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4 Methods to Keep Teams Connected

It’s all too easy these days to put team-building events on the back burner. Is anyone up for another video call? It is, however, the responsibility of the leader to guarantee that the team is engaged and performing well. And if you don’t schedule time for team building, your team will be less productive.

Team Success

modern video camera hanging on display of laptop
Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Although improving an individual’s skill set is vital for personal development, studies have shown that individual expertise is not what ultimately makes teams and firms more competitive and inventive. As corny as it may sound, collaboration is what makes the dream come true.

Google’s well-known team dynamics research confirmed a group’s culture that guarantees employees feel safe, comfortable, included, and respected — is the most important component for team success.

The Importance of Social Interaction

It makes perfect sense. Social interactions are what bind us together and allow us to connect with one another. The more comfortable we feel opening up, sharing ideas, and asking questions, the better we work together — which is crucial for high-functioning teams.

The responsibility of a manager for developing social interaction and team development has the advantage of being entertaining. Yes, remote work, video calls, and a lack of practice can make being “social” feel awkward or difficult. However, many teams are succeeding, and they’re having a good time doing it.

How do you go about creating a space for team building and sociability once you’ve agreed that it’s important? Isn’t it true that social time should be unplanned? Maybe it used to be that we could stumble into each other in the workplace hallway or have casual conversations at our workstations. Companies must proactively create opportunities for people to interact now that social interaction is at an all-time low.

While we’re all working alone, here are some strategies to assist managers cultivate connections and provide opportunities for social interactions.

Give the Meetings Purpose

Although preventing virtual conference fatigue necessitates restricting video calls to those deemed “essential,” team-building video conferences are critical for the health and success of a team. Prioritizing live team-building activities while making other meetings, such as presentations and updates, asynchronous (recorded and available for viewing at any time) is a viable option.

Make use of part of your team’s “live time” for critical collaborative activities like strategy planning and offsite-style meetings to discuss past lessons learned and future goals. Curated “annual launch events,” which bring together leaders from throughout the organization for a virtual retreat, are an excellent example of how some companies are accomplishing this.

These gatherings allow CEOs to share personal stories, connect employees to the company’s mission and values, and generate enthusiasm for the future year and its objectives. Companies are spreading the information out over multiple days, making sessions function across time zones and including time for mindfulness, physical activity, and wellbeing, in contrast to the in-person strategy for similar events.

Keep it Casual

Not every event needs to be meticulously planned down to the last detail. In fact, if you schedule a meeting time with no agenda, social ties might grow. Try an open virtual lunch conference hour, where people can jump on to dine together, a “bring your pet” happy hour, or a new employee “shindig,” where new hires may meet and speak with long-time employees.

You may make these casual gatherings even more successful by reaching out and inviting those who may feel unable to attend due to a lack of time but would like to network. Use workplace messaging apps to send images (here’s my family, here’s what we did this weekend, etc) and amusing anecdotes to keep these social relationships continuing.

Tie in Some Personal Strings

It’s critical to continue to honor the contributions of individuals on your team while also maintaining business traditions. Even simple festivities these days need a little more effort, but the rewards can be just as rewarding.

New infants, weddings, retirements, and holidays can all be celebrated in unique ways. Make congratulatory or humorous films, sign virtual cards, or photoshop a “group” team image.

Give Things an Edge

Team bonding may be made even more enjoyable and memorable by thinking outside the box and planning surprising activities you can undertake together over a video conference. Work together in a virtual escape room to solve puzzles, or go on a treasure hunt and “show and tell” what you find around your house.

Play online quizzes, Jeopardy, or Among Us, sing karaoke, construct floral arrangements, hire a magician, or make (free) pixel art by coloring in a spreadsheet template. Ship lovely, handpicked boxed presents, such as snacks, plants, or holiday decorations, and have everyone open them together.

Carve Out Social Time

After a year of the current crisis, it’s clear that virtual team-building solutions aren’t a quick fix; you’ll need social activities like these in place for the foreseeable future, as many employees will continue to work from home in the coming year. Putting social virtual activities on the team calendar isn’t easy, especially when more than two-thirds of employees say they’re burned out. Social time is crucial for growing your team’s ability to collaborate.

Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”. To be successful is to have no limitations, it is to work through all obstacles, to have extreme passion for life, and love for others, and this seems to be the underlying motto of Amber Drake’s life. Drake is a highly accomplished, world-renowned, and published book author, freelance writer and editor, inspirational speaker, an inspiring teacher, a well-reputed canine behaviourist, a canine cancer researcher, and the CEO of Canine Companions. As a child, she was keenly interested in the veterinary field and this interest paved way for her to be the successful businesswoman she is today. Starting with an Associate of Science degree in Biology in 2007 from Jamestown Community College, she has since expanded her knowledge horizon by acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree with courses from both SUNY Fredonia and Cornell University, followed by a Master of Arts Degree in Education (2011) from Ashford University, a Post-Master’s Educational Certification, and a Doctorate in ABD from the North Central University, Prescott Valley Arizona. Driven by her love for dogs, she regards her company, Canine Companions, as her greatest work-related accomplishment. She wrote the book, ‘Dog Talk: What Your Dog Wants You To Know’ as a comprehensive guide to understanding the behavior of dogs. She has since been involved in numerous writing jobs in the field, varying from writing about veterinary medicine for pet insurance companies to serving as the Co-founder and Vice President at Preferable Pups. She actively engages in content management, copywriting and research work, ghost-writing, and content marketing for organizations around the world. In addition to being an incredibly successful writer, canine behaviorist, and a CEO, she is an educator as well as an experienced curriculum developer. She is a Professor of Veterinary Medicine at Mentoray, where she teaches and develops curriculum. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Professional Sciences at Kaplan University and an Adjunct Instructor of Biology at Jamestown Community College (10+ years). Drake is a woman of many skills. She has been in the freelance content writing field for almost 7 years now with a vast amount of writing experience throughout the past ten years. She is a proficient copywriter, blogger, and has years of experience in content management and development, content creation proofreading, written communication, and correspondence. She has a number of certifications including, but not limited to, Canine Psychology, SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Snapchat Marketing, and Google AdWords. Drake is a woman of extreme passion with great love for her work as a canine behaviourist, writer, and college professor. You can read more about her on her website http:/www.AmberLDrake.org or connect with her on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/specialistamberdrake.

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