Truth be told: building trust in a team does not only apply to physical, offline offices. It is even more essential for virtual teams.
You may have experienced letting a team member go. It happens in business, right?
But take a closer look at your virtual team if you have noticed these warning signs:
- The team fails to share information
- Members don’t trust each other to deliver deadlines
- Recurring work issues
- Members are openly critical or cynical of each other
- Missed deadlines
Building trust within your virtual team is different from the physical unit. It takes a different approach to make virtual teams work.
So how do you build trust within your virtual team?
Before we work on the how’s, let’s find out the why’s.
Here are two fantastic reasons why building trust within your virtual team is essential:
1. It boosts team morale and productivity.
When your virtual team works, they are in front of the computer most of the time to get tasks done. In time, exchanges can become transactional because there is no human interaction. Building trust with your virtual team makes the work not only lighter but fun. Who wouldn’t want to see their team get things done with a smile?
When your team members communicate more often, they learn more from each other. The result? They provide support and motivate each other. Indeed, strong bonds equal to team morale.
In VA Staffer, we say that our virtual team can power your business. We also make sure that each team member is empowered. Our team members come from different parts of the world, but miles do not hinder us from working well. Get to know our fantastic team by clicking on this link.
2. It provides a better perspective.
If your virtual team is working miles from each other, potential concerns such as time zone differences could take place. Furthermore, since your team don’t see each other much, it is possible that members do not know each other well apart from the work that they do for you.
These situations call for building trust with your team through effective communication strategies. A weekly meeting could already make a significant impact in providing a better perspective for each team member.
In short, virtual team building leads to high performance.
Build trust within your team by engaging them in virtual team activities.
Here are virtual team building activities for high performance:
1. Engage the team in online games.
Yes, the same computer that your virtual assistant is using could be used to have fun with his co-members. Who says you couldn’t do Little Known Facts About Me and Two Pictures could only be used for physical interactions?
In one of my virtual teams, I experienced playing CashFlow Game 101 online. It was not only fun, but it also gave me lessons about money.
2. Create a Learning Day.
Establish a weekly Learning Day where your team could spend time together learning. For a start, you could teach them something that could help them in their work on in their career. Later on, you could assign each team member to take turns in sharing what they know.
You are hitting two birds with one stone with this activity: one, you allow team members to meet without talking about work and two, you are creating a learning community within your team.
3. Maximize your online tools.
Which do you prefer: Slack, WhatsApp, or Telegram? How about Trello or Asana?
These online tools effectively make your team’s work done on time. Why don’t you use these to foster team bonding?
You may create channels or cards on these online tools where members could say something good about a co-member after a long day of work. You could also use them to have a water cooler where they could talk about anything non-work related – sports, cats, kids, dogs, more cats, and more.
4. Schedule a Happy Hour or Movie Night.
Happy Hour and Movie Night could also apply to virtual teams!
With many apps to choose from, your team could sing their hearts out during your scheduled Happy Hour. Don’t force anyone to join (and sing!) if they don’t want to. A virtual card or a $5 bonus for a team member who belts it out best, maybe?
A Movie Night is also an excellent way to allow your virtual team bond. Stream a movie via a virtual conference call with screen-sharing ability. A live chat would allow for comments, anecdotes, and insights.
5. Get your Virtual Team Fit.
Most of your team members are spending the time sitting on their home desks. You could promote health and wellness by helping your team get fit. Allow your members to get suitable goals for themselves and provide fitness apps to track their goals (you may choose to provide paid trackers or leave it to the members to track their progress).
Give them a channel where they could share their fitness activities. You’d be surprised to see them sharing healthy recipes and exercise tips!
Lipnack and Stamps, who wrote the book, “Virtual Teams; People Working Across Boundaries with Technology” (2000), said, “Take a typical team, make it virtual and expect trouble.” Don’t let this happen to your virtual team. Build trust within your virtual organization through virtual team building activities and you’re sure to create an enjoyable working environment online.
How about you? What virtual team building activities do you give your team? Share them with us!
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