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How to build trust with employees (especially when you can’t see them)

https://www.fastcompany.com/90563805/4-ways-to-build-trust-with-employees-especially-when-you-cant-see-them

fastcompany.com

How to build trust with employees (especially when you can’t see them)
These days, you may not speak to your employees in-person, but you can still promote a trusting relationship.

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Trust in the age of remote work

Trust in the age of remote work

Different industries may face different challenges when they have to manage staff remotely. However, they all share one element that is crucial: trust.

A lack of tr...

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Setting expectations for a remote setting

  • The simplest way to ensure employees are meeting expectations is to articulate your expectations.
  • Rather than assuming everyone is available, establish the frequency and ideal timi...

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Set employees up for success with the right tools

In the office, employees are given the tools they need to do their jobs. The same should apply when they work remote. They should have access to the right materials, equipment, and information.

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Leading with appreciation

With employees out of sight, it's essential to address issues promptly.

One good approach is to lead with appreciation. Harsh feedback will likely lead team members to react defensively...

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Offer opportunities for social interaction

Loneliness is one of the most challenging aspects of working remotely, even among introverts.

Managers should find ways for employees to feel socially connected. For example, leaving op...

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The challenges of hybrid teams

The challenges of hybrid teams

Most companies embracing remote work also have dedicated headquarters. But remote-ish teams have even more communication and collaboration challenges than fully remote teams.

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Remote-friendly vs remote-first

The single biggest mistake companies can make is to opt to be remote-friendly instead of remote-first. Companies often accept the idea that remote is the future of work without creating an inclusive culture to ensure it works for everyone.

  • Remote-friendly environment: Employees are allowed to work remotely, but work is not optimized for it. There is a disconnect between office and remote employees and team meetings exclusively occur in a co-located time zone. Water cooler chat is a space for key decisions and presence is correlated with meaningful work. Communication is synchronous-first. Managers must work in the office.
  • Remote-first companies: Employees are empowered to adopt remote work. Real-time meetings are kept to a minimum and recorded. Decisions are made online and performance is measured by output, not by hours worked. Communication is asynchronous-first. Managers are encouraged to work from home.

Connecting a remote-ish team

Hybrid companies function best when the entire company is optimized for remote work. Successful hybrid teams set up processes to help their remote workers thrive alongside their office teammates.

Leadership must acknowledge the various challenges remote workers face and create solutions. Create a remote work policy that keeps remote workers and contractors from feeling like second class team members. Remote workers should feel fully connected and not missing a thing.

Make Time To Connect

Workers crave a sense of authentic connection with others and the best way to do that is by bringing people together in person. But it's not always a viable alternative.

One way to do that...

Communication

  • Set clear expectations and make an effort to be a good listener.
  • Set clear boundaries. Establish a preferred time for communications so you feel respected and acknowledged.
  • Get to know others. Remote workers often have purely transactional interactions. Listen to people and get to know them.
  • Update people on what you’re working on and your availability

Use Shared Experiences

A co-located office develops its own personality through inside jokes, shared experiences, and a collaborative environment. A remote team needs to develop something similar.

Creating specific Slack channels based on interests and book clubs where the company funds the books are the easiest ways to do this for remote workers.