In the world of digital advancement, teleconferencing has become the smart thing that makes communication more efficient and teams more productive. The virtual environment has altered the existing brick-and-mortar style of working into a work culture that allows employees to work remotely, from anywhere. This rise of remote working comes with a greater need for strengthening the communication, bond, and collaboration between team members to increase organizational productivity and growth.
Here are five strategies for building a great remote working team culture that you can never go wrong with.
1. Invest in improving team dynamics by getting team members to learn more about each other, beyond resumes and LinkedIn profiles. It is important for team members to be both self and socially aware, so they are equipped with insights that support self-regulation and relationship building. At H.C. Bonum, every team member gets an Insights Discovery Personal Profile and is introduced to the Insights Discovery Learning System within the first three months of joining the team. With this exposure, they are able to put individual and team behaviors in proper context and learn how to successfully interact with other members of the team. Self and social awareness are the foundation of positive team dynamics. Provide team members with opportunities to understand their personality type and those of other team members.
2. Establish multiple communication channels which creates that internal feeling of togetherness amongst virtual teams and ensures that useful business, project, and task information gets to team members at the optimal time. At H.C. Bonum, we favor MS Teams and use its video conferencing features for our regular team meetings and for impromptu meetings to collaborate on projects. Apart from email and telephone calls, we also use WhatsApp for communication that is time sensitive, whether targeted at specific individuals or the entire team. Other organizations prefer Zoom, Google Hangout, Telegram, Slack etc. Find which combination of technologies work best for your team and use it to improve communication.
3. Create team routines by scheduling regular and recurring meetings and briefings to create a stable virtual environment for team members to interact. We call this creating a business or team rhythm. At H.C. Bonum we keep team interaction steady by meeting twice a week to discuss priorities and plans. This helps to focus and refocus the group on business goals, discourages siloed thinking, promotes joint accountability, and facilitates collaboration. Research shows that the more team members interact with each other and engage in high impact communication the better their performance. Determine what rhythm works for your team and bring them together routinely.
4. Balance work with fun to keep the team emotionally connected and engaged, promote team spirit, and reduce burnout and stress. A research of various teams conducted by Google revealed that what really mattered was less about who is on the team and more about how the team worked together. Teams that are emotionally connected are more cohesive and united as they work towards accomplishing their collective goals. At H.C. Bonum, we make team bonding a priority by making it the first item on the agenda for our team meetings. We check in on how everyone is doing and feeling, and play fun virtual games like Treasure Hunt, Trivia, Riddles, Fastest Fingers, Guess Whose Song, Word Scramble etc. We have also found time this year to come together in -person for roller skating and lunch. Build team bonding into your rhythm of business to ensure you give it adequate attention.
5. Have clear and detailed individual and team deliverables so team members are aware of performance expectations. Setting clear deliverables helps the team maintain a priority list of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, responsibilities and outcomes that can be used as a yardstick to measure productivity and output. At H.C. Bonum, we encourage team members to identify monthly priorities and to measure progress towards accomplishing them every week. This gives team members a sense of purpose and helps to create a performance-oriented culture that focuses on driving desired results. Make sure your team meetings include focused conversations on SMART goals, priorities, work outputs, business results and very importantly accountabilities.