Four important ways to build trust and rapport in remote teams

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Nowadays, teams are stretched all over the globe and this is only set to continue. Anyone who works remotely can tell you, it’s challenging to manage a decentralised and dispersed team. In terms of team building, there’s one core element that’s the glue between dispersed team members – trust! Here are five core ways to build trust.

Where possible, meet in person

Although in some cases this isn’t possible, meeting with your co-workers at least once builds a high degree of personal trust, teamwork and shared purpose. This occurs far more rapidly than remote working with no interaction. The physical meeting of minds is a self-sustaining way of maintaining rapport over long distances. Have lunch, a few drinks and get to know each other’s personalities and communication styles. This will prove to be invaluable later on for the project, especially when you face and overcome challenges together.

Sometimes meeting in person simply isn’t possible. You may be separated by large bodies of water or tracts of land. In this case have weekly chats on the phone or Skype and build rapport that way.

Share the same strategy, goals and expectations

Make sure that you’re all striving for the same end goal. This means that you’re all on the same page for implementing the team strategy and individual input. Avoid all possibilities of confusion about goals and expectations early on in your relationship. Make sure that individual roles and deliverables are absolutely clear. This transparency in turn promotes trust.

As a manager, you can keep the project on track, with regular email and telephone conversations. Obviously, it’s even better to have face-to-face meetings where practicable. Track the project against performance metrics.

Foster honesty and transparency

Another important way to build trust as a part of team, is by having clear and transparent processes and ways of working together. Use collaborative software like Slack or Basecamp. This easily promotes collaboration and shows progress of projects. Showing everybody how they are tracking is one easy way to boost productivity.

People thrive on keeping up with the other members of the team. This transparency and accountability fosters productivity and trust. When the project is visible in this way, any obstacles or issues along with way can be resolved in a collective manner.

Showcase everyone’s diverse capabilities

Make sure that in addition to the team members understanding their individual roles, they also have enough support to diversify their capabilities, and learn as they go. This will benefit them as individuals, and the team as a whole. Rarely do people understand everything about a task all at once. So it’s important to nurture knowledge and support professional growth.

References

“Trust Makes the Team Go ‘Round”; Harvard Management Update; Judith A. Ross, February 27th, 2008. 

By following these key steps, you can build a cohesive, strong and formidable team with a high level of trust and camaraderie between individuals. If you would like some advice about content marketing then claim your free content audit and race ahead of the competition!


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