Tips To Building Team Trust On Your Virtual Team
Building team trust in the virtual world is a difficult task when uniting the virtual workforce. Check out this video from the American Management Association below for tips from Yael Zofi, Virtual Teams Expert.
What are the important first steps to leading a virtual team?
So when you’re gathering your virtual team, think of it as going on a road trip and you need to figure out what is your team destination, what are the goals and directions for your team? You want to come up with the communication protocols for how you will communicate virtually. Whether it’s email, phone, video, or in person. What are the norms for your team? What are the things that are expected or not expected or how often, how much and you do need to find some time, especially in the early days, for some social time through the virtual water cooler. So even though you may not be able to see each other in person, people still need to connect at the human level.
How can a manager develop a high level of trust among virtual team members?
So the first thing with team trust is you got to build trust and you got to give trust to get trust. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Don’t guess. In the virtual environment it’s even more important to be very clear, be very consistent, establish agreements up front and make sure you maintain confidences. One of the important things in a virtual environment is trust representation. So even though you can’t be there in person, you can be represented or if they can’t be there in person with you, you can represent them.
Do you have any advice for teams that span multiple countries or cultures?
Absolutely. So think of a virtual team, especially think of your role as a manager as the global agent of connection. So your role is to help to manage the differences. Your role is to put together some clear communication in place to make sure that you connect your team to each other and to you. What it takes is to L.E.A.R.N. the culture, and L.E.A.R.N. stands for: L is Listen, starts with listening. E is Effectively communicate and make sure that you’re clear about expectations. A is Avoid ambiguity, and ambiguity even in using English as a business language, sometimes can get lost in translation. So be more clear and specific and avoid ambiguity. R is Respect differences, and N is make sure that No judgment, try to understand, seek to understand, and connect your team to build team trust.