Planning a virtual team building session? Watch out for the following. - FocusU

Planning a virtual team building session? Watch out for the following.

When the pandemic outburst put a halt to our lives, digital media helped establish a new normal. Today organisations across industries are focused on facilitating remote work. More than 74% of employees prefer remotes working and believe that it’s the new normal.

Remote teams provide organisations with the opportunity to build a diverse talent pool. But they are also responsible for providing an extensive and versatile working experience to their team members. The companies need to focus less on where and more on the why? and the how?

It’s where the phenomenon of virtual team building plays a pivotal role.

The Prominence Of Virtual Team Building Activities 

The primary concept of team building is to provide the employees a chance to interact with each other in an informal setting. This enables trust building and co-operation that reflect in the workplace.

Virtual team-building activities tend allow the teams to get together and unwind, even when geographically dispersed. 

Team building activities are effective as they make employees more committed, productive, and happier. And when the team members have a good relationship with each other, they tend to stick to their roles in the long-term.

These activities have become even more important as poor communication and loneliness are among the worst challenges faced by remote workers. By harnessing remote team-building activities, companies can offer an opportunity for employees to talk about something other than work and get to know each other, better.

Bonding Virtually During COVID-19

To build virtual employee engagement activities, companies have to get creative and engaging. Here are some steps that can help organisations build activities for employees’ engagement and make remote working more productive

An effective communication strategy acts as the bedrock for keeping everyone on board. It ensures that there is a definite form of coordination and transparency within the virtual teams. When building a communication strategy, you should consider the following points: 

  • Ensure that information you share is relevant and factually correct. 
  • The information is written in an understandable manner. 
  • The information is delivered to all intended team members. 
  • The team should be encouraged to practice a certain degree of communication skills. 

1. Select the right communication technology 

When it comes to building effective virtual activities for employee engagement, choosing the right technology is highly imperative. The medium significantly determines the engagement and team-building capabilities. A company’s communication toolbox should cover basics like – 

  • An effective chat tool to facilitate constant relationship-building among the virtual teams. 
  • Robust video conferencing tool for a virtual meeting among the team members. 
  • A virtual meeting scheduling app so that teams can stay updated about important meetings and events. 
  • Accessibility of important documents and resources so that teams can share data.
  • A powerful and efficient project management tool to help teams stay updated on upcoming projects. It will also ensure that everyone is accountable for their tasks and goals. 

2. Choose engaging activities

One of the things that 2020 made us realise is that remote working is a trend that is here to stay. Thus, including day-to-day light-hearted fun can be exactly what the teams need to stay motivated in such situations.

Therefore, companies should continue to come up with creative ways of virtual team-building activities. So how can you make your virtual meet-ups engaging?

Pair-ups :

In this, you can randomly select team members and dedicate a part of the meeting for them to speak. These conversations can be of a specific subject matter or something completely random. 

Scavenger Hunts :

It can involve sharing photos of certain items with your team via the formal messaging app. 

Game sessions :

Allow the employees to take a break from the stressful work and gather them together for fun virtual games. Museum Bingo, Zoom I-spy, whiteboard Pictionary, etc., are some of the examples. 

Picnics :

Take the office day out digitally and gather your team around. Have them pack a little snack and refreshments and start a fun get-together. 

Volunteer :

Motivate your team to help the community through different means like donating or volunteering for some social service.

3. Establish a shared language 

In a widespread team, there are likely to be employees from different cultures. It amplifies the communication challenges, especially when members think they are communicating in the same language. This is why it is imperative to build a team that shares a common language.

When the team’s work is technical, then the members can use the language of engineering and science for effective communication.

But if the nature of the tasks is ambiguous, it is important to ensure that there is a shared interpretation of words and phrases. This will ensure that both the parties involved in communication understand each other clearly. 

4. Build trust among the team

When building a virtual team, ensure that you always have empathy towards the members. Even in situations when you have no control over the teams or events, be respectful towards them. It is the first step towards building trust among the team.

Additionally, also focus on encouraging the team for open dialogues. Establishing good communication can be a great icebreaker and make the conversations more fun and engaging. 

Conclusion

The pandemic had us all stay inside for a long time, and it has also reinforced the stance of remote working, worldwide. However, continuously working remotely without any connection with the rest of the team can be challenging.

This is why companies must focus on remote team building activities or virtual team building to keep the employees engaged and motivated. Multiple factors go into ensuring that your team stays connected digitally.

Let us know your experience with the virtual team building in the comments section.

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