At EST our team has always enjoyed the benefits of a very flexible workplace so when the pandemic hit in 2020, we were able to quickly pack our bags and base from home without any disruption. We are of course a service provider and as such, remote working works well for us – we realise it isn’t the same in all industries where a physical presence is needed.
It is also the case that some leaders may be more reluctant to allow their teams to adapt the way that they work. Changing leadership hearts and minds on the issue of trust is key here; for hybrid working to be successful an open culture is needed where open and honest communication with everyone is encouraged, and employees are trusted to do their best work. This open culture doesn’t just apply to those who want to work from home but also those who prefer to work in the office.
The three main components needed to establish trust within the team are:
line managers’ confidence in their ability to guide and support their team will create a positive environment. This will naturally create more trust between employees and managers as it will inspire new, open conversations in a comfortable space.
each employee is an individual with their own unique combination of strengths and development needs, get to know them and what motivates them from day to day. By making that effort, both the employee and the manager can feel more comfortable when working remotely as they build a closer, more trusting relationship.
by keeping in touch with your team on a consistent basis you will be able to feel confident that they are in the working mindset at different points throughout the working day and that they are available which is important in establishing the trust to know that when needed, they are there.
When building trust and communication with your remote team it is vital that managers lead by example to create an environment in which people are measured by the work that they do, and not by the number of hours they are logged into a system or their presence in the workplace. Also, by giving your team positive recognition it will motivate and empower them to work to their fullest potential in and out of the office as they feel like their work is being acknowledged.
When discussing hybrid/remote working, trust and communication goes hand in hand. By giving your employees a voice, you are enabling them to provide input that can help effectively manage hybrid workers, which can also build trust. At EST, to ensure our team’s voices can be heard we use pulse surveys. This is where you can gain answers to questions like, what is the best form of remote communication? How can you support their wellbeing? All important questions for the best work environment answered by those in experiencing the environment. In addition, this feeds into the open culture of the organisation which will inevitably create a wider circle of trust as employees feel they are being listened to.
The importance of hybrid meetings cannot be overlooked. If you want to ensure that there is a good circulation of communication within your organisation, hybrid meetings must be effective and consistent. They are vital for a good network of communication as everyone is able to receive the information, they need to feel connected, whether they are in the workplace or not. To make these meetings effective you must make sure that everyone has the chance to give their opinion and that those who join the meeting remotely aren’t overlooked as they aren’t physically there. One good way of doing this is making the chat visible to the whole group and by asking specifically, for those who are remotely joining the meeting what they think on the specific topic.
Research shows that developing a culture where employees are trusted to manage their work independently to do a good job often leads to an increased level of employee engagement, job satisfaction and productivity, as well as a work-life balance and benefits to peoples’ health and wellbeing. We are in the toughest recruitment and retention market and a strong and flexible culture will help attract and retain a talented and diverse workforce, which will lead to increased productivity, organisational sustainability, and efficiency.
We can offer expertise in developing a positive workplace culture and consulting with your team where hybrid working is implemented.
EST also offer a range of hybrid working management training which focuses specifically on the skills needed to manage a hybrid and or remote team to ensure that your managers know how to encourage trust and communication: