Virtual team building is not identical to what you can do in an office. You cannot organize outdoor virtual team building activities and have your team highly engaged in sports. Team building for remote teams is online. Each employee sits alone in their virtual cubicle (home office) while trying to maintain team cohesiveness and the feeling of belonging to a team.
It is no wonder remote employees lose the team feeling you get from meaningful, high-octane engagement.
At Flash Hub, we owe the stellar team success to remote work in global virtual teams. We cannot complain: the method works. It creates high performing teams and delivers success that is hard to imagine within local office constraints. Thanks to virtual teams, we grew by 250% in 2020.
Often, a “but” related to the loss of team feeling accompanies the perks that come with virtual work.
It is impossible to call a group of people a team when they don’t have the team feeling.
But what exactly is the team feeling? And how can you create remote team-building exercises and activities that bring back that secret ingredient to successful remote teams?
3 Virtual Team Building Activities to Renew Team Feeling
Team feeling is largely based on interpersonal aspects of teamwork. Strengthening motivation, confidence building, and affect management are essential elements of team belonging.
You can have a robust and resilient team focused on common goals. Everyone delivers, workflows are perfect, communication is streamlined, no meaningless interruptions, just straightforward efficiency.
But if you lack team feeling, you are missing an important aspect of teamwork that erodes overall performance and creates unhappy employees, including yourself as a leader.
Many team leaders say: “I need to meet my team more often.”
Fine. But is that an actual engagement activity? People come together, and no one says a word. How can you reenergize in a silent space without sharing?
Don’t worry: you don’t need to pay for expensive remote employee engagement activities to restore team energy.
The palace to start is to ask yourself: “What does it mean for me to bring back the team feeling”?” Then dig deeper with follow-up questions.
As a leader, you can implement these three simple team building activities for virtual teams in as short as in a day. As a result, you can reap the benefits of the mystery team feeling almost immediately.
1. Engage in deep, challenging, work-related conversations.
Don’t just convene any meeting. Empower your team to ask well-thought-out questions that are challenging your work in profound, meaningful ways.
Your employees are interested in your work and inspired by your example. (If they are not, they should be.)
To find out more about how to find motivated, high-performing talent interested in your work, check this article on hiring Upwork freelance experts.
You can improve team cohesiveness by creating mutually shared goals. But nothing beats social relations and intrinsic emotional engagement.
Solving problems together is a virtual team building activity that makes you feel supported and lets you get your focus right. Your employees will feel supported when you help them get unstuck from a rut.
Therefore, instigate in-depth solution-focused discussions.
2. Show interest and encourage asking for support.
Not all day is covered in virtual team challenges.
Some days people’s calendars are brimming with completed projects. They are just dying to share a job well done with their team.
Therefore, sharing success with your team must find its place among the essential team building activities for remote teams.
As a manager, you should get the team feeling when pulling the same rope with your team: the good stuff and the bad stuff. Share with interest, honestly and transparently.
When you see others’ interest in your work and share your fascination in return, you are building a bank of interpersonal support that amplifies the team feeling.
3. Celebrate every success.
Celebrate and reward successes. Your employees must know they have contributed to a common goal.
Ask each person what it means to get that team feeling and organize team-building activities around personalized preferences. You don’t need to meet every little whim, but paying attention to individual needs will make a huge difference.
That’s what worked for Flash Hub.
Interested in stopping needless interruptions from exhausting meetings? Watch the video below:
Leadership-focused Team Building Activities for Virtual Teams
Make time for these three simple but effective team building activities for virtual teams to create a root culture of team feeling:
- Deep, solution-focused discussions
- Mutual interest and support
- Celebrating successes
Exceptional goal clarity is useful for performance but ineffective when it remains unchallenged.
It is your job as a team leader or manager to protect and inspire your employees.
Do not be afraid of challenges: create a remote team culture that favors them. Encourage difficult conversations to refresh team energy.
To do that, you need to personalize your approach to what the team feeling means for every team member. In that way, you both grow by challenging each other, and, as a result, the company grows, too.
Learn to grow and scale your business with virtual teams and global freelancers with our FREE Virtual Team Starter Pack!