How to build trust among virtual team

As remote work continues its exponential growth and fewer employees are now located alongside their colleagues, trust issues are often the workplace’s first discussions. 

Why is trust so important? 

Trust is key to employee participation. One of the most important qualities of a leader is trust: when employees do not trust the organization’s leadership, their chances of participating are very low. But when that trust is established, the chances of compromise are quite high.

Also, trust improves work effectiveness, group dynamics, and productivity.

Promote Communication 

We cannot stress this enough. Communication is undoubtedly the most important factor in team collaboration. This means sharing goals, objectives, and projects on a professional level and a personal level.

Maintaining channels for continued, transparent communication is the most effective way to keep a team collaborating effectively and building trust. This is where remote teams actually have an advantage, unlike in-office teams that tend to get caught up in unnecessary meetings.

A mix of synchronous and asynchronous options ensures team members have a way to stay in touch regardless of their communication style. 

Set Clear Goals

A clear way to build trust is to commit to specific objectives. That is why it is extremely important to be realistic and not take on tasks that we cannot cover. Once a commitment has been made, and expectations are created, it can create a feeling and mistrust within the team if the objective is not met.

However, at this point too, communication and transparency are important. The team leaders must establish how the objectives will be monitored –weekly by videoconference, daily through an excel table, monthly through a report, etc.– so that there are no doubts.

Appreciation and Recognition

 Giving regular feedback and appreciating your employees greatly contributes to their motivation, especially when they work remotely. Once you see how your employees flourish in your company thanks to positive feedback, appreciation, and even public recognition, you will always try to apply this strategy.

It’s easy for remote workers to feel out of the loop and undervalued unless you let them know that you recognize and appreciate their talents. 

Build trust starting at the hiring stage by building on what you learned about the employee through the interview process and help them develop the strengths they have.

Effective leadership during pandemic times

Almost overnight, many organizations had to adapt to the current context. In many cases, they even had to implement a home office policy, which was not established before. Employees had to incorporate new habits, and their leaders’ role was key in this process, accompanying and guiding them in the use of new platforms and tools.

Clear, frequent, and empathetic communication

Leaders should implement feedback as standard practice: constructive criticism is essential to correct mistakes and improve work quality. Effective leadership involves learning to give feedback to the team clearly and assertively. Finding the right moment, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, and listening carefully to the answers is key.

In addition to reviews, a good leader must learn to communicate tasks simply to the team. The more clarity there is, the better the results will be. It is important to specify from the beginning what needs to be done, in what time frames, who will participate, and what are the objectives and roles of each person, for example.

A leader must be empathetic and think about her team’s well-being. It is essential to keep in mind that some personal situations can interfere with work in this context of uncertainty. To demand greater productivity, it is necessary to provide the tools and practices necessary to achieve this and to accompany people closely.

Set achievable goals

It is useless to set goals for the team that are difficult to achieve: this will cause discomfort and a feeling of demotivation for not achieving the objectives set. So what can an effective leader do? In the first place, it is essential to hold daily huddles with employees to find out what specific projects or tasks they are working on during the week and to know if they had difficulties. In this way, it will be much easier to offer them support and guide them to overcome the challenges.

Second, a good leader needs to promote the team’s productivity. Proposing training and new work methodologies can be a great option to achieve it. 

Organizations have the important task of fostering leadership within their teams to adapt more easily to remote work and enhance their productivity. 

Show flexibility

Now is a good time to be flexible and let your employees work wherever and whenever they can. Sometimes leaders and managers think that flexible work arrangements lead to performance problems. Research shows that this is not the case. Employees with flexible work arrangements are significantly more motivated and engaged than colleagues with rigid schedules. 

Got a new job? Here are some recommendations to ease into your new position

Starting a new job is just like the first day of school: you worry about what to wear and if you’d make friends. To help you ease those typical first-day nerves and get off to a strong start at your new job, we’ve compiled the best tips for your first week.

Be on Time

Even if you feel like you have nothing to do, get there early, at least for the first few days. Arriving at the office first also has its advantages: you can take the opportunity to make yourself a coffee quietly and, while you drink it, you can organize the day’s tasks and plan your weekly goals without stress.

Pay Attention And Ask Questions

When you arrive in a new place, observe what the dynamics are like and adapt to new procedures. You need to analyze the work environment, learn how the different departments work, and how they interact, what are the processes, structure, and objectives of the company. And very importantly, what are the key responsibilities of your position. Understanding all of the above is the best way to adapt to your new company and do a good job.

 

Do not be afraid to ask questions. Your boss is aware that you are new and there will be things that you do not know how to do. Your first days are the time to learn and anticipate mistakes. The best strategy is to ask before acting and understand best practices to get your job done.

Be Kind and Help Others

It will probably take you a while to know your co-workers. However, it doesn’t matter whether it’s the janitor, secretary, or CEO – treat them all the same. Smiling, giving a strong handshake, and introducing yourself to everyone is a good way to start. 

 

You can ask colleagues to go for a coffee in the mid-morning break, or if you are going to pick up something from the printer, you can ask if someone needs to print something … In short, be nice. It does not cost much. Remember that with small gestures like this, you can make a good impression.

Be Organized

The first week in your new job will probably generate a bit of stress, because it is when you are bombarded with knowledge, tasks that you had never done before… So the best you can do is to get organized properly! In this way, you will avoid giving that impression of being overwhelmed that can occur when starting a new position.

Tips for a great LinkedIn Profile

With more than 500 million existing profiles, LinkedIn is changing the professional paradigm and making the interaction between companies and users easier.

This social network allows connecting with many people, thus creating an extensive network of contacts. Your resume alone is no longer enough to sell your skills – an online professional profile is essential to get great opportunities.

Here’s a list of 5 steps to get the most out of your online professional profile:

1. Complete your Profile Thoroughly

It is ok to list all your titles and positions, but it could be boring for those who read your profile. It is more interesting to learn how you got your professional experience if you tell it as a story, which will help recruiters understand how you acquired skills and knowledge along the way. You will demonstrate how you have strategically directed your professional career.

2. Connect with Your Peers

Create your own network of contacts gradually. First, invite your colleagues and colleagues in your industry. You will have time to expand your network later.

The more connections you have, the greater your global network will be, creating more long-term opportunities, and increasing the possibility of being headhunted.

3. Endorse Others

The more endorsements you make, the more you will receive. A good profile will help headhunters notice you, but others’ recommendations will convince them.

Ask for recommendations from (past and present) colleagues, managers, teachers, or clients. Endorsements will give you more credibility with new contacts. Once someone has validated your profile, do the same for them.

4. Join Groups

Whatever your industry, actively participating in various LinkedIn groups will help you interact with leaders and specialists in your field. Also, publishing strategic content and participating in discussion can make you (in the long run) an opinion leader in the market, broadening the reach of your message and helping you connect with key people.

5. Optimize SEO

SEO works on LinkedIn. Keywords are important in this network, they matter a lot. 

Think about the key works in your profession, the ones recruiters would use to find candidates. Then, distribute them in all sections of your profile. You can even include the most important in your custom URL. 

Stay informed about the most used keywords and make sure to use clear and concise language, avoiding expressions that are too specific, as they can be difficult for people who are not from your industry to understand.

The Importance Of Thoughtfulness To Build Work Relationships

There is a trend in many organizations to promote thoughtfulness among their employees. Similarly, the trend to hire thoughtful people is growing. Why? What benefit does thoughtfulness have in companies?

 

Creating a culture of thoughtfulness can help improve working environments. Today, more than ever, organizations must direct their efforts towards people as one of their most important assets. 

 

Here are some ideas of how you can show thoughtfulness to others at work:

 

Acknowledge Your Coworkers

A simple “good morning” can make a difference. Also, something as simple as a smile can brighten somebody’s day. 

 

Ask your coworkers how they are doing, talk to them, ask them about what is going in their lives. Listen to them and give your full attention. It seems like a simple gesture, but it is an easy way to be thoughtful with others. 

 

Consider Their Needs

If someone at work is struggling at work or looking a little stressed or worried, do not hesitate to offer your help. Being generous and recognizing other people’s needs will create an atmosphere of thoughtfulness and security. We should all treat our coworkers as you would like to be treated yourself.

 

Find The Time to Answer

If you receive an email, a call, or just a simple note, no matter how busy you are, take the time to respond! It will only take a minute. Acknowledging others is a thoughtful action.

 

Give Compliments

If a colleague does something well, consider giving a compliment. It will be unexpected and appreciated, and it will boost their confidence and give them a sense of achievement. Then when you do something well, you might get some positive feedback in return. And we all know how nice it is to have compliments – especially for boosting morale and motivation.

 

Focus on Collaboration

Thoughtfulness is being kind to others. Collaboration is a great opportunity to show thoughtfulness effectively, as working on a project with your coworkers requires respect and openness that can have permanent benefits for everyone involved. 

 

No matter how you choose to implement thoughtfulness at work, your business can have highly valuable returns. Working with people who actively consider others enhances job satisfaction and boosts morale. It can also make your team more efficient in the process.

Work/life Balance While Working From Home

Traditionally, it has been seen as positive to separate personal life from professional life. It forces us to live as if we had two personalities: one who goes to work and the other who stays at home.

 

However, the scale usually leans towards work, so individual and personal activities go to the waiting list or are no longer desired or disappear over time.

 

It is possible to really merge work and personal life and reorganize activities, seeing them as a whole, without any division, attending to each one with the same importance.

Working from Home and Being a Parent

 

When schools closed, working remotely with the little ones at home became a real challenge for all parties involved. Younger children especially don’t understand why their home suddenly becomes a workspace and mom or dad aren’t always available. To avoid stressful situations, it is important to introduce clear structures into the work and care routine, as well as to set limits beforehand. 

 

Taking care of children and remote working at the same time is always a double burden. Both tasks require a lot of attention, which can be exhausting in the long run. For this reason, taking deliberate breaks is very important, because this way you can rest and continue working. If possible, plan breaks in a space other than the one used for working.

 

Household Chores

Simple tasks such as walking the dog, cleaning the house, making lunch for the whole family, and running errands make this work-at-home promise no easy task. 

 

Yet, talking with your family and dividing household chores is the first step to an organized routine. 

 

Of course, the distribution of tasks must be equitable for all family members, and it is necessary to consider each person’s abilities. A good way to do this is by making a list of the main tasks that need to be done at home each day.

 

Working totally or partially from home allows us to manage our lives as a whole, and if automation and teleworking are the future, then it requires that we develop new skills or adopt ways of life that were not so normal before.

 

Everything flows much better when instead of fighting, we blend our work with our personal life; when we do our job correctly and feel motivated to do it better and better. In parallel, we also feel the satisfaction or tranquility of having done our personal activities.

What You Need To Do To Get A Promotion

Getting promoted, for many, means recognition of effort, loyalty, and professionalism. It also represents the challenge of having to grow on a personal and professional level to be able to fulfill the responsibilities that your new position brings.

But getting the desired promotion is not achieved overnight. In a highly competitive environment, it requires training, strategy, effort, and discipline.

If one of your goals is to achieve a job promotion, this is the right time to start working towards that goal. Do you want to know where to start? Then take a look at these tips!

Update your knowledge and skills

A promotion brings new responsibilities and greater challenges. To face these challenges, you will need certain knowledge and skills. The best way to show that you are ready for job promotion is to work on the knowledge and skills you will need for your future role.

Once you have them, make them visible, either by improving your professional profile on the Internet or by notifying your boss that you have a new certification or title.

Become a team player

Working well and working hard generally means being able to work being part of a team. To achieve this, it is necessary to have communication and negotiation skills and know how to delegate responsibilities and encourage outstanding results. 

One of the things any manager pays attention to when promoting team members is if they respect and appreciate their colleagues. If so, it is easier for them to establish positive working relationships with their colleagues from a new position, communicate with them effectively, and achieve the company’s objectives.

Also, you must become the person your superior trusts when it comes to managing complicated issues or putting out the odd fires. To do this, you must be proactive, very organized, and always respond to important emails and calls.

Develop your collaboration skills

Among the different roles that exist in each team, there are always people with great skills for collaborative work and who know how to negotiate, listen, and engage others. You must practice these skills and let your boss know that you have what it takes to promote horizontal, interactive dynamics in which feedback is a learning tool.

Bet on innovation

Many companies not only value professionals capable of assuming their position and getting the job done but also professionals who are capable of offering points of view beyond the usual. Leaving the comfort zone and betting on new ways of doing things adds extra value to your work and abilities.

Accept criticism and try to improve every day

If you want to acquire greater responsibilities, you must show that you have the ability to do so by keeping a good attitude and fostering a pleasant work environment. Try to be positive, purposeful, and enthusiastic.

 

There will always be suggestions, criticisms, and observations from colleagues or bosses, so it is important to learn to deal with them. You must be clear that accepting them does not always imply giving up on your opinion or point of view. 

 

Even if a promotion seems difficult to achieve, give yourself time, be constant, and let others know your achievements to get to your objective sooner.

How To Approach The “Promotion” Conversation With Your Boss

Asking for a promotion can be a rather complicated endeavor. Not only do you have to talk to your boss and expose every reason why you think you deserve it, but you also have to do it in such a way that you do not appear desperate.

 

Here are some general guidelines for you to take into account so that this conversation with your boss becomes more professional and effective, and you get that promotion you deserve so much.

Choose the right place, time, and words

The first thing is to know the company in detail, understand the business, know how the organization is built, and what role you play in it, identifying how you can contribute. 

 

A short meeting in a quiet space and an environment of trust can be the key to having an effective conversation with your direct boss about your career needs. 

Identify the position you want

It is important that you are completely sure of what you want for your professional future before requesting a job promotion. Many people ask for a promotion, but cannot find the right area or position for them within the company. Have you already considered this aspect?

 

If there is already a specific position, it is a great advantage because you only have to apply for it. If not, you and your boss may have to come up with a new role. Creating a “new job” is not an absurd idea; this is your chance to show that you are really ready to take on a new responsibility. Speak confidently, so your boss can tell that you are a leader and ideal for handling new projects and challenges.

Ask for feedback

If you are already having this conversation with your boss, ask them to share what they think of your work so far. You may find details that you had not noticed before. Also, requesting feedback from your boss will let them know that you are willing to listen and find new ways to grow.

Be patient

Once you have spoken with your superiors, there is nothing else to wait. These decisions are not made overnight (usually). Sometimes it can take months, but the fact that they take time to communicate if you have obtained the position or not does not mean that they are not considering it or that it will not happen.

 

Be patient, keep working just as hard, or even harder than before!

Socially Distanced Company Gatherings

By now, we all know the drill: six feet apart, and don’t leave the house if you don’t have to. If you aren’t going crazy, it’s probably because you’ve kept in touch with your friends, family, and coworkers during this time of social distancing. Unfortunately, however, the beloved company gatherings are not conducive to maintaining six feet between each other. Luckily, we have the technology required to host creative, fun, mask-free gatherings that can also be team-building experiences.

Pajama Party

Plan a virtual game night for your team members and make it casual by asking everyone to wear comfortable pajamas! You can always ask for game suggestions prior to the event; this will help make the night more enjoyable. Here are a couple of fun ideas to help you brainstorm:

  • Emoji guessing – everyone screenshots their recent emoji list. The pictures are saved by the game host and everyone guesses which screenshot belongs to which coworker. Mark a point for each correct guess, and see who knows their coworkers best!
  • Voice-only drawing challenge – one person is selected to describe a photo or simple image. This person can only describe the picture with geometric shapes and descriptions of distance. Think of this game as “descriptive pictionary” – everyone will draw their own rendition of what their coworker describes; whoever gets the closest to the original picture wins!

Escape Room

There are online facilitators who can help you set up a night of team-building via an escape room or something similar. One nerdy and extremely fun version of this concept is called “War of the Wizards” – a twist on the classic escape room. This event is 90 minutes long and will require that teammates work together to solve the story’s conflict.

Online Talent Show

The ultimate platform for bragging rights, a company talent show really could be the best thing to happen since COVID-19 hit. Ask team members to show off in this online event – who wouldn’t want to do that! If you’d like to make things even more fun, ask everyone to also dress up and make it a fun costume party. Reserve a special prize for the employee with the most ridiculous costume.

Apples vs. Oranges

What might seem like a silly question will lead to some of the most interesting, deep conversations your team has ever had. The premise of this activity is to start with something simple – ask your team members which they would choose if the other were to be eliminated from the world entirely. Require that they discuss the question before answering, then proceed to a new set of variables, including the previous winner. For example, if apples win the first round, pose “apples vs. scooters” as the next.

Virtual Pub Crawl

Gather everyone in a video conference for the online version of your favorite college adventure! Ask everyone to bring their beverage of choice (non-alcoholic if they prefer) and start everyone on a decided webpage or short video. At the end of a set time period, discuss the content. The webpages and videos can be as serious or light-hearted as you want; the goal is to get everyone looking at the same thing and talking about it over a pint of brew or a glass of chardonnay.

In our current social distancing climate, it’s important that we remember to take time to engage with others. Most companies realize that workers who spend time outside of work together work better as a team. In addition to this, socialization is extremely important to everyone’s mental health; whether we socialize with family or coworkers, it’s important to stay in touch in one way or another. Company gatherings can be a great benefit to the morale of your workers, so keep it light and keep it fun!

How to Encourage Workplace Interaction Online

The current workplace climate has left us feeling extremely separated, both as individuals and as coworkers. Due to COVID-19, we must be more intentional with our interactions with those around us; we may be miles apart as we work our normal jobs, but we still function as a team. When it comes to socialization, scheduling is key; come up with some loose events that can be low-key and non-threatening to the introverts!

Morning Coffee

This is a great way to start the week; have groups of team members scheduled into a voice and video meeting where they can share a hot beverage or breakfast item of their choice and chit chat for ten to fifteen minutes. This exercise will mimic the first few moments at the office when everyone catches up and mills about before starting the workday.

Lunch Dates

While it might be a bit abnormal to eat while someone is watching, the conversations we have over lunch in the breakroom are gone. Encourage work friends to keep up the interactions they had prior to work-at-home changes. During this time, we’ll have the tendency to drift apart – this may cause us to feel like less of a team.

Break Time Game Time

Perhaps best as a mid-week mood booster, games can bring people together and help them work better as a team. Feel free to choose whatever games you like, but they will need to be video-chat friendly, of course. Games like trivia, charades, and jeopardy might be good options for a video conference. Perhaps your team can even hold a competition with a prize for the winner!

“No-Agenda” Meetings

A fun take on the informal conversations that spark in the office, no-agenda meetings can be the perfect way to allow coworkers a place to commune. Schedule a time frame as often as you like for an opt-in meeting that has no agenda. You can use any platform you like for this, but people may be more willing to join if it’s a simple discord channel that your team can connect to. It would be best not to ask employees to use their break time for this, that way they are more inclined to participate!

 

At the beginning of this pandemic, we weren’t quite sure how long we would all be out of the office; however, as the weeks drag on, it seems like this is a new way of life for many businesses. It may be a struggle to keep in touch, but socialization is extremely important and will help everyone feel valued and important to the team. Take some time this week to remind your employees and coworkers of this fact – maybe even schedule a virtual coffee date.