Team-building is vital for all businesses, but it’s especially critical in remote work environments. Employees working from home are prone to feelings of isolation and loneliness, leading to them becoming disengaged from their work. To help keep your team members feeling connected and engaged, try these team-building strategies.
Make a Plan
Before implementing any team-building strategies, create an action plan. Decide what methods you will use and build a plan around them. Be sure to schedule your plans, or you risk allowing your plan to be pushed aside. Share your schedule with your team members for accountability and so that they can plan accordingly.
Get Team Member Input
Before creating and cementing your plan, get input from your team members. They will know best what kind of team-building activities they would most enjoy. They may also offer some ideas that you would not think of on your own. Then, after getting input and putting your team-building plan in place, ask for feedback to ensure that your plan is producing the desired results.
Create Communication Channels
Some of the most effective team-building happens in an office environment with fun conversation. To foster this same feeling in a remote setting, try opening up new lines of communication. For example, you could use Skype’s chat feature to start an ongoing conversation between team members. You can use these channels to talk about work but don’t limit it to that. Team members should feel comfortable using this chat to check in on one another, share jokes, and anything else that helps that promotes connection.
In addition to introducing ongoing conversations, consider hosting bi-weekly or monthly virtual events. These events do not have to be very long, but they give everyone a chance to see one another’s faces, which is particularly important for remote teams. You can use these events to simply catch up with one another or play team-building games, such as “Words With Friends” or “Two Truths and a Lie.”
In these challenging and uncertain times, team-building has become more essential than ever. Create a plan with input from your team members, and continue to get feedback once it’s implemented. Your effort will pay off by creating a team of engaged, invested employees who are proud to work for you.