How Do You Build Trust in a Remote Working Place



Trust is critical in business. People work for people and trust promotes productivity due to a common goal. There have been stumble blocks over the past 15 months.

Remote working is an extensive topic, surrounded by conservative views. How do you know your staff is working, if you do not see them? To what extent are people productive, if they are not working from 8 am to 5 pm? Data security has also come under scrutiny with increasing access, speed, and quality concerns.

Over the past year and a half, we have witnessed the thickening of frustration, with poor internet connectivity, having a major impact on meetings.

To build complete trust,  ensuring an effective and productive online working environment should be standardized. It starts with providing access to systems and meetings and equipping your staff with relevant tools and information, to work from home.

You can team build and maintain personal connections while working from home. Though we are used to seeing each other in the office and solving issues in person, remote work also presents the opportunity to do just that, while working online.

Every department must find what works for them. Decide on the form of communication you want to use and how often you want to communicate.

Some people want a daily chat via phone, some want a daily check-in via Teams, and others only want to talk once a week or when they need help.  Whatever it is that you may prefer, ensure that needs are clear, so expectations can be properly defined.  The number of catch-up calls you to engage in, should match the volume and scope of work you have. Discuss what is ongoing, what is due, and what issues need to be resolved.

Equally, you need to have calls and meetings that connect you on a personal level and help you get to know each other better. Critical for each team, is knowing what is required and by when and measure accordingly.

Trust is about creating a safe space for people to raise their views, ideas and connect.

So how do you create a connection? How do you build remote trust?

  1. It is about showing up and leading with trust.  Discuss what is happening in your work and personal environment.  It is showing that you are human and vulnerable.  Be approachable.
  2. People find comfort in people who they deem competent. So be organized, plan, and be transparent.
  3. Be true to your word. Keep promises made and manage expectations. Do not make a promise you cannot get.  In a virtual world – no one knows or sees you.  Your intentions may not be good enough.
  4. Be consistent, repeated behavior creates trust.
  5. Be human, find common ground, be clear in your values and boundaries.
  6. Be honest about challenges and struggles.
  7. Show compassion and show restraint.
  8. Listen and be loyal.

Practical Tips on Managing Poor Performance

Poor performance has such a negative connotation.  It is about not being enough or right.  Which can be damaging.  Poor performance should be approached with guidance and finding the right path to empowering staff.

Here’s some of how you can do this:

  1. Be accountable
  2. Communicate
  3. Provide mentorship

Day-to-day Aspects of Managing Performance

Look into the underlying cause

To resolve the issue, you must determine what the underlying cause of the poor performance is. It’s important to talk with the employee, to discover what the cause is.

Some examples of what it might be are:

  1. The work environment.
  2. Ineffective workplace practices.
  3. Lack of training
  4. Managing poor performance
  5. It’s important to act quickly,
  6. You need to show up – acknowledge your role.
  7. Schedule regular one-on-ones. Timely feedback is crucial.
  8. Identifying and working
  9. on the core issues that are preventing performance from progressing.
  10. Be direct and honest. Ensure that you have documentation and proof of the issues you discuss with your employee. Stick to these specific, documented cases, and don’t bring hearsay into the discussion.
  11. Create a safe space. Let your employee know they are free to speak their mind.
  12. Consider a performance improvement plan (PIP). Discuss realistic and visible goals with the employee. Schedule regular performance reviews, paying special attention to the area(s) where improvement is required. Be prepared to offer help and support, and to regularly check in on their progress.


In building trust and tackling poor performance in the workplace, leaders should practice a growth mindset. This consists of allowing people to make mistakes and ensuring that they learn from them; placing strategies in place to grow employees beyond their expectations; empowering them to make the right decisions and ask the right questions, and emphasizing accountability.

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