Building and maintaining trust between employees and employers becomes more challenging when employees see their peers and leaders less. Increased communication is key but companies are not used to it. Poor communication has been cited as the main factor in employee morale issues. Beyond impacting morale, lack of communication can lead to confusion and isolation among remote workers who feel out of the loop.
Disseminating information that previously was done in formal and informal meetings means a more structured approach to documentation and policy drafting and sharing is needed.
How to Foster Trust and Communication with a hybrid remote working model.
Document, document, document.
One of the largest challenges for employees who are not in the office is access to relevant information. Document everything (Gitlab has great guidelines for this.) And ensure that even (partial) in-person meetings and other information sharing are always documented for everyone to access later.
Keep a schedule
Organizational Psychologist Sesil Pir shares that competence, benevolence, and integrity are three key factors that lead to trust. Having consistent, weekly meetings; clear and efficient means of two-way communication; and relying on systems to keep everyone informed will ensure transparency in the hybrid office.
Prioritize empathetic communication and listening
This applies to both team managers and executive leadership. Keep team members well-informed about matters that affect them. Actively look for signs that someone is struggling or suffering from remote work fatigue.
Avoid communication overload and increase relevance
Increased online communication creates communication overload. This is an issue that needs to be resolved with more targeted and segmented messaging – for example with tools like Pyn and Workshop. According to Pyne1, the best Employee Communications have a clear outcome, a good call to action, are personalized and time-sensitive.
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