COVID-19 has forced a revolution in how people work. To maintain the safety and well-being of employees, organizations have adopted a remote work culture. To help you on your journey, we have assembled a team-building toolkit just for you!

Trust improves team performance

A recent research report by Gartner shows that organizations with high levels of trust increase average employee engagement by 76% over those with low levels of trust. It’s important that managers establish this mutual trust to ensure the success of their remote teams.

Your Team Building Toolkit

Be Transparent and Visible – leaders often fret about not being able to see the work and routines of their employees outside of an office. Your goal should be to create a measurement system that emphasizes outcomes and not just how long a task takes to complete. Setting clear expectations and measurements of success leads to mutual trust.

This is a challenge for many traditionally-operating leaders who aren’t comfortable if they can’t see what’s actually happening. If that’s you, acknowledge it, and seize this opportunity to shift your approach and improve productivity.

Be Available – working remotely can be very isolating. Try to prioritize employees when they’re stuck or could benefit from your feedback in order to break free. Absolutely be clear as to how you’d like to be communicated with as you juggle your own responsibilities. Zoom, while effective isn’t everyone’s first choice. In fact, we’re seeing many clients more comfortable with an old-fashioned phone call. Try to emphasize formats that allow for the maximum level of communication, to minimize confusion and misunderstandings (e.g. e-mail). Finally, make sure you’re clear on expectations for response times for all parties.

Create Team Experiences to Increase Engagement – for some this is an eye-roller, but consider ways that you can recreate some of the traditional office interactions using apps like Houseparty for virtual gatherings, welcomes, and goodbyes. Options such as QuizBreaker and Water Cooler Trivia can also be a welcome distraction.

You might want to consider having your groups create profiles of interests, hobbies, and development areas so that employees can have the opportunity to spontaneously connect and collaborate with people who share common interests.

Don’t Forget Confidentiality – everyone still needs to be mindful of keeping client and company information private and protected. Make sure to remind people of this – and under what circumstances information can be shared with people outside of the group, and what sort of tools are proper to use.

The other side to this is that you may become privy to personal aspects of your employee’s lives that you’re not comfortable with – their children, elder and other obligations – not to mention mental health stresses. While you’re not required to be their therapist, do attempt to empathize, and recognize that the workplace and personal worlds are colliding in new ways.

Recognition of What’s Important to the Team – working remotely can be an exceptionally difficult situation to send and receive recognition in a way that has a real impact. For each employee, try to determine how they’re needing that positive support from you:

Achievement – if a good challenge is important and personally rewarding to them, go out of your way to find those types of projects that cause them to stretch and feel engaged.

Status – there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be recognized, so if a higher profile opportunity is available, consider letting them lead in something with high visibility and especially if it’s being watched by key stakeholders.

Affiliation – not all projects go well and not all teams are harmonious. Could the missing element be someone who excels at building relationships and bringing out the best in others?

Vantage Point HR knows that COVID is presenting exceptional challenges to organizations of all types. Our diverse client base has helped us develop a wide-ranging set of tools, solutions, and positive outcomes for all kinds of workplace situations and hurdles. Let us know how we can help.