When your team works remotely chances are you might have more native languages involved, more perspectives and a lot of flexibility.
Sure, a remote team requires a higher level of management attention and a lot of inside work to keep everyone on the look and engaged with both the project and the company.
As much as it is a bit more complex to build a relationship with our remote team as we are not sharing a physical space, and therefore also not sharing everyday situations, there are ways to create that necessary human connection.
One of the questions we get from other professionals very often is whether do we feel insecure about our team being working remotely and how much control can the management have over what they do and their performance at work. Our answer is very simple, it is a matter of trust.
If you don’t trust your employees, it doesn’t matter how close to you they sit everyday, it will keep you anxious and with a continuous eye on them, most likely they will feel that situation and it will end up affecting their productivity and the actual vibe at the office.
Also, if your employees don’t feel like they can trust you, then most likely they won’t feel committed to the project and involved enough to work as hard as it takes to be the bests are their job.
So to actually have a remote team that works excellent, you need to find the right people that you can trust on. Professionals that have proven to you that they actually are interested and devoted to their job, that they understand and embrace your company culture and that are able to adapt to your management style to make things work.
Obviously, they also need to be able to trust you and your management ways, and that can only be proven through experience. Before each conflict or complicated situation, they will be able to see how you react and how you manage your team in a way that they feel they are being lead correctly by you.
Make sure then to create that “circle of trust” a safe space where your team can work, communicate and come up with ideas or issues knowing that they will be heard and taken under consideration.
Sure, trust involve some level of risk (otherwise there wouldn’t be any trust needed). And it is that level of risk what comes to show the commitment and the importance of building and developing that special relationship.
With a remote employee, we can’t and should not be on to of their shoulder checking what they do correctly and where do they perform poorly, but we can slowly build that trust by giving them small tasks that will show them that we trust them and being clear about what do we expect from them. After each task completed, we can recognize the good job, give some feedback on those things that can be improved and encourage them to take over a bigger task.
Trust, as we said, is build through time and by taking risks, and it is also individually earned and built by each team member. We need to show that as they work, and they respond to the trust we put on them, our trust and believe on them grows too.
Also, and very important, bare in mind that once trust is broken is probably the end of the professional relationship as it is very difficult to get it back, specially when it comes to business.