Fostering good communication and team connections is an obvious key to successfully leading remote teams.
The savviest of managers already know that relationships, connections and communication are essential for leading remote teams, because they lead to higher morale, greater employee loyalty, increased productivity and improved employee retention.
But if you’re one of the many managers charged with leading a remote team, you’ve probably found out that achieving success in these areas is harder than it seems.
Corporate virtual meetings, emails and text messages aren’t exactly the most personal ways to build relationships and form bonds among your team, leaving many business leaders charged with the challenge of remote team building.
Practical Tactics for Leading Remote Teams With Improved Communication and Connections
Several practical tactics have been proven successful in building a team with strong connections and communication practices. Combined, these tactics can form a robust strategy for leading your remote teams.
Here, we’ve outlined three of the most effective yet easy-to-implement tactics for improving communication, fostering connections and building a strong remote team.
1. Facilitate Interactions Within Your Team as Much as Possible
Intentionality goes a long way in leading remote teams. Communication and connections rarely happen organically when team members aren’t in the same workspace.
Schedule routine individual and group check-ins with your employees to see how they are doing. Encourage employees to utilize their cameras on video calls whenever possible so they can see each other’s faces and expressions, which strengthens bonds among your team.
Also, track progress toward achieving key milestones and other successes as a group. You may also consider encouraging your team to do the same with their peers and catch up with each other outside of the daily work topics.
Isolation for remote workers can feel overwhelming, so let them know they aren’t alone and that they are welcome to contact you or their colleagues as needed. But remember that different personality types establish connections in different ways.
It’s also important to develop standard communication practices. Let your team know when, how and with what tools they should interact with you and each other for different needs. This means that your team always knows what to expect when it comes to communication.
2. Encourage Recognition Practices
Employee recognition is always important for helping employees feel more connected to their work and your organization. But when it comes to leading remote teams, it’s even more important.
Without recognition for their efforts and hard work, virtual team members may wonder whether you can fully see and value their contributions to the company.
Here are a few ways to encourage recognition when leading remote teams:
- Schedule virtual employee recognition celebrations
- Encourage all employees to reach out personally to their colleagues to congratulate them on a job well done or an achievement
- Ask senior leaders to recognize and reward your team members when appropriate
3. Host Fun, Interactive Gatherings or Remote Team Games to Accelerate Team Building
When leading remote teams, it’s important to set aside times for fun, lighthearted engagement. These interactions can take the place of the typical chatter that would otherwise happen in an office setting that allows team members to enjoy themselves and their peers.
Try a few of these remote team building games and virtual icebreakers for remote teams to encourage employees to enjoy some lighthearted moments together and connect with one another in a social role:
- Schedule a virtual campfire. Invite your team to a virtual campfire. Encourage them to make some s’mores, sip some cocoa and exchange stories for some time of informal fun. Teambuilding.com even recommends sending your team members s’mores kits and asking everyone to join a singalong campfire song.
- Send everyone on a speedy scavenger hunt. Remote team games can be fun and simple. To conduct a virtual scavenger hunt, simply set aside a few minutes to prompt employees to find something in their home or perform a task—like to show off their pet or share the cover of the book they are reading.
- Encourage remote meetups. Not all remote team building activities need to be company-sponsored or even team-wide, so let your employees know you encourage virtual gatherings simply for the sake of having fun. You could even recommend that employees enjoy lunch together like they would on an on-site lunch break.
Learn More About Leading Remote Teams From a Talent Advisor
Team building, communication and connections are the fundamentals of managing any team, so it only makes sense that they become even more important for leading remote teams.
If you’re still looking for strategies to enhance remote communication and build powerful team cohesion, there are still many innovative and engaging ways to make your team as happy and productive as possible.
Our professionals at Warren Averett Staffing & Recruiting can help you assess the right remote or hybrid strategy for your organization and provide top-notch recruiting outside your local market to let you build your dream team, no matter where they live.
Schedule a time to chat with us to discuss how we can help your company build and manage dynamic and engaged remote and hybrid teams.