In today’s digital economy, more and more teams operate virtually. While there are a lot of benefits to working on a virtual team, this arrangement can make it difficult for team members to connect and form strong relationships. Yet these relationships are crucial for good collaboration.
So, how can you intentionally foster community and strong relationships within your virtual team?
Let’s take a look at the ways several leaders create bonds among members of their teams.
Celebrate wins together and encourage praise.
Natalie Lussier leads a growing team of experts who work remotely. Her team members are located in a variety of areas and across several time zones. She works intentionally to create synergy and community on her team by scheduling virtual meetings, in-person retreats, and 1:1 sessions to keep everyone connected and focused on the task at hand.
But she doesn’t stop there. Natalie weaves opportunities to celebrate and share praise into her overall team structure.
She knows that by intentionally asking team members to seek opportunities to praise one another, she is creating a positive working community inside her organization.
Create opportunities to relax and socialize.
When working together inside an office or storefront, team members have multiple opportunities to relax and socialize—either before or after work or during shared moments in the break room. Can you create similar opportunities in a virtual workplace? Laura Roeder, founder of Meet Edgar believes you can.
Laura spoke candidly about her efforts to bring people together and admitted that not every attempt is perfect.
Share a challenge that encourages everyone to connect.
Another great way to foster community is through providing a shared challenge—apart from the normal work-related tasks. Danny Iny, founder of Mirasee uses this approach to help his team connect and build strong bonds.
Was this event successful? Danny is excited about the results.
Create opportunities to gather in person if possible.
Many successful companies with virtual teams create opportunities for everyone to meet in person and collaborate together from time to time. These can include weekend retreats and in-person attendance at conferences or networking opportunities.
Dennis Klein, founder of Lodgify (www.lodgify.com) takes these in-person events one step further and creates opportunities for team building and fun. Dennis shared:
What are the benefits of this type of opportunity? Dennis says:
Of course, the foundation of a high impact team is its people.
As Rachel Cook of Sweet Spot Strategy notes, a successful team is made up of great people. Before you can build collaboration and community, you must first assemble the right group of experts.
What about you? How do you create a sense of community and collaboration among the people in your organization?