FOSTERING TEAM TOGETHERNESS
Build a Strong Remote & Hybrid Team Culture
One of the most challenging obstacles for remote & hybrid teams to overcome is feeling connected when they’re far apart. Most of us want to be part of a strong team culture. However, many workers say they feel a loss of team spirit and community when they work remotely, which may lead to lower productivity and motivation.
When we don’t meet daily, we must combat the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality and remember that we’re part of a team. In remote settings, relationships are often mediated by technology, making it more challenging to communicate effectively and build trust… but not impossible! This article addresses how to build a strong team culture on your remote & hybrid team.
Understand the team’s diverse motivations
Understanding the intrinsic motivations of your team members is fundamental to fostering a sense of togetherness and building a strong team culture.
People come to work for various reasons, and each motivation requires a tailored approach to building unity. While some team members are driven by solving challenging problems, others value the relationships they build more than their tasks. Some may view their job as merely a means of earning a living. Standard solutions like quiz nights or pizza parties cannot address these diverse motivations.
Build a strong team culture: go beyond social events
Team culture is not solely about socializing; it’s primarily shaped by how you collaborate and work together. Teams that approach collaboration intentionally can unlock their superpowers. Instead of rushing into quick fixes like pizza parties and quiz nights, the foundation of a strong team culture lies in creating a team agreement that defines normal behavior and in leadership role-modeling.
DEFINE YOUR TEAM AGREEMENT
- Building a cohesive team culture begins with understanding how your team works. Before considering social activities, establish a team agreement that outlines your team’s expected behavior and norms.
- Leaders must lead by example, demonstrating the behavior they expect from their team members.
To enhance efficiency and reduce the burden of endless meetings and messages, visualize your workflows together. This provides insight into process inefficiencies and areas that require improvement. By making workflows visible, you can streamline your team’s collaboration.
PRIORITIZE REGULAR FEEDBACK
In a physical office, teams naturally share concerns and joys. In remote settings, it’s crucial to create a space for open communication. Regularly schedule check-ins where team members can reflect on both the positive and negative aspects of their work, fostering an environment of trust and improvement.
Note: Leaders play a vital role in modeling the behavior they want to see when it comes to giving and receiving feedback.
Build togetherness into your every day schedule
EMBRACE DELIBERATE TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES
- Chance encounters by the water cooler are a thing of the past. Therefore, it’s essential to be intentional about team-building activities.
- Start a ‘Getting to Know You’ channel in your group chat tool where team members can post and answer random questions, helping them learn more about each other.
- Use icebreaker questions before meetings to warm up the team and build trust.
- Dedicate a few minutes of unstructured, personal time before meetings for social interaction via video calls, which can be remarkably effective for building camaraderie.
- Schedule regular get-togethers where team members can discuss non-work-related topics, play games, or even host a trivia night.
UTILIZE VIDEO COMMUNICATION
Encourage team members to turn on their webcams during meetings. Visual cues help reduce misunderstandings, increase engagement, and promote team building.
- Remote teams can still celebrate occasions and achievements just like in-office teams.
- Consider virtual birthday celebrations, team lunches via video call, after-work drinks, or themed company outings.
- Don’t forget holiday parties, which can boost morale, strengthen bonds, and build trust among team members.
- Small gestures of gratitude can have a significant impact on team morale. Expressing gratitude helps create a positive atmosphere and reinforces a sense of togetherness.
- Send e-cards, gift cards, or small goodies to show appreciation for your teammates.
STRONG TEAM CULTURE
Team togetherness goes far beyond superficial social events. It’s rooted in intentional collaboration, a well-defined team agreement, visible workflows, and a deep understanding of your team’s intrinsic motivations. As leaders, it’s crucial to model the behavior you wish to see within your team, setting the tone for a cohesive and productive team culture that transcends physical boundaries. Building a strong team culture means taking deliberate steps to connect everyone, no matter where they are.
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