While full-time remote work may be starting to feel surprisingly normal now that we’re several months into the coronavirus pandemic, there are numerous small elements of in-person work that are still missing, and it’s important to keep that in mind. We need to make conscious efforts to foster connections and most importantly develop trust among a remote team.
Future of work expert Eric Termuende offered a few tips to help in this regard in a recent piece on LinkedIn. In his piece, he wrote about the difficulty we all face trying to develop personal bonds over virtual communication—especially as time goes on and there’s turnover among staff. Eric’s three main pieces of advice follow:
- See People as People, Not Just Employees or Team Members
Eric suggests finding ways to allow everyone to interact on a more social/personal level. This is something that happens naturally in almost every workplace, but it’s exceedingly rare as a natural occurrence while working remotely. As he puts it, “Trust is built not just from the work we do, but who we are as well. Take the time to learn more about who the team is, not just what they do.”
- Practice Radical Honesty
This is fairly self-explanatory, but can be difficult to practice. It’s about the idea of being true, honest, and open in all our work interactions. It can be a challenge but is much healthier in the long-term. Eric writes: “Instead of avoiding conflict and being too nice, try being honest, supporting your honesty with details as to why you feel the way you do, and be as respectful as possible at the same time.”
- Ask for Candid Feedback
Eric ties this point into a broader message, which is that he sees our approach to developing trust as work as backwards. We normally think of the process of starting from a point of suspicion, where everyone must earn the trust and regard of those around them. For Eric, the process should start with everyone accepting and trusting one another—especially now in our big shift to remote. The idea of asking for feedback feeds into this. “By asking for feedback, what we’re really doing is signaling to the person we’re asking feedback from that we trust them. By asking for feedback we show that we value their opinion and want to make appropriate adjustments to improve the relationship,” Eric writes.
A globally recognized thought leader, bestselling author, and speaker, Eric Termuende brings a fresh perspective to workplace culture and the future of work. His actionable and entertaining keynotes combine research, storytelling, and case studies to help leaders attract and retain top talent and build teams that thrive. Audiences will leave energized, empowered, and equipped with the tools needed to spark action and growth within their organizations.