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5 Top Tips For Team Building In A Virtual World

Tips On Keeping Your Team Connected

The pandemic has presented employers with a whole new set of challenges for employee and team engagement during these challenging times while dealing with all of this separation and anxiety created by Covid.   

To put it lightly, 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, some far more than others. That’s why creative employee engagement activities are more important than ever before. 

With so many teams working remotely, communication and bonds between colleagues, clients and customers is strained. Economic uncertainty creates added stresses for organizations and their employees. However, there is always a silver lining.  Perhaps one of the biggest is that we have all come to learn how to use technology in new ways to connect, motivate and inspire each other.

Here we take a look at five of the most effective ways to engage your people and build team spirit while getting much needed engagement with others within the safety of your home or separated work space. 

  • Virtual Lunch & Learns

  • A Game of Five Questions

  • Photo Competition

  • A guest speaker or stream a great video together followed by Q & A

  • Host a Goat 2 Meeting (my personal favorite)

Virtual Lunch and Learns 

One great way to keep your people engaged is by hosting a virtual lunch and learn on an ongoing basis. Bring in outside experts for a variety of topics from work related to more personal topics. Consider launching a program series, whether it’s weekly, monthly, or any cadence you choose, with a survey (surveymonkey.com) to get some feedback to determine topics of greatest interest.

Consider engaging team members to research something relevant to your industry that they find useful and interesting and have them present it to the team. 

Five Questions

Five Questions is an awesome team-building game that opens the floor for agreement, discussion, and debate. There are two ways to do this.  One is to send out questions, some crazy or trivia based,  on a regular basis through group email on your collaborative work platform. Give everybody a few hours to answer, loosely tabulate similarities and then open the table for discussion in the same format or perhaps on Zoom or a similar platform.

The other way to play is directly on Zoom.  Promote it as Five Questions that could change the world, (or something like that).

For example, your five questions could include:

  1. What is your favorite movie?
  2. What is the one word that would best describe you?
  3. Who inspires you the most and why?
  4. What do you like most about our company or what would most improve our business?
  5. What is one thing that we don’t know about you?

Depending on the number of attendees you might ask one question at a time in a round robin format or just go through each of the five.  Maybe have a prize for the best answers.

Remember to switch up the questions to fit the interests of your team. The idea is to keep them engaged, keep them talking, and keep the team building at full steam ahead.  

Photo Competition

The advent of smartphones has made everyone a photographer of sorts. Invite your team members to share a picture and have a vote to see who’s the best. The upside to this competition is its simplicity and the little time it takes to complete. Plus, you never know who has that exquisite eye for photography. A skill that could come in handy for sharing the things your employees do.  You can do this live on line although sharing phone images can be trickey online.  It’s better to have them sent in and organized so they can be equally presented.

Guest speaker(s) or stream a great video together followed by Q & A 

Put together a speaker series or an occasional event.  There are so many topics to consider from work related specialists and trainers to health, finance and more.  Also consider TED talks or other streaming content that can be watched as a group.  Either way, it’s the Q & A that can bring people together in creative engagement.

Host a virtual event with Goat 2 Meeting

After weeks of working from home or in solitude, video calls can start to feel a little monotonous. But what if there was a fresh, nonhuman face in your virtual meeting? Maybe a cow, a llama, a … goat?

That’s the idea behind Goat 2 Meeting, a service run by the Sweet Farm animal sanctuary in Half Moon Bay, Calif., south of San Francisco. The farm works to save farm animals from slaughter and to educate visitors about the impacts of factory farming.

After your Goat 2 Meeting you might ask your participants to introduce their own best animal friends.  It’s always interesting to make the comparisons and enjoy the camaraderie.  

Bonus tips: a fun meaningful virtual event can also be a great way to share company news or updates.  Simply fold it in something like an infomercial. Keep it lite, focused and short.

Getting people together on a personal level is always challenging so good incentives for participating will help.  Maybe a paid day off for those who participate in all of a series of events or something along those lines.  Prizes, dinner for two or more delivered, a bottle of wine or any one of so many possible rewards can help build your audience.  Contests are a good choice because they are fun and can be informative.

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