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The answer: very.

Trust is a vital component of every workplace. After all, you trust your employees to show up each day (we hope!), get their jobs done, and meet expectations. But when it comes to your virtual team, the issue of trust becomes even more important.

In fact, according to the book, Virtual Team Success, by Darleen DeRosa and Richard Lepsinge, virtual teams surveyed and cited as “top performing” reported having higher levels of trust when compared to other less successful teams.

But trust is tricky. While it can take months – and even years – to build, it can also be destroyed in a matter of seconds. That’s why it’s so important that you, as a manager, pay attention to not just developing, but also maintaining, trust among your virtual team members.

Here are some tips to help you along the way:

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

Whether it’s through phone calls, emails, IM-ing, texting or video conferencing, communicate often. Also, make sure all virtual employees know the contact info for their fellow team members and the best method to reach them.

Enable Team Members to Get to Know Each Other.

There’s no office water cooler or company lunchroom to meet socially. So while an IM or quick text might be perfect for checking in, develop an environment in which team members can get to know each other on a more personal level. For instance, create a Facebook page or conduct a video conference at least once a week. That way, everyone can put a face to the name. And, if and when possible, meet face-to-face.

Make Your Expectations Crystal Clear.

There are a few fundamental ground rules you should set to ensure everyone’s on the same page. For instance, you may require a progress report by 9 am every Friday or that attendance is required during a Monday morning video conference.

Reward Results.

Employees who work well virtually tend to have more of an independent streak. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be praised and motivated. So just as you would with an on-site team who’s delivering stellar work, also be sure to praise and reward your virtual workers when they perform well.

Give Team Members Some Autonomy.

Micro-managing doesn’t tend to work well in a virtual environment. Both you and your employees will eventually wind up frustrated and unproductive. So give your virtual team members some autonomy to make decisions and take action without having to consult you every step of the way.

Need Help Hiring for Your Virtual Team…or Any Team?

Give PrideStaff a call. As a leading Phoenix staffing services firm, we’ve successfully placed thousands of professionals all over the city – and beyond – in a variety of positions with our clients.

Ready to learn more? Contact PrideStaff today.

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