Remote Teams Need Help

What is the value of a virtual workshop or virtual team building program for your organization?

These times are a’ changin’.  We are in an unprecedented period where more teams are working remotely than ever before.  Obviously, the current health crisis and “safer at home” regulations have made that a reality, but really this change started before Covid- 19. There are many macro forces powering the need for constant transformation in workplaces: globalization, game-changing technology, more diversity in the workplace, and the constant innovation and disruptive competition.  For example, virtual events are disrupting the live event industry.  Our organizations and the people that drive the results of those organizations must be flexible, nimble, and do everything they can to build strong cohesive teams.

Remote teams create a different level of challenge to create cohesiveness.  Leaders must be intentional if they want to build a team that does not have the benefit of chit chat at the water cooler and stopping by each other’s desk to talk about their weekends.  Team members on remote teams often feel disconnected or unsupported.  We see these teams saying they have a hard time with work/life balance.  These folks often say they go from meeting to meeting online and these meetings are usually all business and no conversation or connection.  We are hearing from teams that they are feeling isolated and lacking the time to spend with their managers and coworkers.   However, with some effort and the right programs virtual team building can take place in authentic valuable ways. 

When Connections Team Building & Training took our live workshops to a virtual platform, we knew there would be some challenges, however we also knew the need was too great to not figure out those challenges.   We started by dividing our team building programs both live & remote into two categories. The first being bonding experiences that are fun and provide diversion for remote teams to let their guard down, have permission to play, and just get to know each other in fun ways.  These programs designed for virtual platforms include an escape room where teams divide into rooms to solve challenges, puzzles, etc. to solve a mystery, or a virtual game show, and a scavenger hunt from home.  These programs allow your team to have fun and work together to communicate and solve challenges.  All of these can be customized to add your organizations’ leaders, values, trivia, etc.  By working together and bonding they build that essential foundation of trust. The other side of the coin are programs designed to truly build cohesion and strengthen team function.  We utilize online assessments that each individual takes.  They are then given access to an online platform that opens a world of knowledge about themselves and their coworkers.  They then are given valuable strategies to stretch themselves and relate better to their teammates to build more effective relationships.

This information we provide is not only game changing for building trust and effectiveness on a team, but the real benefit comes in through the virtual workshops.  Although the participants have access to all this information for the entire future of their employment at the organization, we also realize that sometimes resources are not utilized as we get busy.  The workshop will use the online platform to walk through a variety of team activities, handouts, videos, and practices for more effective interactions that can be maintained long term.  We create a culture of understanding that “they are not doing it wrong because they do not do it my way.”

 Teams need to build the muscle of specific behaviors of cohesiveness.   Our workshops help them practice using these muscles.  To be cohesive, teams must understand themselves and others, which starts by creating trust amongst each other.  Then they must have rules of engagement around having healthy conflict. The best teams are able to debate, because without the ability to weigh in they are unable to buy-in to decisions that are made collectively.  Once they can have this dialogue and debate over ideology, they must create a system to gain clarity & commitment on all the decisions that are made collectively.  This process of commitment will allow the team to hold each other accountable using a common language around expectations.

All of these processes and tools lead to collective results.  People are more engaged and empowered by being part of something that matters and by being the team that gets “the win” together.  This entire process is done through the guidance of a certified facilitator and partner of Everything DiSCtm and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive TeamTm derived from the bestselling book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.  Whether you are ready to do some team building virtually, in-person, with a certified facilitator, or on your own your teams are craving connection and wanting to feel they are part of something even when they are alone in their living room.  Humans are tribe beings that need others. The sense of being a part of the greater good results in a huge competitive advantage, better returns and results, and cohesive teams are just way more fun to be a part of.