How to create social bonds in remote teams
Building social connections is a crucial part of managing remote teams. Oftentimes, this is necessary to bring relief to the employees from work. You don’t have to do anything too hardcore here, but the little things will make a massive difference for the employees.
The purpose of social bonding is to build fun virtual team-building activities for your remote team. Ultimately, this is to pull them out of their work and stress to heed to their problems and frustrations. This helps you develop a happier team, which nurtures a productive workforce.
Frequent 1:1s with managers and peers
The most fundamental bonding is having frequent 1:1 meetings with managers and peers. The purpose here is to check the concerns and sources of frustrations each team member might be facing, but also greeting for positive achievements.
1:1s should be held at least once a month, but ideally more frequently. While this must address the concerns and frustrations of your team members within work, it’s equally important to heed what bothers them in their personal life, which might be interfering in their work.
If their source of trouble is within work, try to come up with a resolution to help them dodge their trouble. Always end the 1:1 with clear action items both participants can commit to do.
Onboarding as a Social Ice Breaker
Newcomers often have a hard time blending into their new team. The same will be the case for some members of the team; they’ll have a hard time welcoming someone new.
For some people, this is an awkward situation. As the manager of a remote team, you’ll have the ability to eliminate this scenario. If done right, you can make the newcomer and the team feel like a family.
Fostering 1:1 and open social formats for new joiners is a great way to make them feel socially connected to their new team. This is one of the best virtual team bonding activities. You can schedule a quick 10-minute 1:1 session for each team member with the new joiner during their first few days. This will help them connect and settle with the new faces.
You can also ask questions as below to discover more about them and to make them feel like you know what kind of a person they are:
- "What's weird about you?"
- Personal hobbies
- Favourite food
It’s a way of sharing and connecting. Executing this will let you bring in new employees and help them settle fast.
One of the best virtual team-building activities is social hours - a recurring event to talk about non-work-related matters.
This should be utilized to let the team members open up about what they feel like talking. A remote team will be housing people from all over the world. As a relief from work, they should be able to talk about their country, anecdotes, and anything else they might have in their head.
Playing social games like Pictionary, Spot the Faker, Roaster, etc is a fun virtual team-building activity. This is a great stress reliever from work and a way of engagement for the team.
It's a lot of fun to have an ongoing leaderboard for these activities. It builds up engagement over time, keeping the team hyped and excited for each gaming session.
Lunch and learn / Hobbie Friday / etc
This should be an event where a team member presents a personal achievement, hobby, or teaches something.
This could range from some technical learning to sports, cooking, or simply just a new book someone read and decided to share with the team.
Putting someone in the spotlight and giving them the opportunity to share something will empower them. This ultimately helps them become a more productive employee.
Celebrating birthdays and other relevant dates as a team
Another great virtual team-building activity is to celebrate birthdays and other relevant personal life celebration days as a team.
People tend to value a lot this sort of celebration, as they feel connected to each other. It's sort of a family tradition in the work context.
This is a simple activity that can potentially make a huge difference in someone’s life. Remembering and celebrating birthdays and other relevant days of your team members will make them feel remembered and special, even within their work system.
This boosts their confidence, productivity, and their overall commitment to work.
By putting these virtual team activities into effect, you’ll be able to build a more productive team that will love being part of your business. Strategically maintaining a healthy mind will let your employees love what they do, which will aid in boosting the quality of work.
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