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Remote Teams Trust: From a Distance and Through Technology

Imagine sitting at home or in a coffee shop behind a screen all day and being included on emails with your team. This would likely feel normal if you knew the other teammates on the email, but what if you are a completely remote worker? How do you build a foundation of trust when you are only virtually communicating with your team?


One thing we know about remote and distributed teams is that connection is the key to performance. Trust is an essential building block of group cohesion (Sarker, Valachich, & Sarker, 2003), and trust is required for team success (Handy, 1995). Without trust, your team’s productivity will decline. Distrustful teammates may feel the need to excessively monitor each other’s work or even work in isolation without collaboration (Al-Ani, & Redmiles, 2009), and we know that collaboration is of paramount importance in virtual teams. Want to know how you can foster trust in your team and empower your employees to do their best work together? Keep reading! 


Foster a culture of trust (McManus & Mosca, 2015)! A great place to start is by understanding what motivates behaviors and cultural preferences. Our CulturePulse and Motivating Values assessments can provide you with a bird’s eye view of those, and you can use the results of these assessments to understand what your team is motivated by and how they prefer to fit into a team. This allows a mutual understanding, respect, and awareness of each other, and from there you will have a better idea of how to work with each other.

“Building a culture of trust requires commitment from the top down” (McManus & Mosca, 2015).

This means that, as a team leader, you should “practice what you preach” by modeling a culture of trust to your employees through your words and actions. Self-disclosure helps build trust (Ma, Lim Mingjie, & Naaman, 2017), and one way Cloverleaf can help you self-disclose who you really are is through your profile — it is a wealth of information about your strengths, preferences, and what makes you YOU! Invite teammates to explore the platform and learn more about what makes you tick. 

Transparency and honesty not only shows that you are open to discussion, but also that you want a strong foundation of truth. A way to build trust in your team is through effective communication and information sharing (McManus & Mosca, 2015). These qualities are all evident through the Cloverleaf Calendar Integration. The events on your Google or Microsoft calendar are pulled into Cloverleaf and presented for the day with the event, the people you are meeting with, and (if they have a Cloverleaf account) a coaching insight about them. This feature is available to EVERYONE who uses Cloverleaf in a team! Another way to promote information sharing among team members is to encourage employees to use their email insights every day. These email insights provide information about teammates’ strengths and preferences — promote a culture of transparency and trust. Even though some of your remote or distributed team members may have never met, they can still get to know each other as people and build relationships!

Learn more about the Cloverleaf integrations here to have a more engaged and cohesive team.

Picture of The Cloverleaf Team

The Cloverleaf Team