You’ve done your research on the benefits of virtual teams and by now you should have officially taken the plunge to build a high performing, effective remote team. So, what’s next? Connecting and engaging your employees to help them feel they are part of the bigger picture. Because they are. Being in a remote team can evoke feelings of loneliness and isolation, so it’s important to bring your team together to create a deeper bond and encourage collaboration. Some of the benefits of team building for remote employees are:
- Inspires creative thinking and new ideas through human connection.
- Builds trust and strengthens relationships.
- Helps keep employees motivated and productive.
- Creates a clear line of effective communication.
- Gives employees a sense of purpose and makes them feel acknowledged.
A fulfilled, happy employee means an elevated level of productivity, low staff turnover and business success. And what business owner doesn’t want that? So, let’s get started on our team building ideas for remote employees.
Encourage regular meetings and communication
Promote face-to-face communication on channels like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Video conferencing improves communication, connects the team, provides structure and eliminates any uncertainty over information that could be misunderstood when sent via email or text. Video communication is beneficial because it’s easier to read body language, expression and tone.
Here is our advice on how to encourage team building for remote employees through regular meetings and communications:
- Host monthly meetings to talk about any company news and to create transparency between management and employees.
- Weekly stand-ups with the team to share what has been working, challenges faced, lessons learned and new goals they have set. This helps employees learn from their peers and gives them a safe space to communicate any challenges they may be facing.
- Brainstorming sessions are a wonderful way to encourage effective collaboration and improve productivity. The more inspired your team feels, the more motivated they will be to do an excellent job.
- Chinwags with heads of departments to give your employees a platform to ask management or heads of departments any questions or queries they may be concerned about.
Workshops & courses
Supplying workshops and courses for your remote team upskills your employees and is a positive investment for your business. Offering courses that your virtual team can do together helps build a strong team and lets them connect, learn and grow together.
Peer to peer learning opportunities
There is no better way to unite than to learn from each other. Get your virtual team to shadow other members of the team who are in different departments so they can have a clear understanding of all areas of the business. This helps build respect between employees and allows your team to share ideas, thoughts and suggestions.
Drive monthly awards where employees can recognise each other for their hard work and participation. Create categories and get your virtual team to nominate their peers for these awards. Celebrate the winners during your monthly meetings and give credit where credit is due. This builds rapport within your virtual team and motivates other team members to perform well in their jobs.
Here are some interesting statistics about recognition in the workplace:
- 90% of employees say that recognition motivates them to put in more effort with their work.
- 91% of these same employees surveyed said the recognition makes them loyal to their company.
- Praise and recognition in the workplace can lead to a 36% increase in employee engagement.
So, build your team, praise and recognise your hardworking employees and develop the company culture you want to grow in your business.
Activities and Games
Team building for remote employees doesn’t just have to focus on work. Creating fun, interactive, engaging activities can encourage employees to bond and help to promote a healthy work environment.
Here are some ideas:
- Icebreakers can help relax people and build connections more informally. Encourage your employees to research some of their own icebreaker questions to ask other members in your next virtual meeting.
- Virtual games encourage versatility in your remote team and boost morale among employees. Virtual games can be anything from trivia, DIY kits sent to employees or even virtual charades.
- Dress up days shouldn’t be restricted to toddlers! Create a weekly theme and urge employees to take part. You can even incentivise participation by nominating the best-dressed.
- A virtual water cooler helps your remote team to get together informally in their virtual space, as you would in an office kitchen. This helps your team find common interests which ultimately results in innovation and collaboration.
Getting your employees to connect on life outside of work will create trust and build confidence within their team to form long-lasting bonds.
Although it may not be a possibility for all employees, offer co-working days for your team. Whether it’s hiring a co-working space for the day or meeting up at a coffee shop, in-person connection boosts interactions and the time spent together is valued.
Here are some of the best co-working spaces across Britain to help you get inspired.
Team building with your remote team doesn’t have to be a draining, time-consuming task. You’ll be surprised at how many bonds form through the digital space. Creating a dedicated team is not only beneficial for your business, but it shows you care about the well-being, growth, upliftment and happiness of your employees too.