It is important to be open and honest in any relationship. This is true for your personal life as well as in business. It is even more imperative to be transparent on a remote team - your teammates need to know what’s going on to ensure success.
In a transparent company, the team is aware of what is happening, and more importantly why things are happening. Chuck Cohn Founder & CEO of Varsity Tutors shares that “...the importance of transparency in the decision-making process is frequently overlooked. Everyone should know the who/what/when/how/why of big decisions so they can continue to feel important and involved in the company. For example, simply letting everyone know who is responsible for a task clarifies two things: 1. The person responsible for the task understands what he or she should do. 2. It frees up everyone else to work on their own jobs without worrying about what other tasks need attention.” On a remote team, it is vital to make this information visible so that everybody does know what is going on and what they do or don’t need to do to help out with each project.
There are countless tools available that can help your business to be more transparent with each other. A few of these tools include:
https://buffer.com/ “A better way to share on social media. Social media management for marketers and agencies”
https://idonethis.com/ “easy daily check-ins and powerful progress reports to run more effective and productive teams.”
https://trello.com/ “Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.”
https://www.15five.com/ “Lightweight performance management – OKRs, pulse surveys, 1-on-1s, peer recognition and feedback in one simple weekly check-in.”
https://basecamp.com/ “Basecamp solves the critical problems that every growing business deals with. It’s the saner, calmer, organized way to manage projects and communicate company-wide.”
https://asana.com/ “Move work forward. Asana is the easiest way for teams to track their work—and get results.”
https://www.cloudwards.net/ “Keep track of files and your hard drive clean.”
https://www.zoom.us/ “#1 Video Conferencing and Web Conferencing Service”
The reason that there are so many tools that help teams to be transparent is because of the sheer importance of transparency. It is clear that teams all across the globe value transparency as a vital part of their company culture.
Lauren Anderson, Brand & Content Manager at 15Five shares that “Transparency is one of the values that we live every day. The accompanying vulnerability and authenticity embraced by every team member strengthens our relationships and drastically shortens the geographic distance between us. We are always open and available to listen to feedback. This fundamental promise of open communication helps us peer within the mind and heart of each member of our team. It creates a safe place for them to share challenges, triumphs and ideas that they may not otherwise freely share.”
When a team is transparent, they have no option but to grow closer to each other on a personal level. Transparency allows your team to get to know the inner workings of each team member better and it allows for increasingly comfortable communication among all team members. Entrepreneur & Influencer Neil Patel has the same experience, “As people become more transparent with one another, their relationships deepen.”
It is important to keep in mind that it is important to come from a positive space when responding to other team members, especially when they may have dropped a ball on a project and need the support of the rest of the team. It is important that there is no “I” in “Team” and that your team is only as strong as its’ weakest member.
As a remote team, it is even more vital to be transparent as you do not have proximity on your side. It is important to set communication guidelines that work best for your team.
On our remote team, we have two weekly meetings scheduled (one morning and one evening) to check in “face to face” on Zoom. These meetings allow our team to check-in with each other to discuss the status of projects, they allow us to churn out answers to perplexing situations, and they allow us to make decisions that need opinions of the whole team.
Our team also makes sure to check in on Slack at least once daily so that we are aware or what is going on and we also know if there are tasks that we need to do in order to help another team member complete a task of theirs. Aimee Groth writes that “Transparency is fundamentally a good thing. Keeping people in the loop can make them feel more connected to the company.” The more transparent our team is between meetings, the more we tend to get accomplished during our meetings; transparency allows us to maintain forward progress.
Melissa Scatena, a participant of Remote Year shares the importance of maintaining work life harmony, “Be transparent, communicate clearly (and often), and manage expectations. Don’t set the precedent early on that you will be available 24/7 just to prove yourself, it will end up being impossible to maintain as the year continues.” It is always important to remain in communication to a certain extent, but you need to value your personal time as well.
We all take days off (or multiple days off) when we need to reset and reconnect with ourselves and nature. As long as we get our tasks done before the due date and communicate clearly with the rest of the team about being off-the-grid, the team can still function while one of us steps away.
Ken Lin, Founder & CEO of Credit Karma says “I believe strongly that people who work at companies with a culture of open communication are happier in their jobs.”
To guarantee success on your remote team keep communication open and be transparent with each other. You will have nowhere to go but up!
Rebel + Connect creates custom retreats for remote teams. A Colorado based company owned and operated by Charlie Birch, Rachel McGehee, and Summer Weirich, we operate remotely and service clients from all over the globe. Join us as we create cultures of meaning and celebrate human connections in a digital world!
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