the new hires must be clarified with proper explanations and examples.
A human mind free of any confusion and misconceptions is expected to nurture enormous trust and confidence for the companies. The techniques for stimulating a sense of trust remote teams are enlisted below for effective guidance,
- Introduce the remote worker to the entire team through video conference calls
- Request a brief introduction of the person including personal interests and hobbies
- Share the company’s mission, vision, and values along with the organization structure, compensation policies, medical policies, and tax norms
- Clarify any queries from the person providing proper transparency in the explanations
- Specify the mode of communication and daily interactions
- Ring fence the work hours and discuss any possibilities of extension beyond the normal office schedule
Following the above techniques religiously will eliminate any doubts, thus relying on the company’s truthfulness and honesty. The remote professionals are hence trusted to work diligently as per the deadlines coupled with the high work quality.
Trust remote teams – how to sustain trust in remote teams?
A company’s achievement in many ways is dependent on creating a trustworthy environment among its remote employees. It should be considered as an ongoing process and must be improvised continually. Let us understand some of the driving factors which inbuilt trust within the core values of a company and especially among its employees working remotely.
- Refrain from directly blaming employees in case of a dispute unless it leads to serious business disruption. It is advisable to attempt to rectify the mistakes of employees by mentoring and providing suggestions and recommendations for further avoidance of errors.
- Transparency on a company’s organization structure, performance and compensation policies, its performance on a quarterly and yearly basis, future roadmap, vision, mission, and core values is very essential. The information should be available online in the form of webcasts, podcasts, or webinars for easy access by employees working from remote locations
- Leadership qualities play a significant role in building trust remote teams. Leaders are advised to engage in straightforward and honest conversations with their teams. Team members are anticipated to reciprocate similarly following the footsteps of the leader. Eventually, it will lead to mutual trust between the leader and his immediate team
- Clear and candid communication on the expectations, assignment details, and deadlines play a significant role in determining a trust-based remote workplace. Ambiguities need to be avoided to the maximum to build trust remote teams.
- Never indulge in micromanagement while working with remote professionals. It will prevent companies from engaging in broader and larger activities thus hampering future growth. With online time tracking and collaboration tools in place, remote employees need to be trusted to record their progress and time spent diligently. The tools are proof that the assignments would be accomplished within the stipulated time. Additionally micromanaging remote employees leads to unnecessary dissatisfaction.
An important fact to remember: A good leader must not undermine the qualities and efficiencies of the team. Instead strive to encourage them to perform better, guiding and suggesting them at each step for improvements. Remote professionals are hence encouraged to perform better smartly and effectively. Companies can easily depend on and trust such professionals without any apprehension.
Also read: How to work from home successfully?
Trust remote teams along with an interpersonal relationship
While we are continuously indulging in professional relations let us understand that a good interpersonal relationship is an important element in building enduring trust remote teams. It is worthy to invest time and effort in discussing personal skills, talents, hobbies, and interests outside the professional life to ease out the discomfort and uncomfortable zone of remote professionals.
A strong interpersonal relationship between a leader and the team determines the success of a trustworthy work environment. The remote professionals must be able to confide in their leader and vice versa for perfect execution of both the company’s short-term and long-term activities.
It creates a major difference in the attainment of a company’s goals and objectives. Enlisting some examples of personal interactions that companies can use to educate their leaders while trying to build a strong interpersonal relationship with their remote teams,
- Arrange a chill-off party maybe once in 3 or 4 months to engage in fun activities for a break from the regular work. Use unremot watercooler software for the best experiences.
- Occasional calls to enquire about the employees’ well-being and health
- Engaging in online break-out sessions between work hours for sharing personal updates about hobbies, interests, etc.
- Contests and quiz sessions to work out the intellect power of the human brains
Also Read: Distributed teams | A complete guide
Trust remote teams by a continuous focus on self improvement
Working on self-improvement and competency enhancement powers up the efficiency and intellectual level of any employee in an organization. Remote employees need to work on it more for continued reliance on their skills thus allowing them the comfort of working at their preferred work location.
Companies also do not want to let go of an employee with niche skills and be put forth in a situation of resource scarcity. It is hence advisable for organizations to provide opportunities to remote employees to work on their functional and technical skill advancement.
Companies can think of some of the ways listed here, for uplifting the competency level of their remote professionals,
- Collect feedbacks or surveys from the employees on the training needs
- Conduct a market survey on the latest trending topics related to the company domain
- Arrange internal training sessions utilizing experts within the organization
- Invest in webinars and specialized training sessions conducted by external agencies
- Prepare a training calendar and publish them online
- Encourage feedback from the participants after attending the training sessions
Remote professionals gain trust in the company’s honest interest in uplifting their proficiency level. They would be obliged and happy to maintain an ongoing trustworthy relation. This would have a direct impact on their productivity levels, efficiency factors, and work quality. The company, in turn, stands beneficial in improving its outcome and future growth in the long run.
Trust remote teams by measuring the effectiveness
Companies adopting techniques to build trust remote teams need to analyze and judge whether those have turned out to be effective to create a trust-based remote workplace.
It is very important to analyze the results to determine any fallbacks and deficiencies in the overall thought process of creating a High Trust Culture. Let us discuss the key indicators for judging the success of the techniques adopted.
- Lesser number of inquiries from the remote team
- Refraining from unplanned and sudden leaves
- Positive feedback on the company’s support system
- Engaging in recreational activities conducted by the company
- Work completion within or before the deadlines
- Efficient work quality with negligible or no errors
- Eagerness to accept additional work other than the regularly assigned work
- Open up on personal interests and volunteering to engage in competitions and events conducted by the company
- Punctual in attending meetings and discussions and share the daily progress honestly
- Sincere in reporting the time spent each day in both productive and non-productive work activities
- Acknowledge mistakes and be positive in rectifying and improving the same
- Discuss shortcomings and reach out for guidance and support from peers
These positive signs will help companies to judge the effectiveness of the methods adopted for creating a trustworthy environment. They can safely trust their remote employees and be relaxed on their commitment and dedication towards their assigned work.
Tips: Organizations must focus on revisiting the effectiveness of their applied techniques and methodologies of trust-building within remote teams at least quarterly, for further improvements and betterment.
Trust remote teams by handling situations of broken trust
In spite of adopting the best practices for building trust remote teams, exceptions may occur. These exceptions need to be handled immediately and intelligently else they may surmount and attain a higher volume of risk.
The moment you realize a situation of broken trust then you must strive to apply corrective measures to overcome the shortcomings.
How to gain trust if it’s broken?
Trust is vital in business and it needs to be nurtured. Trust in a business could be between teams or with customers. Trust is the foundation of respect, motivation, and dignity. Distrust can be minimized in the following ways,
1. Increase Communication
Miscommunication is one of the leading reasons for a lack of trust in a relationship. Distrust often increases communication problems. One of the strategies for building trust with employees is taking part in uncomfortable communication.
Talk specifically about your positive intentions of rebuilding trust. Be mindful of non-verbal cues like maintaining open body language while resolving conflict.
2. Respect the work and observations of colleagues
People are observant in a workplace environment. Bridge the lack of trust between management and employees by encouraging the team to respect the ideas, observations, feedback, and work of every team member.
3. Try to keep promises and be reliable
Broken promises at work due to lack of intent are the primary reason for distrust at work. Build a habit of honoring the commitment or promise will help rebuild trust.
4. Encourage healthy gossip
Grapevine has always been a part of the corporate culture. Healthy gossip can bolster the dignity of the workplace and the relationship between colleagues. Gossips that are not tied up with lies and made-up stories and can help increasing team bonding. Encourage the frequency of gossip at the workplace by setting up unremot virtual watercooler
5. Start managing yourself and being supportive
You need to take accountability for the lack of trust in the workplace. Learn to see your colleagues in a new light and taking into account their point of view. Everyone in the work environment needs to step forward be comfortable to ask for help and support.
6. Learn to forgive others and ourselves
When we forgive ourselves, we let go of the resentment and empower ourselves and approach others with compassion. When others think you can forgive, they also extend forgiveness to you.
7. Encourage win-win situations at work
Self-serving agendas can build distrust in an organization. Avoid me and myself approach instead encourage we, ours, and our-self approach. Promote mutually beneficial relationship
8. Make things informal
For remote workers operating out of the same city, a face-to-face meeting in a café to hear out their concerns and issues would be ideal and helpful. Most employees hesitate to interact or discuss the problems in video calls or official meetings.
Placing them in comfort situations would help them to share the difficulties faced. As a leader or mentor, you need to hear them empathically and provide all assurance to work out solutions for an acceptable conclusion
9. Encourage open and public communication
Guide and support them to voice their opinions and feedback about the company’s policies and the way of working. Encourage them to share their ideas and suggestions without any hesitation. Remote professionals must not keep on hiding their grudge as it may slowly disturb the relation with the company.
10. Support in cases of missing deadlines
Suggest your remote employees be proactive in communicating any deviation expected from the stipulated delivery time. The reasons may be any critical personal exigencies or delays due to resolving any critical technical issues. The employees may sometimes need assistance and support from the experts within a company.
They must seek out help instead of holding on to the problems. The more you interact with the remote workers, the more you can understand their concerns and difficulties. They will, in turn, feel confident and comfortable to share their opinions with ease and comfort.
A saying: A poet has once said, “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair”.
The meaning is so crisp and simple but has a deep consequence and impact on both personal and professional lives. It is a lesson for organizations hiring remote workers involved in inculcating new, niche, and emerging skills within the company. But to be successful in this initiative, first and foremost they need to build trust remote teams.
It needs effort and time to create trust and must not be taken casually. They must strive to hold on to that trust and invest in ensuring it remains steady and strong among all its remote professionals.
Trust exercise for teams
Do you want to know how to build trust in an organization? You can opt for teambuilding trust exercises. We have listed trust exercise for teams,
1. Icebreaker questions
Icebreakers are a fantastic way for building trust in a team. Questions could be silly (What superpower would you like to have) or personal. You could ask about personal projects, pest projects, etc. Icebreakers allow colleagues to learn more about one another. The questions should be safe and could be shared in advance.
2. Eye contact
Many people are uncomfortable doing this for an extended period. It involves two employees making eye-contact for 60 seconds and see how they make the connection.
3. Trust fall
Trust fall is one of the trust in workplace activities you can use. Have someone stand in the middle of a circle surrounded by his colleagues and close their eyes. The person in the center says they are ready to fall, and people around the individual say they are ready to catch.
The person in the center tilts backward, and the people in the circle will try to catch them. This exercise helps to build trust and metaphorically mean they have your back.
4. Food preparation
Eating and cooking together helps to fill the hungry but builds trust. You can have the team members cook together or have a cooking class. It is important to consider dietary restrictions.
5. Blind trail
Blind Trail is a popular exercise for building trust in teams. You need to assemble an obstacle course. Divide the team so that each team has five or six persons. They stand at the start of the course holding a rope while blindfolded. They need to navigate the obstacle course together. Team members need to trust and communicate to complete the course.
Activities to build trust in a relationship
Trust in relationships is created based on respect for one another. The importance of trust in a relationship cannot be undermined. It is the foundation of successful relationships.
- Let your partner go through your phone – Social media and technology can create barriers in relationships. Having an openness around phones and social media is a great way to build trust.
- Give your partner a small task to complete – You should trust your partner with small or big tasks. You can start with small tasks and slowly build them up.
- Take turns planning date nights – Part of earning trust is giving up control. If you generally organize a date night, give your partner a chance to arrange it. Allow them to surprise you. You can take turns planning a fun date.
- Try new couple’s activities together – Try out new activities together, that are out of your comfort zone. Activities help to build trust and communicate with one another.
- Create a new vision board together – Make a vision board together as a couple and plan your future. You can go through magazines together, cut pictures and phrases for what you want from the relationship. You can use the opportunity to talk about where things are heading in the relationship.
Also Read: Trust remote teams | A comprehensive guide
Build trust in teams – how unremot virtual watercooler can help?
Virtual or remote teams have become the new normal in the pandemic world. Some of the casual interactions that occur naturally in an office – chat over coffee, greeting each other in the hallway ha stopped. Informal social interactions are essential for a sense of community and to connect with team members.
Virtual watercooler software helps to create these connections in remote offices. A virtual watercooler is a virtual room. It is an internal social network where the team can interact with each other.
unremot virtual watercooler helps in team bonding exercise, helps in building trust between the virtual team. Virtual watercoolers give space to remote teams to communicate creatively and can help in impromptu brainstorming sessions.
Remote teams can be living in corners of the world and can have trouble finding a link to each other. Our water cooler helps employees to form a relationship with one another. It is a secure place where employees can communicate and not feel isolated.
Which of the following is characteristic of people in high-trust relationships?
The characteristics of people in high-trust relationships are,
- Talk straight – Be honest, authentic, and transparent in your dealings. Do not be vague or ambiguous.
- Demonstrate concern for others – You need to show empathy. As a leader, you need to appreciate and acknowledge your employees. Employees trust their bosses when their bosses view them as individuals.
- Understand your client is not always right – Even though your client wrong, you need to try to find a solution to maintain and save the relationship.
- Loyalty – Displaying loyalty to your staff, suppliers, and colleagues helps to build trust in the workplace.
- Face challenges head-on – As a leader, you need to face challenges head-on. It is counter-productive to bury your head in the sand. You may need to have a frank and tough conversation when required. Facing a crisis head-on helps to establish credibility and helps to resolve the crises faster.
- Avoid playing the blame game – you need to be accountable. As a business leader, you cannot blame others when things go wrong.
- Honor your commitments -You need to clarify what you will do and then proceed to honor your commitment.
- Listen before your speak – You need to practice listening actively. Ask questions, find out what is relevant, and avoid assumptions. You need to understand the problem before you can diagnose and offer a solution.
- Deliver results – For building trust in an organization needs to deliver results. Stop settling for mediocre results, instead strive to exceed expectations.
- Develop a yes attitude – Avoid using negative words like no, but, cannot, and impossible. Instead, use positive words in your res[pmde.
Also Read: Team communication | A complete guide
How does having a high level of trust impact communication?
Trust is a critical component of communication. As a business leader, you work on the content when you make presentations. But you need to ensure you look and sound trustworthy. Factors which help to build trust are,
- Positive relationship – you must try to build a positive relationship with your audiences. You need to be inclusive and appreciate those who may look or think differently. Help people learn a new skill. Give honest feedback emphasizing the positives.
- Provide others with beneficial new insights – Ensure the information you provide can add additional depth and insight to the current knowledge levels.
- Be consistent – Avoid making promises your firm cannot fulfill. Communicate if there are problems.
Is trust earned or given?
Remember, trust is granted or given, not earned. But why is trust important? Trust is fundamental for organizations, employees, and relationships to flourish and grow. Past experiences often lead people to develop trust issues.
If you want to know how to build trust in business, you need to be determined to overcome every obstacle that stands in your way. Your organization needs to have a high-trust and high-performance culture.
Why is trustworthiness important?
There are several answers to the question why is trust important in business? The importance of trust in the workplace is as follows,
- It is good for morale and motivation.
- It helps to build teamwork and collaboration.
- Trust is a factor influencing productivity, improving efficiency, and reduces costs.
- Building trust encourages ethical decision-making.
- It increases loyalty and willingness to stay on in the organization.
- Decreases level of stress and hostility in the work environment.
- Trust reduces resistance to change.
- Helps break down corporate silos and feeling of isolation.
- Building trust encourages sharing and developing ideas.
- It encourages people to coach and mentors junior staff members.
Which action is most likely to help build trust in a virtual team?
One of the main reasons why virtual remotes fail is businesses fail to build trust between the remote team and organization. Actions that are likely to build trust in a virtual team are,
- Dependability – Which action is most likely to help build trust in a virtual team? Build your team based on skill sets, personality traits, and soft skills. If the team members are dependable the team leader can anticipate if they will adhere to the deadlines.
- Consistency – For building trust in virtual teams, you should be consistent and predictable. Managers must earn the trust of their employees by treating them with respect and consistent workflow. Protocols should apply to everyone.
- Congruency – One of the ways to build trust in the workplace is to mean and do what you say.
- Reciprocity – A leader needs to be a team player. A famous trust in the workplace quotes, “There is no I in teams”. Teams succeed when they work together as a group.
- Confidence – Showing confidence in the remote employee helps to build trust in an organization. You need to praise and reward milestones and achievements.
- Accountability – No team-member should feel they are carrying the team because other members are shrinking responsibility. If an individual is underperforming they may need individual coaching to get them back on track.
- Transparency – Open transparent communication is a requirement for trust in virtual teams.
- Collaborative Tools – Virtual teams need the select the correct application to work effectively.
- Interpersonal relations – Socialize virtually is vital for building trust between teams. The organization can organize activities to build trust, in a relationship or encourage the team members to share more personal connections.
- Commitment – The leader must work with their team to accomplish the goals. Team members need to be committed to meet deadlines.
Why is it so important for employers to trust employees?
It pays to build trust with employees. It can help enhance employee engagement, leading to greater job satisfaction and lower turnover rates. Trust of their employees can help increase productivity. It can help build team spirit within the organization.
Trust encourages employee advocacy. In the age of online reviews and social media word of mouth, a recommendation can help build the credibility of the firm.