How to Build Trust & Make Your Virtual Team Work Better

How to Build Trust & Make Your Virtual Team Work Better

Managing teams is hard as it is — Knowing everyone on a personal level, understand their culture and specific ways they work. Getting into the groove of everyone’s group psyche. Managing egos, varying styles of work, projects, deadlines, tasks, and differing skill sets.


It’s never an easy task managing people.


Yet, it’s the quality of your team that forms the core of business profitability. Business is all about team work. That explains the continued insistence on hiring the best and continuous training to ensure everyone is on the same page.


If managing a normal, full-time team at office is such a gargantuan task, imagine how hard it could be to manage a virtual one – you don’t see them much, and they don’t share the same office. Remote work comes with its challenges, and hence, it calls for a different style of management.


Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, says this on an episode on Harward Business Review Channel:

“We all know that teams can’t function when co-workers don’t trust each other. Establishing trust in an established, physical environment is difficult enough. It’s even harder in a virtual environment – when you have to work with people you’ve never met in person”


It’s your responsibility

Delegation isn’t as easy as it was to write the word. How you make teams understand their individual roles, delegate work, establish controlling


patterns, and bring out the best in your team members is more of an art than science.


The onus of getting it right when managing virtual teams is a responsibility that you have to shoulder.


If something didn’t work out the way you expected, it’s because you didn’t get it right.


Establish Swift & Interpersonal Trust

When groups first get together, there’s usually a prevailing sense of comradery. You’d often hear things like:


“Let’s make it happen”

“Success belongs to all of us. Failure can kill us all”


The key is to make good use of this initial momentum and use this swift trust to consolidate the strength of the team before it disintegrates. Set clear goals, and make sure everyone understands what their roles are and what’s expected of them.


While the momentum is on, however, work on letting the team build another kind of a bond (Interpersonal Trust) – the more natural and automatic trust that tight-knit teams often develop.


Communicate with Predictability

Globally distributed teams that lack trust tend to have unpredictable communication patterns, Keith says.


Roughly, about 80% of the team’s overall responsibility for communication is shouldered just by 20% of the people. In high trust teams, communication patterns are more predictable and regular. Establish protocols and set expectations in a way that every team member’s availability, information, and project details are always on. No left is ever left hanging or wondering why a message wasn’t answered.


Share & Rotate Power

Traditionally teams are led by one person. In a virtual environment, however, a centralized work structure is less effective. In a research conducted on a Fortune 500 IT company, it was noticed that the power shifted among team members depending on the stage of a project. 


Teams can’t function without trust. Make sure you are proactive. Use the right practices to ensure that each member begins to trust another. Backed by efficient and empathetic communication patterns, this is a long-term process that’d require diligent work on your part. 


How are you working with your virtual team? What do you do to manage your remote workforce?


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Mangal Pawar is the Head of Customer Engagement & Delivery for US at Kalpavruksh. He has extensively worked with clients in establishing and growing their outsourced setups, and ensuring that the setups become effective & productive for their businesses. Having worked with companies like eConnect India and Infosys — the much celebrated Indian MNC that worked its way to the NASDAQ — Mangal’s rich experience in customer engagement and delivery isn’t an accident. It’s been worked to the bone and chiselled to finesse…! He is currently responsible for engaging with and facilitating growth of our US customers, by leveraging our unique & innovative engagement model.

 +1 (201) 699 6908



Trond Skundberg is a digital advisor specializing in India outsourcing and conceptualization for digital entrepreneurs. Trond is visionary and execution specialist, rolled into one. He is the board member of the Norway India Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the CEO of Skundberg Limited. He’s been on the board for many other companies such as Devant Digital Media, Zett Interactive, and blogs at MyFantastic India . Trond is a big-picture visionary, a serial entrepreneur, and a passionate enthusiast on technology.

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Neils Ahlmann-Ohlsen has been on continuous love affair with India ever since he started a production company in Pune circa 1978. He worked as a consultant for the former Daimler Chrysler Aerospace AG, Noxitest AG, and B & W Energy A/S since the year 2005. Neils also worked in the capacity of a European Director of PCS Technology Ltd, the company co-founders of Kalpavruksh Technologies were associated with. Neils, however, has more to him than just work. He is best known in Denmark for his political work with 17 years as a conservative MP. Neils is also the chairman of the Indian forum in Denmark and also for the board of Lotek A/S.



Martin Dommerby is the Managing Director of Kalpavruksh Technologies, and a sales person at heart. Having worked (and continues to) as a board member on many innovative and technology companies, he is the harbinger of hope where business meets technology. Martin is a believer in the human cloud. While he is the epitome of success himself, his vision for a free, open, and borderless world where work is just a click away drives him to be a staunch advocate of outsourcing. As an able manager, he brings the best people have to offer to the advantage of his company’s global clientele.

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Michael Friang Jensen is our Digital Project Manager at Kalpavruksh in Denmark. Specializing in technology and business, digital concepts, Michael is adept at handling strategic business applications of commerce, marketing, and project management. Michael bring concepts to digital format, manage projects efficiently, deal with a global workforce of distributed talent, and has his pulse on the ever-changing opportunities in digital media.

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