Building trust in remote teams
Tim shares his thoughts on building trust (and maximising performance) in remote teams.
You may not realise this but Projekt Rising is a fully remote company. All of our team members (employed and contracted) work from home offices or co-working spaces.
I’ve been fully remote for 7.5 years and have led remote teams for longer than I am willing to share. As we're all working remote at the moment, I hope that some of my hard learnt lessons will be of use to you and your organisation.
So without further delay here are my top 10 recommendations for building trust (and maximising performance) in fully remote teams.
1. Have a daily team video check-in, ideally at the start the day (time-zone dependent), Focus on social and well being first, then anything that needs to be cascaded and a discussion of priority items
2. Avoid excess meetings and limit attendance to essential attendees only, a day filled with back to back meetings is a day when you have no time for personal delivery. When you’ve met the meeting objective, finish promptly and avoid chit chat keeping everyone on the call (give people their time back!)
3. Have a single source of truth for who is working on what and when. This should be visual and accessible to all. It increases transparency and team discussion of priorities.
4. Ensure Team and Individual goals are crystal clear. Reward when they are met. Investigate causes and create performance improvement plans when they are missed.
5. Focus on delivery output not working time, but if individuals are not meeting expectations or perceived to be taking advantage, raise it directly one to one immediately.
6. Where a team member needs additional support, have a daily one to one check-in, keep it short (10 mins or so) focus on mental health before work delivery
7. A lot can be achieved by instant messaging, but if it becomes a conversation, switch to a call. It will be quicker to make decisions and using voice or ideally video will ensure context and emotion are not missed.
8. Keep email to a minimum, record anything task or project related directly in your company’s project management tool/platform. Ensure any critical project or task emails are tagged, recorded or attached appropriately.
10. As a leader, actively encourage and discuss exercise/breaks taken in the working day. Talk about achievements, physical, gardening, cooking, reading etc. Your team will be more efficient when focused before and after breaks which would normally be water cooler, coffee breaks, random conversations
Trust your team to deliver, remote work works!