A company’s culture is built on trust. How do you ensure that your team trusts each other when they’ve never met before?
The conversation around remote work is quickly shifting from “how do we make this work right now” to “how do we optimize remote work for the long term”.
-Chase Warrington, Head of Remote, Doist
Companies are beginning to accept that remote work is here to stay. As they spent the last 2 years figuring out how to optimize for productivity, now they're beginning to optimize for something far more important.
Sure, your employees are crushing their OKRs, but do they trust each other?
When we think about trust, we often think about the face-to-face interactions we have with people in our lives. But what about the trust we build with people we've never met? In today's async culture, more and more of our interactions are happening online, through email, social media, and other digital channels. So how can we build trust in an async culture?
There are a few key things that go into building trust online: transparency, communication, and follow-through. Let's take a closer look at each of these.
Trust is a two-way street. Before your employees begin to trust each other, they need to know their company trusts them. In recent years, employee tracking software has become increasingly popular among businesses. While there are some benefits, there is also a big downside.
One of the harms of employee tracking software is that it can lead to a feeling of being constantly monitored by employers. This can create a feeling of mistrust and anxiety among employees, which can ultimately lead to lower morale and productivity. Additionally, employee tracking software can also cayse an invasion of privacy and disrupt the work-life balance, which looks different for everyone in an asynchronous team. If employees feel like they are constantly being monitored, they may be less likely to take advantage of flexible work arrangements or take time off when they need it.
Efficient meetings ARE necessary. But every meeting doesn't have to be. Trust is built not only when you trust in each other's professional backgrounds. It's also built when you get to know your teammate, what drives them, what inspires them, and what they want for the world. So, set a structure where the closest teammates get time to casually chat about who they are as people, beyond their work.
It is important for companies to conduct online social activities to build trust in their team in an asynchronous environment. These activities help employees feel connected to each other and the company and foster a sense of trust.
Some examples of online social activities hosting virtual happy hours, using apps like Gather, hosting fireside chats, running a fantasy league, and the list goes on.
By taking part in these activities, companies can build trust with their employees and create a more positive work environment. In turn, this can lead to increased productivity and creativity, and a reduction in turnover. Ensure that you host a variety of activities and keep them truly optional. Let's face it, one of the biggest benefits of remote work is getting to spend more time with your friends and family. Some of your employees may look forward to logging off on a Friday and going to dinner with their friends.
Don't get in their way.
It's important for managers to check in on their team members in a remote environment to see how they're dealing with work and what's stressing them out. By doing this, managers can identify any potential problems and help their team members stay on track. Checking in also allows managers to build stronger relationships with their team members. This is especially important in a remote environment, where team members may feel isolated. By taking the time to ask how they're doing, managers can show that they care about their team members' well-being. Finally, checking in with team members can help managers identify any training or development needs. If team members are struggling with certain tasks, managers can provide the resources needed to help them improve.
Especially when it comes to your company's junior-most employees, it's important that reporting managers ask how they're settling into the culture, how they're managing their work-life balance, and how the company can empower them to be happier.
Managers give orders and employees follow them. However, this isn't the most effective way to build trust in the longer run. Why? It's important for managers to receive feedback from their juniors so that they can understand what's working and what isn't.
Leadership being open to feedback is one of the biggest facilitators of a great culture. While breaking their heads on the company's most challenging tasks, leaders can gradually lose sight of how they can be better leaders to every employee who looks up to them.
Not only is it a great way to find gaps, but it also goes a long way in people feeling heard and valued, and it can help improve the overall culture of the company.
As the lockdowns get lifted, people have started working from the office again. On the other hand some companies have introduced a mix of the two. Which one do your employees like more?