Trust Us: The 4 Pillars of Trust for Remote Working
We’ve talked a lot about remote working lately, as more businesses than ever have had to very quickly adapt to this method of keeping things going. One important thing that is worth touching on when it comes to remote working is trust.
As business owners aren’t seeing their employees every day, it can be difficult to keep track of what everyone’s doing. So it can be a bit tricky to trust that everyone is still working to the best of their ability. Of course, it’ll take time for employees to reach the same level of productivity at home as they have in the office – it’s an adjustment process for everyone. However you need to be able to trust your team to still do their best, and they need to trust you to allow them to get on with it.
It’s important to foster a culture of trust in your business, so that your remote team can thrive. As such here are Lunar’s 4 pillars of trust for remote teams:
Transparency between teams should be a core value for any business, and this is especially important when teams are working remotely. It can be too easy for important information to not be shared between remote teams, and though this won’t be intentional it can still pose a huge problem.
Ensuring everyone keeps in contact via e-mails is one way of ensuring some people are kept up to date on projects. However, the easiest way to ensure everyone’s in the loop is to use team chat channels and project management tools, such as Slack, Trello, Jira, or other third party tools integrated with Lunar CRM.
With conversations held in public forum, no one on your team will feel that they’re left out of important conversations. Of course, some more serious conversations can be taken offline and kept between the parties involved, and separate teams can have their own chat channels to prevent an overload of information for everyone else. However, ensuring no one is left out of the wider loop of communication will create a culture or trust, so that no one feels shut out or left to their own devices.
Know Your Team
It can be difficult to reach out to different members of the team when you don’t really know each other. This can be particularly detrimental when members of the team are suffering in silence with particular tasks that others could quite easily provide a helping hand with.
This is another great bonus of using team chat channels, as you can use them to just have conversations with other team members as you might in the office. Of course it might be worth using a separate channel for off work topic conversations, just to avoid any muddling of personal and professional conversation.
It would also be worth having regular team video calls. As human beings, one of the easiest ways for us to get to know each other is through seeing each other’s faces. So regular video meetings are an optimal way for different members of the team to get to know each other, even if they’ve never met in person.
Of course, no businesses owner likes the idea of the team wasting time chatting on company time, however it’s important for your team to build relationships and a remote culture for effective professional communication.
Setting your expectations is a crucial part of ensuring everyone is working towards the same goal, and plays an important role in building trust. In the early days of remote working or when new members of the team join, you can build that trust with daily check-in meetings just to ensure that everyone’s both kept in the communication loop and aware of what’s expected of them.
When expectations are set, it’s also important for everyone to be clear on how those expectations will be monitored. This can be done manually, through daily or weekly 1 to 1 meetings, which helps with communication. However, this can seem a little intimidating. This monitoring can be done more automatically and a little less invasively, through KPI dashboards and real time reporting features as part of your CRM solution.
Trust needs to be fostered on both ends when it comes to managing expectations. Once you’ve set your goal posts, you can’t keep moving them or your team will struggle to maintain trust in you. If expectations do need to be altered, as new and unpredictable situations arise, remember to be transparent and involve everyone in an open discussion about what needs to be done and what can realistically be done.
Monitor Productivity, Not Hours
Working in offices at specific hours means that we’ve built up a culture of clock watching – employers expect employees to work a certain number of hours on their premises and employees expect to work within specific hours. With remote working however, there’s room for flexibility, as long expectations are met.
One of the biggest mistakes managers can make is micro managing their remote teams by regularly checking in to make sure they’re working during office hours. This breaks the trust between managers and their teams, as people don’t feel trusted to do their jobs effectively.
It goes without saying that when working from home there are plenty of distractions. After all, if your team are presented with the opportunity to do their housework during the day and have the evening to themselves, they’re going to do it. That doesn’t mean they can’t make time to do their jobs too, and ultimately the work will speak for itself when it’s done and delivered within the agreed timeframe.
Trust your teams to allocate the necessary time they need to deliver on the projects that you have both agreed to, and that they will communicate why if they can’t deliver (it’s always wise to build contingency in to any plans for this purpose). This, rather than monitoring that your team are in their seats and working, will build trust effectively.
Lunar CRM allows your teams to monitor and report project progress automatically, with third party integrations that allow for effective remote communication. Try a free demo to see if Lunar CRM will enable your team to work remotely more effectively.