Leading a remote team is not a walk in the park. When you are connecting with workers all across the country, team building becomes something that you have to put a lot of thought and attention on. Today, at WorkBright, we wanted to help you take your teams to the next level with seven team bonding tips for remote employees!
1. Make Video A Large Part Of Your Remote Team Bonding Strategy
Face-to-face communication increases trust and productivity. Unfortunately for remote teams, constant face-to-face contact isn’t possible. Remote teams have other perks though (like lower overhead and more employee diversity.) Since remote teams cannot meet face-to-face, the next best thing is video communication. Use tools like Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Skype to communicate with your remote team.
2. Start Each Video With An Icebreaker
Take your remote team bonding up another notch by including an icebreaker for each meeting. Take time to ask each employee on your team an icebreaker question if your group is small enough. If you have a large organization, invite a few people to answer the question on each call.
3. Create One-On-One And Small Group Settings For Team Building Growth
It’s difficult to think about bonding with 50 people from all over the world. Most people don’t consistently hang out with that many people in real life, let alone online. What if your team consists of 500 or 1,000 people? Create chances for your employees to connect with one other person or a small group of people.
You can do this by matching employees up each week to meet with a different employee. Match up people within and across company departments. Meeting with a variety of people will help your team members bond and create empathy for people who are different from them. You can also make teamwork across departments a part of everyday life at your company. You may want to create company committees, so that team members from across the world are all working towards the same goal.
4. Create A Question Of The Day Slack Channel
Slack has become a fantastic tool for remote teams everywhere. Slack is an application that is available on your computer or any mobile device. With Slack, you can create channels for your team members to join based on their jobs or their interests.
Create a Slack channel called Question Of The Day where you list a daily icebreaker question for your team to answer. Your team members may find someone they can bond with during this experience.
5. Let Your Employees Reward Each Other
Besides channels, you can also add Slack integrations like Disco which allows your employees to send stars and emojis to their colleagues for a job well done! You can even tie these stars to your company values so that rewarding people for their hard work is even more meaningful. As a manager, you can use the data from Disco to see your rising stars as well as see the employees who love to encourage their team members.
5. Make Your Company Culture, Vision, Values, And Goals Known
When you wear your company culture on your sleeve, you attract team members who will be right at home in your company. Make sure that your About and Hiring pages reflect the people you want in your company. When everyone is working towards the same goal, bonding becomes manageable.
6. Create An Open And Honest Environment
The environment that you create for your remote workers impacts them significantly.
If your workers are working in a toxic environment, they may decide against bonding with their colleagues on purpose.
Another reason why your remote employees may be disengaging? They are scared! Do your employees know where they stand with your company? It’s difficult to connect with the people you work with when you don’t feel like you are essential to a company.
Make sure your remote workers feel like they are a part of your family!
7. Start A Yearly Retreat
One last team building tip: start a yearly retreat for your remote employees. Remote teams, like the one at Buffer, began hosting a retreat for their employees to build relationships and camaraderie amongst workers. Buffer also hosts mini-retreats once a year for each department By creating a yearly retreat, your teams can get to know each other and grow together as a company!
When it comes to starting a yearly retreat, you need to create an agenda that helps your employees bond with each other. Find a city with experiences that your team can use to grow closer.
Team bonding for remote teams may seem complicated, but it’s all in your approach. Having a remote team is beneficial, you can find ways to work around team bonding issues. We hope that this article has given you many ideas to think about when it comes to building a stellar remote team.
Do you need help onboarding your next set of remote workers? At WorkBright, we are here to help you introduce your workers to your company the right way!