Working remotely can often have a negative impact on relationships with employees. This will avoid feeling separated.
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With so many people working remotely, making real connections can be a challenge so people feel part of a community. Leaders need to create safe places where people can bring their authentic selves to the table. Everything starts with a connection that enables people to be unforgettable.
People by nature have a primordial need to belong. But a strong sense of isolation has become the bane of human existence. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the remote environment, while suitable and practical for many types of work, was not suitable for building relationships between employees.
Related Topics: 6 Tactics to Improve Collaboration for Remote Teams
The most successful businesses are run by real, authentic human connections. Positive relationships are created through joint projects, but shared values drive companies to continuously improve and serve their customers well. The end result is that connecting with others is not only healthy for the employees, but also beneficial for the business. People want to work with others they trust, even if they don't have a common ground. They want to be valued for what they bring to the table and to work with others who they really know, like, and trust. These close personal connections create extraordinary and very adaptable cultures.
As companies become dependent on remote and virtual operating platforms, executives need to focus not only on the mechanics of the business, but also on how to build connections within and between teams. With some team members working from home and others working on-site or all working remotely, executives need to develop and nurture excellent communication skills to create a sense of community within the company.
Regardless of the style of running the business, the ultimate foundation rests on the shoulders of the people in it. Customers do not establish connections with the company themselves. You build connections with the people who represent the company. And the people who represent the company work best through internal connections. The challenge for today's leaders is to create a sense of belonging to their membership or team. And it all starts with establishing a connection.
Related: 5 Ways To Build Team Culture In A Remote World
There are best practices for building connections between team members. They include:
Be vulnerable. When leaders show their true selves, others tend to follow suit. People are more likely to open up about their purpose, skills, interests and hopes in the business area when managers are transparent – when they share something of themselves. Start your meetings by letting us know how you are and what you think, rather than jumping straight into the agenda. Encourage others to do the same without taking the meeting off the rails. Allow real stories to enter into relationships between team members. I start all of my remote team meetings with a check-in with my team.
Realize the positive aspects. Make sure to regularly take time to see the great work of others around you. When people work in isolation, recognition of a job well done or amazing progress on a project is more important than ever.
Create opportunities for one-on-one interaction. Even a 10-minute face-to-face conversation, virtually, can build a stronger relationship and build that person's loyalty to the company's values and mission, and of course the work itself.
Be present in the moment. Understand and appreciate the difference between hearing and hearing. When communicating at a distance, we are surrounded by distractions. It can be difficult to focus on the conversation. If we pause to clear our minds and actively focus on the conversation or the matter, we will make greater progress.
Build up trust. Trust is everything. Every relationship and every team is built on a basis of trust. Investing time and effort in building trust is often the most effective use of time. Ask people whether they are communicating in person or virtually how they are really doing, and open yourself to trust in their answers. Creating a safe place where they can be authentic is a key element of growth for everyone involved – and ultimately for the company.
Be proactive, inclusive. Everyone on the team should have the right to be heard and to contribute. Nobody should feel invisible. If your reactions to them make people feel respected and valued, they will make a solid contribution to the company's mission.
Related: Concerned About Layoffs? Make these 7 changes.
Globant, a digitally native technology services company, published a study aimed at strengthening a people-first culture. According to this study, 62 percent of employees would like to know their employees better and 83 percent believe that knowing their employees better would make them a more engaged team member. It is the responsibility of leadership to develop the strategies to achieve this.
Entrepreneurial leaders who develop the communication skills to build interpersonal relationships with their team members and connections between team members create a sense of belonging and remain the leaders of the future. Practice the powerhouse principles here and keep your focus on working together. Bring your authentic self into any communication, live or virtual, and your business will benefit from promoting and creating a safe place for connection and a sense of belonging in the workplace everywhere.