How do I build trust and connection remotely?
Cultivating Connection and Alignment Remotely
I'll never forget the distressed CEO who called me when his once tight-knit 50-person company transitioned fully remote. Almost overnight, communication fractured. Decisions stalled without body language cues and hallway chats. Collaboration suffered across distant time zones. Isolation grew.
Nurturing culture, cohesion, and alignment remotely takes intention. Especially when scaling, a distributed team can quickly lose trust and focus without concerted efforts.
Here are some key strategies that helped my clients:
Get Leadership Aligned
- Hold an offsite retreat to align the executive team on priorities, roles, and vision for a remote-first culture.
- Define the company's remote work philosophy and policies. Document clear guidelines.
- Equip leadership with skills for driving transparency, accountability, and culture remotely.
Set Regular Cadences
- Establish a frequent all-hands meeting focused on vision, values, and cross-team updates. Keep it consistent.
- Schedule 1-on-1s religiously. Don't cancel. Prioritize personal check-ins.
- Institute standing team sync meetings for progress updates and bonding. Keep them succinct.
- Send weekly recaps of company news and celebrations. Overcommunicate key messages.
- Spotlight values and team successes in meetings. Call out examples of living the culture.
- Organize activities to recreate watercooler moments virtually - trivia, coffee chats, etc.
- When possible, gather teams together in person for immersive bonding at offsites.
- Surprise remote team members with care packages and personalized gifts.
- Extend grace during difficult times. Recognize pandemic stressors and challenges.
- Encourage use of vacation time. Respect boundaries and avoid burnout.
- Be flexible on policies to accommodate needs. Focus on output, not hours logged.
Reinforcing relationships while scaling remotely requires concerted care. But the payoff in trust, alignment, and execution is huge. Let's connect to brainstorm ways to engage your distributed team. This moment too shall pass.
Download the CEO Scaling Assessment PDF
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