At this particular point, you are probably no stranger to the fact that COVID-19 and the lockdown it brought with it has struck companies and people alike hard. The very nature and elements of work have been extensively disrupted. Yes, the arrangement toward remote working has augmented the level of flexibility that employees have at their disposal.
But when you are an individual who is a manager, or a supervisor who leads teams, what then? Many a drop of water makes an ocean, and the various drops of issues under this context would likely have unleashed an ocean of challenges on you. This is a problem tenfold if and when you are a manager for the first time, fresh off the boat and into the company. And in light of potential WFH issues such as the Impostor Syndrome, you likely would face multiple issues.
Having been promoted for your value to the company, you may feel that there is a lot to live up to, especially in a time like this, and you therefore undergo a lot of pressure to prove yourself and your capabilities. It’s quite possible that there’d be a greater degree of scrutiny on your performance at present. Next, in a time like this, you’d want to take care of your team, but you’re still trying to understand the right manner to manage their needs. Given this, building trust becomes of the essence, especially in the scenario of remote working, where you are only a point of contact over the phone. On that note, 6 ways managers can build trust on call:
Address each team member and their needs
Remember that the individuals directly reporting to you are human beings like yourself. To each their strengths, weaknesses, good and bad days. They also may be at different stages in the growth of their career. Just as you would be in some need of direction as a new manager, some team members will need of direction. This is perhaps more so than others for particular deliverables.
Some may adapt far quicker and can be managed in a laissez-faire manner. Monitoring these changes is key to understanding exactly what each individual in your team requires. In the process, you would be able to implement a style tailored to said needs and to the team as a whole. Empathizing and handling it in this manner is a major step forward toward building trust with your team.
One such solution that helps here is MultiCall, which you categorize your team members into groups and favourites as well. In this manner, you can speak to your team members individually before adding more members and handling the team as a whole.
Give them their control
As a child, haven’t you sometimes felt the frustration when your parents said you weren’t old or grown up enough to do something, even though you were so certain you could? Why should this be perceived any different by the team members that you manage ?
When they are showing the capability to be able to judge and correctly handle situations and deliverables, let them handle it, and channel your resources and energy to more critically needed areas. Taking full control, and micromanaging a fully capable team member can leave them feeling exasperated and useless, weakening their trust in you.
You can set up a MultiCall to decide the frequency of meetings with your team, along with how often you should meet. MultiCall can assist you here with its Call Scheduling feature. You can schedule calls, with the option to set on a repeat-basis. While doing so, it would be efficient to autonomize certain decision-making capabilities for team members in each project. Setting key performance indicators and tracking them can help optimize team and organizational performance here.
Agree outcomes with team members
Trust is a two-way street. So is a discussion. And a critical key to setting trust is to ensure a crystal clear agreement on the what, when, and how of the pending items that need to be done. Include ways and means to check-in whether an individual team member is on track. But this also goes vice versa too, should the team feel that the parameters involved are changing.
Meeting regularly over a MultiCall at the start of a project can help with this. The Call Monitoring System allows you to maintain check-ins with the entire team, and they can report on progress, plans, and challenges together with you.
Good team communication is key; one great way to build trust within this is by sharing your own challenges as well. This encourages vulnerability, and the team’s trust is built in knowing you empathize with them.
Using Inspirational Appeals
There’s a tale of one of the greatest leaders the world saw in history. In the expansion of his empire, he took his army across a treacherous desert where his army struggled in the need to reach water, which was still far away. This leader, like everyone else, was extremely thirsty, but he continued on. As they moved on, a few soldiers who went ahead looking for water found a little.
They collected this with difficulty in a helmet and gave it to him. Thanking them for the gift, the leader took the helmet, and poured the water on the ground in full view of his troops. The effect of this action that the water wasted by him felt as good as a drink for every soldier that day. The leader we’re talking of, by the way, is Alexander the Great.
What you are seeing here in this leader’s case is an effective influence tactic known as ‘inspirational appeals’. In simple terms, you empathize with your team, and show the team members why something is important in the process. Talking to the team about how their work fits into a bigger picture, along with its benefits, builds a great degree of trust, both in the value of what they do, and in you as a manager.
Transparency, at a given time, was an element only held by executives and leaders of a company. But the world we live in today has employees being more transparent than ever. This is to the point where it’s not just expected, but even demanded as well. Just as expectations are clearly set, work transparency needs to also take place, as this is critical to assessing a member’s capabilities before a task is allocated to them.
Associated with the engagement and performance of an employee, showing the team that you are trustworthy depends on your competence and integrity as a manager. As a team member, wouldn’t you trust your manager more if told he failed to deliver on a promise, but clearly told you why?
Doesn’t your trust in someone break when you feel that they do not treat you fairly? The same would happen in the case of a team as well. It is essential to treat everyone the same way, but more so to explain why when this isn’t possible. The times at present require immense flexibility at times.
To put into context, someone may have care for a sick family member, others may have kids demanding their attention. Establishing norms are crucial ,and having one that encourages conflict to be communicated directly to those involved.
Leadership isn’t just position; it is action; it is a strategy. And both are built on trust, and an eye for the vision. Ensuring that your team members fare well and recognizing them for their work in the aspects previously mentioned are key to trust, which is essential in business continuity at a time like this.