Team spirit is one of the key components to building a successful organization and keeping employees aligned with the organization’s goals. Organizations invest in team building because of its many benefits. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent rise in remote working, organizations must ensure that team spirit is maintained even if employees are not face to face. Here are some tips that managers can use to build and maintain team spirit while working remotely.
Managing a 100 % remote team requires a commitment to engage with team members in order to produce results. While each organization may take a different approach to this but generally speaking, managers should focus on three aspects – outlook, process and tools. Outlook requires that managers operate with a high level of trust and transparency. While working on the process, managers should codify how teams will maintain communication. And finally, ensuring that the team has the right technology and tools to collaborate effectively is also a part of the manager’s move to ensure team spirit stays high.
Communication is critical while managing remote teams. It is necessary to communicate clearly with team members and follow up after to ensure that they have no misunderstanding. Establish a regular meeting time every day, with a set agenda so that team members are on the same page.
Offer frequent updates or progress reports on Slack/MS Teams/Confluence channels (for example) to teammates to ensure the team is aware of the project progress. You could also designate a specific channel for general topics either on Slack or MS Teams where colleagues can post helpful resources that are not necessarily project-specific but are related to work-life balance. In a way, this replicates the watercooler chats that employees would have onsite and is a healthy way to maintain team spirit and communication.
Team members can feel isolated while working remotely. Managers should take the extra effort to reach out to them regularly, either via a quick phone call or even a message with a funny sticker or a GIF.
Managers will have to work with greater trust with remote teams. They will need to focus on the result, instead of micromanaging the team at every step. They will need to be flexible about certain aspects when people work from home and may need to juggle work with childcare, if the outcomes are not affected or delayed.
And last but not the least, remember to have fun! Designate a channel that your teams can use to unwind – maybe share funny selfies or GIFS that will ensure that it’s not all dull work and help teams bond quickly.