Trust is a key component of meaningful collaboration for every remote team.
Without a considerable effort to foster transparency and encourage bonding between distributed team members, remote teams can be prone to misunderstandings and assumptions that break down trust.
Though remote teammates rarely get a chance to see each other in person, you can use some proactive strategies for more efficient remote team management.
They will help you to cultivate a productive working environment and foster strong relationships between teammates.
Are you ready to leave all potential risks behind and build trust with your offshore development team?
Here are some of the best practices to make it happen:
1. Discover new ways of hiring offshore teams and collaborating with them.
Sometimes a new and fresh solution can work miracles and completely revolutionize your collaboration with the remote teams.
Try using niche tech talent marketplaces such as YouTeam which was built specifically for working with and hiring the remote teams. This is a relatively new but reliable way to set up and run your project in an innovative and trustworthy environment.
2. Understand cultural differences.
Judith A. Ross, the author of the “Trust Makes the Team Go Round” article in Harvard Business Review, emphasizes that the Americans tend to get straight to the business in emails.
Unfortunately, people from other cultures may consider this as rudeness. It is important to educate both the head office and remote team members on those cross-cultural differences to avoid any misunderstanding and frustration, which can also hamper trust.
3. Encourage personal communication.
Even if you are far away from your team, you can meet with them in person by traveling to their location and having them travel to your location.
Synchronization with the team allows you to break the ice, get to know each other better, and get used to each other’s communication style.
This improves business communication, ensures a smooth workflow, and develops trust.
Besides, after visiting your head office, your offshore development team members will have a better understanding of your business and how you organize everything in your office.
This will also make them feel that they are a part of your team and create more trust.
4. Set clear project requirements.
Vague and ambiguous expectations from your offshore development team can ruin trust in seconds. That’s why we recommend that you remain transparent when sharing your expectations, goals, and requirements.
You should also check whether your team follows the plan and is on the correct path to achieve the set pre-determined goals.
This can be reached with the help of regular video conferences where each team member is staying in a separate room, so everyone can see each other’s faces.
If some of your team members fail to achieve certain goals, the management should find a way to help them fix their problems.
5. Clearly explain the roles of each team member.
To build mutual trust, it is essential that each team member clearly knows not only their own roles and responsibilities but also those of their teammates.
As a result, you can highlight these roles during the meetings so that the members know who is responsible for that specific part of the project.
6. Start assigning important tasks to your offshore programmers.
Sometimes the project managers at head office have not enough trust in their offshore team members and thus give them mediocre tasks while the in-house team members work on the functionality of greater importance.
It can not only bring mistrust but also cause the demotivation of offshore developers.
As a result, they will leave the company in search of more interesting and rewarding tasks. After all, the offshore developers work not just for money but also for professional growth.
That’s why it is critical that you gradually build trust by assigning them meaningful work, at least in small chunks at the beginning.
The golden rule is to trust your remote team members unless proven otherwise.
7. Encourage constant feedback.
In some cultures, people shy away from voicing any issues that they are experiencing because of fear that it may be the sign of their low competence.
However, it actually can help a lot and prevent the issue from being escalated to higher levels.
Therefore, it is crucial that you explain to your remote team members that it is okay to make mistakes and let the management know about them as soon as possible.
By the way, such issues may happen even to the tech giants. For example, this spring Google has discovered a security bug in its Google+ network but did not initially share the information about this bug in order to avoid reputational damage.
8. Use the progress tracking software.
The market is now full of tools that make the remote team management easier and more trustworthy.
Instead of exchanging tons of emails that may lead to miscommunication and mistrust, you can use the software such as Jira, Asana, Trello, or even ask your developers to create an internal tracking product.
As a result, you will clearly see the tasks and progress of your remote team members, thus getting a clearer picture of their work results.
Using these strategies, you can eliminate trust issues and nourish an enthusiastic working environment.
Remote work is a trend, which is different from tendencies that just come and go. Unlike all other workplace trends, distributed teams are here to stay.
‘Don’t be so sure’ — you’d say. Well, we understand your doubts, so let us dispel them with some relevant facts and statistics.
- Self-paced and micro-learning programs for remote teams are expected to grow in number in 2019.
- Representatives of Generation Z amount to 36% of the global workforce today; they push forward the popularity of remote work.
- Currently, there are 5 positions available for 1 engineer. Placing a job with a remote work option is proved to help companies reach out to a greater talent pool.
- Companies that embrace distributed working environment can increase employee retention rates by 10%.
- 50% of developers would prefer remote work to a full-time position.
The future of remote work is calling.
Make sure you are ready to answer!
About the Author:
Anton Mishchenko is the CEO of YouTeam — a curated b2b tech talent marketplace that matches businesses with dedicated development teams from pre-vetted software outsourcing agencies. Anton’s areas of interest include digital marketing, tech entrepreneurship, and influencer blogging.