Along with all the responsibilities we have in our workplace, building healthy and friendly relationships is a big challenge. It is even harder if it’s a hybrid workplace where people don’t meet so often in person, contact is not regular and they see their colleagues via electronic devices. If we look at good relationships in more detail, we find out that trust plays a key role in all of them. The more trust we share, the more relaxed, effective and creative we can be.
Why is trust important?
Studies have shown that trust in a company and teams has been strongly linked to the performance of the company. And this performance potential is exactly the reason why we all need to develop workspace relationships based on trust. This goes for both short-term and long-term teams.
The good news is that trust can be built both in person and virtually. However, virtual work has some unique issues that those teams need to overcome. When you work virtually, one of the issues might be that you need to work harder to gain trust – and it’s also much easier to lose it.
What is the role of leaders in the hybrid world?
Looking at hybrid and virtual teams, high-trust teams tend to have less command-and-control management. Instead, team members rotate leadership based on the stage of the project and their role in it. “Managers of those teams put in the time and effort to nurture trust and open communication. Their role is much more one of a mentor,” adds Iva Kleinová, our former head of research.
“What is expected from leaders is also to listen and find solutions to their team’s needs. They are also the chief culture officer for their team, making sure that people are not lonely, that they are trusted and engaged, that conflicts are resolved. “ – Iva Kleinova
How do you build trust in the workplace?
- Invest into clear and regular communication – regular 1:1s with the team leader, regular formal and informal check-ins with the team
- Use video on calls, at least for some part of your virtual meetings – it creates a positive connection when we greet one another, smile at each other and check in
- Organise regular gatherings, put in place some company rituals – for example, have a regular day in the month where an emphasis is put on the socialisation of all employees
If you are interested in trust and community problems in hybrid settings, don’t miss our #masterhybridwork series article about problems that may arise and tricks for building a happy community of hybrid employees.
“The best teams work in an environment of psychological safety – where people are not afraid to say something in front of each other, and others do not chastise them for half-baked ideas.”
About the authors
Iva Kleinova was the Head of Research at HB Reavis and the creator of the series content. Nick Oakley is an Asset Manager at HB Reavis UK and the moderator of this series. Jana Straková is the Product Marketing Manager at Origameo by HB Reavis, and Eva Vavrakova is Workspace Strategy Lead at Origameo. Both of them supported and supervised the whole podcast creation process. Christopher Svitok is an intern at HB Reavis, and Callum Fraser is an intern at HB Reavis UK. Both of them contributed to the production and post-production of this series.