Why Is Trust In Virtual Teams So Important?
According to Dr Tom Wise, author of Trust in Virtual Teams “As projects become more complex and the project teams are more geographically and culturally dispersed, so strong, trusting relationships come to the fore. Trust provides the security that enables project teams to work together effectively, even when they face project-threatening problems and challenges.”
As a virtual team leader, building trust in your virtual team needs to be a specific item addressed as part of your overall virtual team building plan.
Building Communication and Trust In Global Virtual Teams
With the number of people working globally and the increase in virtual teams, so is the need for tools and resources to help virtual team leaders understand and build trust within their virtual teams. One challenge to overcome is building communication and trust in a virtual environment that does not allow for regular face-to-face meetings. Of course, where possible, when it comes to virtual team building, it is recommended members of a virtual team meet face-to-face at least once a year. However, what can virtual team leaders do if it isn’t possible? What can be done to build trust in virtual teams that do not have the opportunity to meet face-to-face?
More Ideas for Building Trust in Virtual Teams …
Use Engaging Virtual Meeting Collaboration Tools: There is a wide variety of virtual team collaboration tools available to Virtual team leaders. It all depends on how your virtual team is structured, the size of your business and your budget as to the best virtual team collaboration tools for your team to use. Small virtual teams might want to opt for a platform like ShowMyPC Meetings and Remote Support for online virtual team meeting collaboration. For a more creative and sophisticated approach to building trust in virtual teams, IBM have started using “Second Life” as a real virtual place for global teams to meet and collaborate together in the one place (not exactly face-to-face but virtually the next best thing!)
Install Virtual Team Web Cams: Invite all members of your virtual team to install web cams; you’ll be able to get a real virtual team spirit by having different members of the virtual team “invite” others into their world by turning on their webcams. Webcams can be fun, especially when it’s time to celebrate as a virtual team. Try this WebCam from Amazon: Logitech HD Webcam C270, 720p Widescreen Video Calling and Recording
Play Virtual Team Games and Virtual Team Building Activities: In the conventional office environment virtual teams have the chance to interact and get to know each other in a casual environment – perhaps over coffee, or by the “water cooler”. Having fun, and allowing some time to play virtual team games, gives virtual teams the opportunity to connect and get to know each other in a casual, low-pressure environment. As people connect and real relationships are built in the virtual team, then virtual teams are empowered to be creative and to bounce their creativity off one another even in the virtual world. Building trust in virtual teams is about collaboration, not competition. When selecting a virtual team building game remember to choose one that promotes collaboration communication and trust in your virtual team.