Teamwork depends on trust, and trust is built on relationships –and yet many virtual managers fail to ensure their teams have the opportunity to build and develop those relationships.
The truth is that humans are social, empathetic beings.We do best when we can see the people we’re working with, dropping in for spontaneous conversations that may not even be related to work. When people work remotely and only contact their colleagues for business matters, empathy is harder to come by and they begin to feel isolated and unhappy – which leads to less trust, lower productivity and higher costs due to attrition.
Talk About Trust in Virtual Teams
Even if it feels awkward to talk about trust, especially when just forming or joining a new virtual team, doing so is key to success. Too many teams wait for an issue to arise and “get bad enough” that a manager needs to step in, meaning it is actually far too late.
With a virtual team, it can be tricky to tell when, how or why trust became an issue, which is precisely why it must be addressed early on. Encourage your team to discuss the behaviors they expect from each other to build trust rather than undermine it.
As manager, you can co-create behavioral norms with your team,addressing trust issues before they arise.
Empathy will promote open communication and build stronger bonds of trust within your virtual team. Likewise, empathetic virtual team members will become better at resolving conflict, will deliver more effective feedback, and will make better decisions. Empathy inspires positivity and productivity in all who embody it. With a little practice your virtual team can master empathy and harness success.
Want to learn more about how to co-create Behavioral norms with your virtual teams. Schedule a free consultation today.