Building a strong team when every team member is working remotely can be tricky. In today’s workplace, there are many workers that are either working entirely remotely, or simply working in a hybrid setting. Building a strong working culture in this instance can be very difficult. But every business owner wants to leverage from a tight group of people that are all working together for a common goal.
Collective and collaborative work can help you deliver consistently excellent results, along with incredible experiences to your customer. So how do you achieve such benefits when you cannot even get all the workers in the same room? Well, there are 5 steps that you implement to ensure all remote workers can become part of a cohesive unit.
Create a Remote Team Culture
There are many different cultures globally, and half of them are business cultures. The success of a company is directly linked to the engagement between their teams. This is why you need to have a team culture that helps determine a pursuit of a specific goal that a team should support.
Corporate culture in this instance can play a vital role. Establishing a culture is very difficult in the remote working environment. Developing this culture while leading a remote team requires you to build awareness amongst them. You can cultivate a sense of strong awareness within the employees regarding who they are, what their goal is, and how they are going to achieve the goal most successfully.
When teams started to work remotely without their colleagues around, few interesting things began to happen. The first is that they started to feel invisible. This meant that they are still doing the work but now there are not enough people who will witness it.
As a manager in such a situation you need to be far more active in acknowledging the work that the employees are performing. Giving them a virtual pat on the back can require you to increase the zoom meetings and video conferences on other platforms simply for the purpose of employee recognition.
Moreover, it also requires team leaders to look more closely at the teams and they cannot be in their own bubble. In other words, pay close attention to what your team is doing, and when you do that, make sure to comment on it and recognize it so that they do not feel invisible.
Organize Meetings at Some Point
Despite the fact your employees are working remotely, it is beneficial for you to get them in the same room together at some point. This can be once or twice a year, or even more frequent. You can arrange this meeting as an accomplishment, celebration or even more. Some teams even get together in a summit, where they can talk about how they get their customers to gain even better results moving forward.
Overall, conducting occasional physical meetings can be effective for team members since they want to make the right changes. Moreover, these meetings are also a great opportunity for business leaders to conduct intentional team building activities that will help build a strong remote team. These activities can be enjoyable and can also encourage engagement from the team members.
Other activities that help increase team work and team building include show-and-tells, questionnaires, and others. Anything that allows members to reveal about themselves both, professionally and personally will help them make the connections. Secondly, there will always be an activity that is strictly for the purpose of being together and having fun.
This helps team members get closer to each other. This is important since studies reveal that if someone has a best friend at work, they are likely to be more engaged, stay longer, and happier. Therefore, when you have the social activities by your side, you will develop more friendships.
Use Social Media
Another good strategy for team building when working remotely is by using social media. For instance, you can create a private Facebook group just for your team members. Making an online group and being intentional about posting is a great way to keep all audience members engaged.
For instance, you can allot each day to the type of posts that the team will have to share. These posts or messages can be a reflection of their daily or future goals. Alternatively, they can also be a talk about each team member’s accomplishments. By doing this, every team member can contribute kind words to every person’s story and this can create a good feeling within the team members, which can help build stronger teams that are willing to work together without issues.
Be Okay with Sharing Work
You have to tell your team that it is okay and expected of them to share when they are working remotely. It is very easy in these days to try and complete everything by yourself. It is difficult to explain something over the phone or zoom call. Therefore, people will often go back and still try to do everything themselves.
Even if they manage to do it, it may lead to burn out. Make it clear to your team that it is expected of them to share work because this can ultimately help with productivity. It also helps build a good community with each other.
Sharing work is one of the most important aspects of building a culture for a specific goal. Building a goal-oriented culture demands a level of collaboration that requires team members to put their ego aside. You may want to foster a culture that breeds innovation, is risk taking, and one in which you have room for experimentation.
Once you determine the end goal for your remote team, and make that goal the focal point, you can easily have them distribute work without being troubled. A strong team is one that works as a unit and does not think too much about personal gain over the expense of others.
You may benefit from a culture of collaboration, where everyone has their own input to a solution, but if you are in a crises scenario, then you may not have time for that. You need to make sure that decisions are made fast and the team gets behind you. This way, your decisions will be executed rapidly.
Train your Employees
Building strong remote teams also means that you have to invest in training your people. One of the best ways you can do that is by organizing meetings and discussing topics. This will help your team become more accustomed to the virtual setting.
One innovative way to implement training is by introducing a book club. You can have team members read a particular book and then arrange a zoom meeting to discuss it. In these book clubs, team members can learn, grow, and form personal connections. Many times these books are not related to work, but to other experiences.
Creating a strong virtual team involves looking far and beyond on-premise work operations, and enabling a team to engage with team members on a personal level. This way, they will be happy to work like a team without getting conflicted in any hierarchical loopholes that a work environment can present.