Virtual team building involves the application of models and methods to enhance team performance using a virtual delivery approach. These include group activities and exercises via platforms like Zoom, Microsoft and Teams, and Google Meet. The purpose is to build relationships, improve communication, boost morale among team members and improve the performance and contribution of the team to the success of the enterprise.
How do you do Team Building Virtually?
The term “team-building” is overused, misunderstood, and frequently misses the point. Virtual team building is often more than a fun game, puzzle, or exercise designed to get people to interact. Focusing purely on the games, etc., can often result in “eye-rolling” and “here we go again” reactions – visible or not – or worse, be counter-productive when other needs are a higher priority. The key is to focus on the critical elements of building high performing teams, specifically developing clarity on a team or organization’s mission, goals and strategy, roles, processes (interaction, human dynamics), and relationships (trust). All of this must be in the name of improving the performance of the team or organization.
Why is Team Building Important for Remote Teams?
Remote team members are frequently missing out on both formal and informal interaction, feeling isolated, and overwhelmed by the challenges of not working in the same physical space with co-workers. According to the Buffer State of Remote Work 2020, loneliness and a bad work-life balance are two of the biggest issues currently affecting remote work environments. Virtual team building activities help employees work more effectively as individuals and team members and build job satisfaction and morale.
What are the Most Effective Remote Team Building Activities?
Those that best meet the needs and priorities of the team and engage the members within the team, but this can be difficult to assess initially. Rather than traditional team building activities delivered virtually, engage team members on clarification of the organization’s mission and goals, strategy, roles, processes, and relationships. Ensure there is a clear understanding of what the team is here to do, where the team is headed, how it will get there, and what each person’s role is in achieving objectives together (i.e., the “what”, “why”, “how”, “who” and “when”). We develop teams by helping people to work together to achieve common goals, respecting the fact that individuals’ differences, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives may require different approaches or styles of encouraging participation and interaction. From the start, be clear on what is being asked, verify that people are clear, give them time to think/ reflect on the topic. Do not force engagement but encourage participation, facilitate dialogue, take checkpoints along the way, use small groups (breakout groups), polling, and other techniques to engage and encourage participation.
How do you Include Virtual Team Building Activities in Meetings?
Remote work can create the feeling of emotional distance, as well as physical distance, among team members. When employees feel isolated, they may feel less and less comfortable working as a member, or leader, of a team. As a result, it’s best to stop looking for just any virtual team building activities and focus on results. Remember the purpose is bringing team members together to achieve a common purpose. People are distracted by activities at home (kids, pets, etc.) and develop a form of ADD if proper techniques are not applied to ensure respect for style and differences. To maximize impact during virtual sessions, it is critical to ensure that people have their webcams on at all times during team sessions!
What are Virtual Team Building Games, Activities, and Exercises?
Virtual team-building exercises, games, and activities have a role to play at some point in the process in order to build stronger relationships between team members working remotely. If used for ice breakers/getting to know each other at the outset, ask each person to tell the group about themselves, something others might not know, something they are looking forward to in life, etc. – ensure they are comfortable with the approach. Utilize tools and methods to engage people and allow for different styles and preferences. The Six Thinking Hats framework, which encourages teams to explore ideas, issues, and challenges in a cooperative, or collaborative fashion, versus the traditional adversarial approach, is an excellent tool to achieve this end. Expert training or coaching in the proper use of The Six Thinking Hats is critical, as well.
How do you do a Virtual Celebration?
Virtual celebrations give teams a chance to recognize achievements and observe special occasions online. They offer a fun form of virtual team building that allows team members to relax together and acknowledge achievements. Take time to celebrate success – it is worth the investment!
What do you need for a Virtual Team Building Meeting?
You need very little beyond your team members and a video sharing platform to bring the team together. Lynn Reed Associates can provide expert support on how to facilitate these sessions – expertise in collaboration, human dynamics, and the software used to support the process. We ensure that repeople are clear on the agenda for the virtual team-building meeting, their role in the meeting, and expected outcomes. Topic-relevant cartoons, fun videos, anecdotes, asking people to introduce their kids, pets, etc., can all help to add some levity to virtual team-building meetings when needed.
Is Virtual Team Building Available Outside the US?
While virtual team building has gained popularity in the last year because of the impact of the pandemic and the increase in the number of employees around the world working remotely. It is a great way to work across borders and time zones. Virtual team building is a great way to bring together teams composed of members working domestically and internationally. Best of all, it can be delivered to multiple audiences all over the world to improve communication and collaboration.
Why Choose Lynn Reed for Virtual Team Building?
Lynn Reed Associates has extensive experience, expertise, and delivers extraordinary results based on client feedback. Client ratings of overall satisfaction, engagement, and quality of process consistently exceed 9 out of 10 (10 = excellent). Lynn Reed pioneered electronic technology applications for collaboration and decision-making at JPMorgan in the early 1990s as part of strategic IT programs research. He has been quoted as an expert in electronic decision-making tools and group dynamics in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, the Financial Times, and the American Banker. Contact Lynn Reed Associates today to learn more about team building for your organization.