The workforce has become largely remote, leading many businesses to seek out online ways to connect team members. One such challenge that has arisen in this new environment is building trust among virtual teams. Fortunately, many solutions have emerged in response to this issue that businesses can rely on. Keep reading to learn just a few ways that you can build trust among your virtual teams.
7 Behaviors That Build Trust in Virtual Teams
Although your team cannot meet in person, there are still plenty of ways that you can connect! Try out a few of the following activities for building trust among your virtual teams. Think of these activities as a virtual trust fall — every team member should trust their colleagues to catch them.
1. Build a Strong Team
The first step to building trust in a virtual team is to hire the right people. Despite the online format that your company has adopted, company culture is still a major key. The interview process is the perfect time to see how your potential new team member will interact in your virtual format. Do they reflect the company values? Are they willing to communicate effectively with team members to ensure trust is built? Make sure every member of your team is open to trying new strategies for building trust.
2. Communicate Regularly
And not just about work! While your team should be equipped and ready to communicate about work-related issues virtually, the communication shouldn’t end there. Create channels in which team members can discuss entertaining topics such as their favorite playlists or their go-to holiday traditions. Try using new virtual communication platforms, such as Scoot, to get out of the sea of silent gray boxes and encourage employee engagement in your regular meetings.
Communication between team members and leadership is also an essential part of building trust in virtual teams. Schedule 1-on-1 meetings to check in with your team members and ensure that they are feeling comfortable and content in their roles. Address any issues that may be occurring and let them know that they have your full support.
3. Be Transparent
Working in a virtual environment can pose challenges in sharing pertinent company information. It’s much more difficult to convey information when not everyone is seated in front of you at a meeting. However, this lack of transparency can hinder the trust among your team.
To combat this and continue building trust among your virtual team, ensure there are policies in place regarding how to communicate company information. This may mean introducing brief daily meetings to cover changes or holding monthly all-hands meetings to discuss company initiatives and changes. Full transparency is an efficient way to build trust between team members and leadership.
4. Plan Team Bonding Activities
Building trust with virtual teams means getting to know the people you’re working with as more than just their roles. Without seeing each other every day in the office, it’s difficult to have these non-work-related conversations. Planning regular team bonding activities can give your employees a break from their daily tasks and provide an opportunity for trust-building.
With so much of the workforce turning to virtual formats, many platforms have come about to encourage team bonding. Spend half an hour playing an online game or ask your team members to prepare two truths and a lie for the next morning’s meeting. You can even set up a virtual happy hour for employees to partake in! The team bonding activities don’t have to take up an entire day — just a few minutes together during the week can help everyone get to know each other a little better and gain trust for one another.
5. Set Clear Goals Together
It can be challenging to trust your team when you’re not sure what direction your work is headed in. Take some time each quarter to set clear company and team goals all together. Knowing how each team member contributes to the end goal can help establish trust among colleagues. Each member of the team can understand every role and rely on their fellow team members to complete the necessary tasks.
6. Share Positive Results
A positive work environment fosters trust. Your team should regularly share positive feedback and recognition to encourage camaraderie. Not only will this show team members that their work is valuable, but it solidifies that your team can rely on one another to get the job done (and done well!). Peer-to-peer recognition is extremely important to maintain high company-wide morale and productivity levels.
7. Offer Thoughtful Feedback
Just as positive news and bonding activities build trust — so does offering careful feedback. A hybrid coworker needs to trust that their teammates will appraise them of mistakes and support the learning process. This is especially vital during the onboarding phase.
Team members need to trust that coworkers will have their backs in positive moments and in learning moments.
The Importance of Building Trust in Virtual Teams
Employees who trust each other find more workplace happiness and productivity. A lack of coworker trust is stressful for employees, and in a hybrid team, it can be extremely isolating. The previous list provides excellent ways to build trust. Additionally, here are a few key behaviors that can lead to enhanced trust in a hybrid team, including:
- Be a role model: Guide newer teammates by example. Demonstrating strong and empathetic leadership for a hybrid team builds trust in the unit and the company as a whole.
- Be an advocate: If you notice a teammate struggling or find a workplace inefficiency — speak up! Advocating for yourself and others on your hybrid team boosts coworker confidence and trust.
- Be a quick communicator: Quality communication is important; however, expedient communication assures hybrid teammates that you’ll be there when needed. Utilize real-time tools to communicate quickly.
Build Team Trust With Scoot
Building trust among virtual teams is a continuous process that never truly ends. That’s why it’s essential to invest in the tools you’ll need to foster trust and strong working relationships. Take your virtual socialization to the next level with Scoot.
Our unique virtual meeting platform was designed to help your team members feel comfortable and connected with their colleagues. Our virtual conferencing system mimics the feel of a real-life mixer, allowing your team members to bounce between conversations, enjoy fun background music, and more.
Request a demo today and get started building trust within your virtual team!
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