6 Ways to Stay Connected With Your Virtual Team
Staying in touch with remote team members can be difficult enough for work projects, let alone connecting for something fun. However, company leadership needs to prioritize employee engagement because ignoring it can lead to a dip in morale or a boost in employee burnout or departure. If you’re struggling with ideas for how to connect or engage with remote employees or coworkers, check out some of the ideas below.
Recognize Team and Individual Work
Employee recognition is one the easiest ways to connect with team members. It builds confidence within individuals and provides a virtual substitute for a pat on the back. Because it can be hard for leadership to track everyone’s wins during a week, opening up recognition opportunities to all employees will help shine the light on someone’s success that may otherwise go unnoticed. Shoutouts or spotlights are an effective way to build up morale within a team.
Create Learning Times
Ongoing education throughout a career is vital to employee improvement. Plus, every industry is always undergoing changes, so training is necessary. Although some people will take steps to self-educate, it’s worthwhile to create ways for all employees to learn. Whether it’s a presentation on a new safety protocol or a group discussion about some upcoming changes, set aside time weekly or bi-weekly to learn as a team. There’s plenty of free resources both industry-specific and career-oriented that are available online to use at your company.
Have a Cook-Off
Employees most likely miss lunch hour chats or office potlucks. Here’s a way to bring it back to them. Ask for volunteers to host a cooking session live-streamed from their kitchen. If you have the budget, you can even use a grocery delivery service to send ingredients to employees for the meal being cooked. These sessions are a great way to practice public speaking or running a meeting for people, so it can be written off as productive learning time too. If that isn’t possible, consider hosting a virtual lunch hour where everyone can share what they’re eating. Food is fuel for employees, so this is a chance to help switch up their everyday meals.
Celebrate Special Events
Birthdays and work anniversaries deserve acknowledgment within a business. These are also small chances to break away from the daily grind and celebrate something special. Even if it doesn’t include a cake in the break room, fun eblasts or half-hour video meetings can provide an escape from work for a little while. Plus, it boosts positive feelings within teams, because getting recognition is always fun.
Build a Playlist
Music means a variety of things to people, so having teammates share playlists can be a great way to learn more about each other. This could be their favorite songs or focused on a theme such as powering through a hard project or background noise. Many music platforms offer collaborative playlist building options perfect for companies to use. Find a way to share these playlists with everyone, be it on social channels or as an opening to a meeting. Music can set the tone for how a day goes, so crank up the tunes and get everyone in a great mood!
Set Up Game Time
It’s important to help employees relax, even during working hours. In the office, it was easy for individuals to turn around and chat with one another periodically throughout the day. Now in a remote setting, this isn’t as feasible. So games are one way to create a fun atmosphere. There are a lot of online board games available for companies to use, from traditional trivia to competitive team-based gaming. This is also another way to encourage learning within the workplace. Teams or departments can work together to solve problems together or leadership can offer a prize to encourage more participation as well as some fun competition.
At Automationtechies, we recommend giving Game Show Battle Rooms a try. Our employees enjoyed it so much that we’ve done it 3 times and are already planning our next session! It’s a one-hour hosted virtual event where teams face off playing three different game show games. The casual competition is fun for all and a great way to bond. Our team always leaves feeling happier and more connected.
Companies looking to boost their remote team’s morale can try any of the ideas mentioned above, all while having a fun time with their employees. When working from home, it can be easy to fall into a pattern, but breaking away from it and meeting up with team members can help boost productivity and reduce employee burnout. So what are you waiting for? Go have some team fun!
This article is written by Kristy Fitch, Recruiter at Automationtechies.