If you think building trust within a team is difficult, then building trust within a remote team is even more challenging. With your company no longer located in a physical office, those water cooler conversations and lunch trips that help build professional and personal relationships within your team are absent.
There will be no quick stops at a team members desk to say hello, there will be no light conversations over a coffee and there won’t be any after-work drinks on a Friday evening after a long work week. This doesn’t mean you can’t build trust in your remote team, it just means you need to start thinking differently about how you strengthen relationships.
Thankfully, there are specific techniques to not just support remote team members but to fully engage them, ensure they are building relationships with their peers, improve communication and, ultimately, build the same level of trust that you would find in any physical office.
Before we get into some measures you can take to build trust within your remote team, let’s first take a look at why trust is so important for remote workers.
Why is building trust important for remote teams?
Trust is the foundation of any effective team. Trust improves employee satisfaction, encourages team communication, empowers team members to be innovative, enhances morale, helps you to build a strong company culture, along with a huge range of other benefits for your organization.
In fact, a survey of CEOs by PWC revealed that a strong majority of business leaders (55 percent) believe that a lack of trust in the workplace constitutes a “foundational threat” to their company.
Trust is even more important for remote teams, where staff members must trust their peers to get the work done. Trust fosters productivity, long-lasting relationships and business success.
How can you build trust within your remote team?
Leaders of virtual teams know that building trust among their employees and encouraging collaboration can be the difference between success and failure. That’s why they must take innovative, proactive steps to ensure they do exactly that.
Teambonders has listed three ways you can build trust within your remote team:
#1 - Trust is created from the top
If employees don’t trust you as a manager, then it’s unlikely that they will trust their peers either. By building trust from the top of your organization, you will create a culture of trust and predictability that spreads throughout your entire remote team.
You can do this by being available and responsive as a team manager. By being empathetic with your employees’ situations and having an open-door policy for communication, you will build a level of trust with your employees that filters throughout your entire team.
#2 - Set up a dedicated chat channel for non-work related conversations
Those casual conversations that happen over a coffee or on a lunch break when teams are located in a physical office help to strengthen both personal and professional relationships within your team. Once you go remote, however, you can completely lose those personal chats.
That’s why you should create a dedicated space where your team can have non-work related conversations. Make the most of your chat channel, whether you are using Slack or Google Hangouts, and encourage your team to strengthen their personal relationships by having casual conversations that aren’t work related.
#3 - Host virtual team building events
Hosting regular virtual team building events for your remote team is a fun and effective way to strengthen existing relationships, build new ones and create a deeper level of trust between your employees.
The best thing? It’s simple to organize and it doesn’t matter where your team is located - you can host virtual team building events over the internet.
Whether you want to host an event that improves employee health and wellness, that gives back to your community through charity initiative or you want to host a fun game to excite your team, virtual team building events will encourage communication among your team, improve employee morale, encourage creative problem solving and, most important, build trust.
Want to learn more about the power of virtual team building for remote teams? Contact Teambonders today. We have a range of team building activities that can be customized for the unique needs of your organization.