3 Ways to Build Trust in a Remote or Hybrid Workplace (+ Why It’s Important)

Trust has always been a cornerstone of a productive and happy workplace. In fact, in 2017, well before a pandemic wreaked havoc on our world and the world of work, a researcher shared what he found when he explored the divide between high – and low-trust workplaces with Harvard Business Review. They shared that those in high-trust workplaces were 106% more energetic at work, 76% more engaged, experienced 74% less stress, and took 13% fewer days off, with an overall life satisfaction score nearly 30% higher.
Now, post-pandemic, as teams work from different locations, only seeing each other at team offsites or a couple of times a week in the office, trust is even more critical.

Don’t Micromanage

When you don’t have your team in your sights or physical office daily, it’s easy to default to micromanagement to “be in the know.” But, of those who have experienced micromanagement, Forbes shared that 71% said it interfered with job performance, 85% said their morale was negatively impacted, 69% thought about switching jobs, and 39% actually did.
How to Do This: Set up weekly one-on-one Zoom meetings with all your direct reports. This way, you have time to catch up, ask questions, and problem-solve where necessary without hovering over them. These meetings fell by the wayside for many during the pandemic, but in a remote world, they’re more important than ever before for positive, effective communication.

Set Explicit KPIs & Goals

One thing that also helps decrease micromanagement and build trust in the workplace is setting clear, explicit key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals for your employees. What needs to be achieved this week, month, quarter, and year? How will that be measured? When will progress check-ins happen?
The ultimate goal for remote work should simply be to determine that work is being accomplished promptly and effectively. Not ensuring that employees are sitting at their desks during set hours of the day. This will help achieve tracking that goal, and building trust, seeing work is being done, and goals are realized.

How to Do This: Lay out a clear plan with a workflow management system like Asana, Jira, Monday, etc. Then, check in during those weekly meetings on progress and host larger team meetings quarterly (or more frequently, depending on the goal) to review. It’s all about effective project management!

Deploy the Right Technology

Having the right technology in place is critical to building trust within your organization when working with a remote or hybrid team. Think about it. Analytics and workflow planning tools provide accountability and transparency that decrease the need for micromanagement. Video conferencing tools provide a way to connect and build relationships without being together. Pulse surveys deployed through your HRM software will allow you to identify gaps in employee satisfaction and productivity. The list goes on and on.

How to Do This: Make sure you have systems that talk to each other and allow for full transparency and productivity, and trust will be innately built. 

Need Help Building Trust Within Your Organization? Management Training May Help.

Building trust within your organization starts with your team trusting management. If your management team lacks empathy, communication skills, problem-solving abilities, etc., it’s going to be hard for them to build trust amongst their direct reports.
While the actions above will help build trust, much more work needs to be done on the personal soft skills level to ensure managers are managing and coaching their teams effectively from afar. Let’s chat about how NimblyWise can help your team build skills and trust all at once!