Ever since the pandemic has run its course, there has been a drastic shift from on-premise work to a hybrid work model. This has led to a massive increase in the importance of deploying effective virtual team-building sessions so that workers can perform tasks cohesively despite working remotely. Keeping them engaged is more critical now than before, as it is an important challenge for team leaders.
Planning a virtual team building activity
A team that works well together is one where each team member trusts the other. Trust amongst the team members helps avoid conflicts, increases confidence, and makes them feel safe. This, in turn, results in better motivation from the team members. Fewer conflicts also mean that each team member can focus on the main objective instead of occupying themselves with conflicts.
Strategies of conducting team-building activities, therefore, predicate mainly on fostering trust amongst the workforce. Most effective virtual team-building sessions are, therefore, ones that encourage vulnerability and transparency. This also manifests relationships that scope beyond the work environment.
Determine a timeline
The biggest hurdle that you may have to face when trying to organize a virtual team-building session is determining a timeline that fits everyone’s schedule and availability. It is always best to plan for this virtual session ahead of time so that everyone is present.
Determining the right time and place is also important because you have to accommodate remote workers that are working at distant locations with different time zones. Thus, make sure that you discuss a time that every member of the team agrees with.
Conducting a virtual event, however, rids you of the troubles of logistics and costs that come with hosting a physical event. Moreover, once you set a timeline for your event, you can host them more frequently and even regularly so that it becomes a ritual for the team.
It also becomes very normal to talk about personal things. A virtual team-building exercise can also last about five to ten minutes, which also makes it convenient for team members. This flexibility in the group exercises is only possible through a virtual setting since people do not have to commute anywhere, and they can simply participate from the comfort of their residence.
Tools such as virtual games, cards, and more can make connections and engagements easy. When you are working remotely and meeting virtually, there is no organic connection that you can work with. This requires you to be more intentional with the way that you connect and engage with people virtually.
This is, in fact, a good thing because the organic connection can mostly just consist of small talk. With virtual team building, you have an opportunity to make each group meeting more purposeful. In other words, you can break down the theme of the meeting to the group members and have it revolve around engaging in meaningful conversations.
This is a consideration that team leaders can take, which involves them engaging in purposeful and immediate engagement a few minutes before your meeting starts and a few minutes after the meeting. There are many tools that you can use to deploy this unofficial start.
This is a good step to consider if you want to kill the awkwardness of the meeting and get people warmed up before the official team-building session starts. In a virtual setting, an unofficial start can simply include throwing a question out to each individual and having others engage with the person.
While initiating the unofficial start, you need to allow people to have space for follow-up questions. Doing this for an unofficial start is a great way to create an intentional connection in a way that does not need to be a designated three-hour team-building session.
Connect to the purpose
When setting up a virtual team-building exercise, you not only have to connect the team members to each other, but you also have to connect them to the purpose of the meeting. For this, make sure to make it clear to each team member the purpose of the meeting. Use that purpose to come up with an exercise or question that connects people to why they are present in the meeting at the moment.
When doing so, team leaders also need to consider that they need to weave in the choice of authenticity and vulnerability. Always be open to authenticity and vulnerability in a meeting. The easiest way to make room for this is to invite people to share personal stories with the audience. You need to provide people with a space that is safe enough for them to speak their minds.
Be intentional with your closing
Once you are done with your virtual team-building exercise, it is important for you to be considerate with the closing. Once you figure out the activities that you will implement for the virtual team building, be considerate of whether those exercises achieve the ultimate goal, which involves increasing engagement.
A virtual team-building session needs to be fun so that the workers can unwind from the scares of the pandemic and uplift their moods. It should also encourage more conversations amongst the team members and enhance the transparency of the workforce.
Stronger and effective communication is key to a productive workforce, and without it, solving complex and complicated issues can bring about many challenges. More meaningful and clear conversations also result in better relationships within the workforce. For remote employees, building good relationships can be tough, and therefore, virtual team-building sessions should serve this purpose.
Staying away from your colleagues and office space can also sometimes create a disconnect with the working environment. Scheduling a virtual team meeting is crucial if you want to reignite the connection between the workers so that your operations can function more efficiently.
Overall, be considerate about boosting morale. Make sure that each and every team member comes out of the meeting feeling relieved and happy. Whichever exercise or strategy you wish to deploy for the virtual team building, ensure that they provide you with the desired mentioned outcomes.
Invite people to contribute
When organizing virtual team building, make sure that you are inviting people to contribute and not just passively consume. Be mindful of each and every member of your team if you want to make it impactful for each member. When you invite people to contribute, then they are contributing to the team building. On the other hand, if you invite people simply to consume, then they do not achieve the required benefits of the team.
If you and your employees are working from home, virtual team building can help keep everyone connected. With so many people working remotely, team leaders must deploy strategies on virtual platforms for their workers so that they feel more connected.
These strategies can ultimately help you level up your business. Virtual team-building exercises can also help when there are internal issues stemming from your remote teams. Overall, there are many advantages to having a strong team dynamic through virtual platforms.