Remote employee training and development helps make people more productive individually, but the situation with remote teams is a bit more complicated. The productivity of a team largely depends upon the efficiency of communication and relationships between the team members. Therefore, making teams perform to the best of their ability is a challenge. In order to achieve this, you’ll need not only to provide your remote employees with training but also to organize a variety of bonding activities which will turn these individuals into a cohesive and efficient team.
You can use a variety of tech solutions to help your team bond. Note that keeping employees connected is the most important factor for remote team success. Therefore, the first thing you have to do is to procure a solution your team will be able to use to stay connected at all times.
Start a team vlog channel
Vlogging is fun but having a channel for your team is more than a way to bring some levity to their lives. You can also use it as an effective tool for employee training and development. The channel can be used for sharing all kinds of educational content as well as videos your team members make, which can also be one method of supervising remote employees.
A vlog also presents a great opportunity to encourage team bonding. To do this, you should ask your employees to share some short personal videos. They could be clips where people show off their hobbies or some special skills, or videos of the places they live in.
Have one of the team members post this kind of video every week and your team will be able to learn about each other in this way. Discussions in the comments under videos can be used for keeping employees connected.
Encouraging vlogging is one of the most basic but useful tips for managing remote employees and promoting their mental health. As Nemanja Manojlovic told Lifehacker, being isolated and feeling alone cause great distress to individuals, and sharing their stories can help them work through their issues. As over 20% of remote employees report feeling isolated, this particular method of team building is the best you can use to help them.
Keep your team healthy and motivated through fitness contests
For a good leader, supervising remote employees goes beyond simply monitoring their work performance and results. It is also your responsibility to assist them in staying healthy, capable, and motivated to work. A fitness challenge can help you achieve all of this in a single go. Jonathan Matthews, responsible for employee training and development for Bid4Papers, says that creative personalities, in particular, show the best results when there is a bit of competition thrown in. He also notices how happy employees are more productive.
Physical exercise makes people happier by releasing endorphins into their system. It also boosts health, which enhances positive emotions and attitude. Thus holding fitness contests for your team is a great way to give them a boost. For example, start a challenge of walking over 20,000 steps on days off and have your employees post screenshots of their fitness tracking apps.
You can also combine this method of remote team building with the previous one and have your employees share videos of their favorite workouts. Then use video conference software for keeping employees connected when they perform the workout that won your company-wide fitness contest.
Play all kinds of computer games
Kuty Shalev, a writer for Entrepreneur, offers gamification as one of the most effective tips for managing remote employees. Using the example of Foursquare, he offers to create a system of badges that will help manage employee behavior and provide encouragement and create incentive. The important thing to consider here is that you need to establish badges as a method of support instead of competition.
However, there are many other ways to use gamification for team building. Of course, you can use the tools you rely on for keeping employees connected to create all kinds of simple games, such as writing a story where each person offers a sentence or a paragraph. There are also simple word games, and tools like Scribbl offer a chance for your remote team to enjoy Pictionary.
You should also not discard the modern gaming industry. Playing online and co-operative games together will help your employees to improve their communication skills and teamwork. Of course if you choose to do this, you might need to invest more effort into supervising remote employees to make sure they don’t lose themselves in the game.
Speaking of that vlogging channel, you can use it to inspire a company-wide game of charades.
Remote coffee meetings
Experts advise that remote workers should go out and work from coffee shops or co-working spaces in order to socialize. This helps people feel less isolated, improves their mental health and boosts their productivity. It can also be used to help your remote team to bond.
To do this, you’ll need to make sure that your whole team goes out on such a “coffee meeting” regardless of where they are. Then, they should connect through a video conference, and sit in that shop with a cup of their favorite coffee, and chat with each other.
This, in fact, is the perfect way to build a team from remote employees. All you need is to ensure they socialize regularly regardless of being hundreds of miles apart.
Bio: Kate Bregovic is a wife, mother, freelance writer, and fitness enthusiast. She covers many topics – from business management trends to fitness regimes. When she’s not writing, she’s planning outdoor activities for her family, cooking, or working out at the gym. Follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrs.kate.bregovic