How to Maintain an Environment of Trust With Your Remote Colleagues

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Theres no getting around the fact that remote working is here to stay in some form or another 

And while there are benefits to home and hybrid working for both employers and employees, this model contains plenty of challenges.  

Digital communication problems, a lack of collaboration and home distractions are some of the main obstacles. Employers increasingly see a breakdown of trust within their teams due to employees being dispersed too. 

Trust is an essential part of what makes excellenorganisations thrive, but there is a danger that this new disconnected way of working is affecting bonds between colleagues. 

In your organisation, has the lockdown affected the relationships between managers and their teams and between colleagues themselves? 

If recent events have damaged your finance team’s bonds, this post is for you today; we look at how you can rebuild and maintain high trust levels. 

 

Has Trust Gone? 

 

 

Trust is an essential part of every successful team. It is cultivated at work each day as we share tasks and ideas and personal and professional conversations with colleagues. 

But remote working creates a barrier to this; it can sometimes be days or even weeks between conversations with colleagues. This is the nature of remote working – it can be a lonely place at times.  

And when businesses go through a period of crisis, they go into survival mode. Working under increased pressure, often in isolating conditions, can cause friction between team members, and the loss of these close working relationships can lead to a lack of trust. 

Things that can damage the trust between your colleagues include: 

  • Remote working can make us feel disconnected, and it is harder for us to trust people from a distance when the natural relationships we form every day are not there any more 
  • Different working schedules can mean work is completed to varying timelines, which can arouse suspicion, especially if work appears to be late 
  • Uncertainty around job stability also plays a part – do those working from home feel less ingratiated in the team? Are they worried about their jobs compared to their office-based counterparts? 

The recent shake-up that has occurred in working arrangements cant be underestimated. Leaders now need to recognise trust in their team, especially if some employees are still working from home. 

If you are aware that there is a lack of trust among employees, perhaps you have even lost confidence in certain colleagues yourself; how can you regain this trust? 

 

1. Be Honest  

You cant have trust without honesty. If there have been dishonest communications between yourself or other colleagues, acknowledging this and moving on is the first step towards regaining trust. 

Being honest means being transparent about what is happening in the business and communicating this to all relevant staff. Include all employees (where possible) in company-wide meetings, and increase their frequency so that your team are assured they are being kept in the loop.  

 

2. Acknowledge Failures 

 

 

Just as an acknowledgement of trust is vital, so is that of failures.  

Employees must know they are trusted with information about the companies failures just as much as its successes. 

A manager who seems not to notice when problems need attention can raise alarm bells. Pretending that everything is fine when it clearly isnt can make you seem naive or duplicitous. 

When your business encounters challenges and failures, it is always better to discuss them than brush them aside without any acknowledgement.  

 

3. Increase Communication  

A lack of trust often stems from poor communication. The goal should be that your finance team are in regular contact with each other and feel comfortable checking in for updates on projects.  

When left for long periods with no communication, this is where the trust begins to break down. How often does your team get together? The longer individuals are without communication, the harder they find it to trust colleagues.   

Introduce different methods of communication to suit all communication styles. Employees form better bonds, leading to higher trust levels when they are confident they can speak up and be heard 

 

4. Dont Monitor For the Sake of It 

Giving employees autonomy and placing trust in them is a way to cultivate an environment of trust within the whole team. 

If specific members are falling behind with work, this needs to be addressed, but blanket monitoring and micromanaging can create an environment of mistrust.   

Trust your employees, and they will trust you back; this is the basis of every strong finance team. 

 

The Link Between Trust and Retention 

 

 

Recent research found that half of U.K. employees have changed jobs due to a poor relationship with their boss, with around 1 in 5 citing lack of trust as the reason for leaving. 

Maintaining trust is necessary for high staff retention – the last thing you want right now is your star finance employees leaving due to a breakdown in team dynamics and relationships. 

Remote working is excellent for allowing flexibility within your business, but remember to monitor trust levels and be aware of the potential difficulties in maintaining working relationships.  

If you are looking for new finance professional for your accounting roles this year, we can find the talent you need. Call us today on 01282 930930 or contact us here to find out more about our expert financial recruitment service. 

 

Thanks 

Rachel 

 

About Rebus Financial Recruitment   

Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations, including SMEs to large PLCs.   

We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs, and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930. 

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