Assembling and working with distributed teams can be challenging, there’s no denying that. Whether you have a nearshore software development team or you just work with remote software engineers, the onboarding process can seem daunting at first. The corporate world is so used to traditional work placements that US businesses often have a hard time with team building outside of the office. Still, it’s necessary to welcome your new team members to the company culture and make them feel valued for their remote work. Otherwise, your work dynamic might never become 100% functional.
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It’s essential to build trust with your remote team members, especially now that several remote managers are having trust issues. That’s why virtual team-building exercises have become popular since the beginning of the pandemic. Team members need to trust each other and have a respectful relationship in order to excel on every project. Because of this, we decided to dedicate a post to the best strategies to build trust with your software developers when working remotely. Keep reading to learn all the best practices for remote teams!
Proven strategies to build trust when working with distributed teams
#1 Use a dynamic and engaging online work platform.
If you’re trying to build trust with your remote team, doing all communications through WhatsApp and email will not be good enough. You need a digital workspace that motivates the entire team to connect and network with one another. It’s tough to build trust if you never communicate properly! An online work platform can integrate all communications and speed up the assimilation of company culture. Even more, it can also serve as a place to socialize and share similar interests, thanks to the different channels that can be created. Some of the most popular platforms are Notion and Slack, though feel free to pick the one that better suits your team’s needs.
#2 Understand and embrace any cultural differences.
Diversity in the workplace is a significant competitive advantage. When you work with a nearshore software development team, you get the chance to work with people from different parts of the world. So you might have a multilingual team with a few cultural differences! This is something that should be cherished, not frowned upon. In fact, recent statistics show that diverse and inclusive companies are 35% more likely to perform better than their traditional and non-diverse counterparts. So go ahead and take advantage of your company’s cultural diversity and use it to make better, more informed decisions on every project.
#3 Establish clear goals and expectations for the entire remote software development team.
Setting expectations is a key part of the onboarding process. It’s useful both for the manager and the brand new team member, as it’s an opportunity to find a common ground to start at. As soon as you onboard a new remote developer to your team, take the time to set common goals and establish any expectations. Make sure your new hire understands the tasks they will be expected to complete regularly and is aware of the objectives for the position. If you want them to be available at a specific time, then that’s the moment to say so. Feel free to establish any ground rules as well. The important thing is to get clear right off the bat to create a high-trust environment!
#4 Take advantage of virtual meetings to get to know each other.
Granted, many remote team members dread virtual meetings. If not conducted properly, these can make your remote software development team lose valuable working hours and decrease their productivity levels. That’s why we made an entire article about virtual meetings best practices! You can take advantage of video conferences to introduce new team members and listen to everyone’s ideas. If you promote participation in these meetings, your team will likely start collaborating more than ever thanks to the added exposure to one another.
#5 Give regular and honest feedback to your remote software development team.
Nothing is as shattering as being a new remote team member and suddenly learning that what you thought was a great deliverable is actually below the expectations of the team. Nobody wants to receive zero feedback for months and get a poor performance review out of the blue! To avoid any uncomfortable situations, it’s best to guide your new hires from the beginning. It’s simple, just review their work and be blunt about it. Tell them exactly what you would change and how they can improve on their next task. Though don’t just stop giving them feedback after their first month of work. Have a clear line of communication and offer them regular feedback to fine-tune the results of your entire remote software development team.
#6 Offer team-building activities outside of office hours.
Virtual meetings don’t have to be scheduled just for work purposes. Sure, not everyone might be too keen on the idea of having a virtual happy hour on their Friday evening. Still, new employees will surely appreciate the opportunity to bond with their team members! Schedule a monthly happy hour for the entire team to give them a space to bond and get to know each other better. Since recent studies have shown that there’s a direct relationship between trust and team performance, team-building activities might be a strategic move. These can eventually boost productivity in a remote software development team, thanks to the stronger relationships created between its members.
#7 Promote transparency among your remote software engineers.
To build trust with your remote software development team, you need to be transparent and promote transparency as well. Working remotely is more effective in a high-trust environment. So don’t try to micromanage every developer just because you don’t trust them yet. Instead, encourage transparency and honesty among remote team members. Analyze their deliverables and overall performances, not the number of hours and minutes they logged in on a Friday afternoon. If you show them trust and respect, they will feel much more compelled to deliver quality results for you!
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Working with a team of remote software engineers has several advantages. At Next Idea Tech, we recognized the competitive edge of remote software development early on and decided to implement it for our company. Today, we also offer staff augmentation and nearshore development services to US businesses. This way they can experience the benefits of working with distributed teams for themselves. We work with a fantastic network of programmers proficient in app development, web development, UI/UX design, and custom integrations. Schedule a consultation with us if you’re ready to work with a remote software development team!