Building a good team is hard. Building one that people enjoy being part of is even harder. Let me teach you how.
1. Remote work doesn’t have to mean independent work
With many of us now working remotely, it may seem more difficult to collaborate with colleagues.
We know that collaboration is important to team-building and to morale. Millennials make up a large proportion of the workforce, and 33% of them seek collaborative workspaces.
About 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important”, yet 39% of surveyed employees believe that people in their own organization don’t collaborate enough.
It’s important that companies provide their teams with the tools that allow them to collaborate online.
This could be as simple as switching to Google Docs, that allow for live commenting and editing on a shared document. Video conferencing is also key, to ensure multiple people can have a meeting at the same time. However, these are now fairly standard amongst remote teams, and even those working in shared spaces.
The next step for better collaboration is in task management software. Trello, Monday.com, or Asana allow your team to individually track their own progress on projects and individual tasks, and also allows you to track the entire teams’ progress.
Using a tool that enables collaboration when you aren’t in the same room leads to better productivity. It can help employees feel more on top of their work, and understand how they are feeding into the project as a whole.
2. Incorporate some playtime
If your workforce shares a working space, like an office or breakroom, provide ways for them to have some fun during downtime and breaks. This could be a ping-pong table, arcade machines, or board games.
Letting off steam by playing games can not only boost productivity, but it increases personal connections between your staff too.
We know that work friendships are important for boosting morale and happiness at work. A workplace survey revealed that 57% said having a best friend in the office makes work more enjoyable and that they believe it improves productivity and creativity.
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Try online quizzes
There are a couple of ways you could run a remote quiz for your staff.
One option is to give everyone a deadline and get them to complete a quiz independently. If you use an online quiz tool, you can see the results of each participant so you can reveal the scores at the end.
Another option is to run your quiz live over a video call. Have one person reading out the questions and moving the quiz along. You could even introduce rewards to encourage participation.
Just make sure to mix up the quiz themes each week, so that everyone gets a fair shot. That might be a Star Wars quiz one week…
… or keep it on brand, like this Digital Marketing quiz aimed at marketers.
3. Establish boundaries
Working well together and having a shared understanding is key to good team relationships. This means applying and respecting boundaries.
According to a Salesforce study, 97% of employees and executives believe that ‘a lack of alignment within a team impacts the overall outcome of a task or project’. Allow your workforce to agree on how and when they would like to communicate.
Create a shared calendar
A team calendar that can be accessed by all allows your employees to mark their working hours, and when they are busy or have appointments scheduled. This means people are aware when others are available to be contacted or to put in a meeting request. This can cut down the time it takes to organize calls, but also takes the pressure off always being available.
When projects or tasks are created, ensure to put a clear timeline in place every time, no matter how minute the task is. This holds everyone accountable and allows for a smoother process and clearer communication amongst your team.
Agreed method for communication
With so many tools available, it can be hard to keep on top of email, Slack, Google Meet, and personal messaging services like Whatsapp. Agree with your team upfront about how you’d like to communicate about specific projects or tasks.
4. Do something for the greater good (together)
Working together on a shared goal is a great way to foster stronger relationships within your team.
71% of employees said it is “imperative or very important to work where culture is supportive of giving and volunteering”, so what better project than raising money for charity or volunteering for a local cause?
According to a Deloitte survey, 89% believed that companies that sponsored volunteering opportunities offer a better working environment than those who don’t. The same survey revealed that only 38% said their company provided access to charity or volunteering programs.
Find local charities or volunteering opportunities and get your employees involved. Even better if people can do this in teams, in order to strengthen team relationships while boosting morale.
Bake-sales, sponsored runs, and events are fairly standard ways to raise money, but with many of us working at home, we have to be more creative.
You could try an online open-mic night for your more outgoing team members, a pub quiz, or an online auction to raise money.
You could even consider offering online mentoring or ‘virtual’ work experience to local schools or colleges, allowing you to give back from your computer.
5. Knowledge swap
Your team is likely to be made up of pretty cool people, with pretty cool skills and interests outside of work.
Do you have an impressive baker, someone who can speak another language or a musician? Perhaps a keen reader with some great recommendations, or someone well-traveled who can share their tips and tricks.
You could also share professional skills. Maybe someone is a whiz in excel, or someone has just downloaded a new tool and wants to share how great it is.
Set up a knowledge swap program where people can share their set up sessions with others, and learn from them. If you can squeeze this into working hours, even better, as you’re more likely to get people willing to take part.
This can boost morale by incorporating fun, personal interests, and learning into work life. The main benefit is that it helps create relationships between team members, allowing your teams to get to know each other better.
Finally, improving morale and boosting team building?
It’s really all down to listening to your employees. What do they think would help with team building, and what are they open to getting involved with? Asking their opinion and getting some input will help when implementing new ideas and programs.