Team building is one of the most important investments you can make for your employees and your company or organization. It builds trust, supports communication, and increases collaboration among employees.
Essentially, it is a good morale boost for the values of your company, even if you work remotely. Working as a remote team, it’s easy to value virtual team building. Although building rapport with team members who are miles away can be difficult. This is especially true for virtual managers who are unable to see employees on a daily basis.
There are a variety of ways to conduct virtual team building, which is quite different than team building in-person. Check out the top 5 most effective ways to build a team when working remote. Try some of these ideas to see if you can help solidify your team dynamics.
1. Mutual Trust and Respect
To be an effective work team, it’s important to build trust. Mutual trust and respect is crucial in any relationship, and work relationships are no different. There must be relational equity built up among employees and coworkers. If an employee can trust that you respect them and have their best interest in mind, then they will prioritize your values.
Try to engage this by asking about their opinions on an issue or, on a deeper level, their activities outside of work. Getting to know your virtual team on a personal level helps to create camaraderie. One of the biggest icebreakers it to use photos to connect. Just as Facebook members use pictures, images, and memes to communicate, so should your team.
As the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” mentions, team members can share a snippet into their lives by sharing photos. This helps to nurture relationships, even work-related ones and helps to effectively bond your team.
2. Clear Roles and Responsibilities
Many employees have different roles, performing jobs outside their initial job description. Unfortunately, this can often lead to frustration and confusion. Clearly defining roles and responsibilities can positively impact the company as a whole, especially if it involves team projects.
It would be impossible to have an effective team without having clear roles and responsibilities for each employee. When you define clear responsibilities, every employee knows what’s expected of them. They will then clearly understand what it takes to reach the team’s goals.
When team members understand their roles when it pertains to a group project, they will work together more cohesively and effectively. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page towards success!
3. Meet in Person
Depending on the locations of your virtual team members, it might be possible to meet occasionally in person. If team members are in the same city, it would be beneficial to socialize outside of work. Meeting for lunch, coffee, or even catching a movie helps to solidify the working relationship.
It would also help if you had a quarterly or annual “All Hands-on Deck” meeting with the entire team. This will be essential to your growth as a team and as a company, allowing personal interaction among individuals and departments.
This collaboration will allow you to form bonds that will make work more fun and collective. Building quality work relationships can positively influence your teamwork throughout the year.
4. Have Virtual Meetings
If meeting in person isn’t an option for your team members, have a virtual meeting, such as an online conference over Skype. This will allow team interaction and collaboration. You don’t have to talk only about work. It’s a great opportunity to talk on random topics or share whatever you want with each other.
It’s also a great way to put a face to each of your team members. Getting to know one another will help remote employees become a more successful and cohesive unit.
Additionally, there are actual advantages of holding virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings. Virtual meetings save time. Your team can come together anywhere, anytime, even on the go. This could help you become more productive and efficient.
Virtual meetings also allow your entire team to participate. Oftentimes, employees are traveling or out sick, and unable to attend a physical meeting. Having an important meeting without key people is not beneficial and can result in skewed information and miscommunication.
Conducting a meeting over Skype, or another form of video conferencing ensures your entire team can attend and that your message and instructions are consistently disseminated properly.
5. Set up a Slack Channel
Slack, a form of collaboration and instant messaging, that allows individuals, workplaces, and team members to discuss projects and other developments. You can upload files, share one-on-one or in groups, and is available across multiple devices. In addition, you can integrate other services or apps, such as Skype, Dropbox, and Google apps.
There are also options to add useful features including video and voice calling. The best part is you can create “channels”, or chat rooms, publicly or privately. It’s a great way to keep organized and up-to-date with your team, no matter where you are. You can even download the app to your phone, so you’re always within reach.
Having a virtual team of employees is an emerging new trend. Every business sector has experienced or currently uses some type of virtual business. There seems to be an increased need for employees to be mobile as the business world is constantly on the move.
There are clear advantages of having a virtual team, and there are ways to positively and effectively build that team. Even if you have a diverse team made up of many different personality types, implementing these tips can help unify your team and boost productivity and success!
Along the way, maybe you can have some fun and enjoy getting to know the distinct individuals on your team. Take the time to learn what brought you all together!
Bethany Campbell is prior military, serving in the Army for 6 years as a Mental Health Specialist in Germany and Georgia. She’s been a content writer in the Marketing Industry for almost a decade. She now writes for several blogs, including the Potts-law.com blog.