How to build trust in remote teams

February 25, 2019

It’s becoming much more likely for teams to be spread out over the country, or even the world! Nuhman, one of our brainy HR Assistants, talks us through how you can build trust in remote teams.

By Nuhman Sharif

It goes without saying that trust is absolutely essential for any remote working scenario: as an employer you have to trust that the employee will deliver the work as per their job description and on the other hand, the employee must trust that they will be treated as a valued member of the team. So how do we build trust in remote teams? Well here are my top tips:


  1. Hire the right people in the first instance

Not only is it essential that you hire people with the right skill set for the role, but you also need to ensure that prospective employees have the right personality traits to fit into the team. These days, psychometric tests are often deployed so it’s worth having a look at what’s available and see which one might be best for your organisation.


  1. Ensure there is open and clear communication

This helps to build rapport which in turn engenders trust between members of the remote team. The need for clear communication is especially important when you have international employees as English may not be their first language. There may also be cultural barriers to overcome so taking the time to understand cultural norms is a great way to build trust with international employees.


  1. Establish team ground rules and workflows

These are essential to allow remote workers to feel they are all being treated fairly and consistently. You may even feel bold enough to work collaboratively with your team to collectively devise these or if not, you can at least make it clear to employees that you are open to feedback.


  1. Ensure team members are properly equipped

When overlooked, this can give remote workers the impression the organisation doesn’t care about them which can erode trust. It’s vital therefore to analyse each role and determine exactly what tools and equipment are required to execute the role fully. Once again, make employees aware that you are open to suggestions and keep abreast of any new technologies which could be deployed in the future.


  1. Ensure there is transparency

Transparency builds trust as it demonstrates that each team member is pulling their weight and that the workload is being shared equally. To ensure transparency, simply make the electronic diaries/ planners of each employee available to the rest of the team. You may even wish to utilise task planning software to make this easier.


  1. Provide meaningful support

As a line manager, supporting your team and being ‘available’ is even more important when you manage a remote team in comparison to an office-based team. So be proactive and regularly check in with your employees – a simple telephone call or skype video call can make a big difference, and can ensure employees don’t feel forgotten which in turn motivates the employee and builds their trust in the organisation. It’s also important to praise employees for a job well done and provide coaching for those employees who have performance issues.


  1. Foster interpersonal relationships

Since remote workers may not meet face to face all that often, it’s important to encourage them to regularly communicate in other ways to help them get to know each other better and build trust and rapport. Fortunately, we live in a technological age and there are so many ways we can communicate remotely including Skype for Business and Yammer just to name a few. A weekly conference call may also be a great way for the team to get to know each other better.



Do you have a remote team or are you planning to implement one in your organisation?

If so, why not get in touch with us and we can happily guide you through the process and also provide ongoing support to ensure there is continued success in your remote team.

Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

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