Building strong engagement within a remote team could be really challenging. When you are in the office there is a lot of ways to build connectivity and to engage with the team; and also to build strong professional relationships that you are lacking when you’re distributed around the globe. How to build efficient professional relationships and keep a remote team engaged?
#1: Team Blog, Space or Website
Actually I’ve already outlined this information in the Project Communication Plan episode. By the way, if you want to know how to facilitate project communication you definitely want to check out this video.
SO, team space, team blog, or team website. I’d like would like to point out a little bit different things today rather than I have already mentioned in the Project Communication plan. This special space really helps to build team engagement, team communication and team relationships. There you have an opportunity to not only keep people on the same page about the project, but also to keep people on the same page about what is going on within the team in general.
What I would also advise to include in this kind of collaboration is the separate page where you can keep information or BIOs about every member of your team. First of all, it will increase connectivity, because people will be able to get to know each other better. When they get to know
each other better, they feel more comfortable and they perform better.
Another great reason why would you want to keep BIOs of your teammates in your private team space is because if you’re going to have another new team member it will really facilitate the familiarization process and this person will just have a chance to visit this page and to get to know who he or she is going to work with. Also, it will help him or her to remember the names the titles, and simply the things people like doing within your team. What is more, when you know someone in person it is easy to communicate and to collaborate because you know the personality and you’re not just seeing a strange avatar.
By the way, a good move would be to ask everybody use real photos on avatars rather than just some plain pictures. It also increases connectivity and visualizes the personality.
#2: Daily Meetings
You know I have already mentioned scrum meetings here. As well as how to properly organize them. However, I would like to outline information about scrum meetings here and to stress how much important they are. Such meetings are really helping to keep people organized and keep people engaged into work. People are getting involved when they are meeting regularly on a daily basis.
What is more, if they know what to expect out of this kind of meeting it is gonna be really-really helpful in terms of organizing your team. What is the key here, is to keep this daily meetings within the same duration and at the same time every day.
When you’re introducing yourself to the team you really need to let them know that you are going to have these ones on ones; and they are going to be scheduled with every single member of your team on a regular basis.
Definitely, this is the time for your teammates, this is the time that you are allocating to help and to support others, and to help them grow professionally.
#4: Knowledge Sharing
We are getting closer to the fun activities and number four in my list of tips
is professional knowledge sharing. Here I’m talking about the virtual workshops or masterminds.
Within your team when working remotely it is extremely difficult to meet everyone in person I know that many companies are organizing such events when people are just getting together and spending time together, getting to know each other and so on. However, this could happen really rare.
What is more important is to increase, build and grow the connectivity among all the team members from the very beginning. This will help to level up the productivity, to level up engagement and to speed up the performing stage of the team development process.
When it comes to professional sharing I’m suggesting to organize kind of workshops, or meet-ups, or masterminds let’s say once a month. You are going to pick someone out of the team and this person is going to share what he or she has learned during the past period of time. It is important to outline what this knowledge is, how he or she managed to learn this, and how it is helpful.
I would also advise including the information on how he or she is going to use this knowledge; and potentially, how this knowledge could be useful for others. Definitely this could be something not only that relates to the current project the team is engaged in, but to professional knowledge in general. During these kind of meetings people can share their feedbacks, ideas or suggestions about the shareable information.
#5: Happy Hour
Tip number five which is actually something that is not released to projects, but it helps to develop connectivity and professional relationships; as well as to help people to get to know each other better. This is a weekly happy hour.
Happy hour is time when you just potentially can spend together with your team after let’s say the business day on Friday when everybody has already stopped their work. You can hop on a call, get some treats, maybe some drinks, talk and have nice conversations within your team. You can definitely pick some random topic for these kind of meetings, but here are some ideas. They can help you facilitate those meetings and give you some understanding and impression of what to expect when you are getting on a call together.
For instance, you can share proud moments. Usually this is something what people are getting prepared for. Let’s say, a day before you’re sending an email to your team and asking them to think about the very proud moment in their life. This should be something they would want to share with others. For example, they became parents; or maybe they have earned some new skills; or they have tried out some new sport that they were planning for a long time; maybe they have run a marathon, who knows. Just ask people to think of that and to get prepared to share it with your teammates.
Another interesting idea could be to share four facts about yourself where three facts are true and one is false. You would also need people to get prepared for that. Let’s say, on Thursday you’re going to send an email to your teammates and to explain the rules of this game for the Friday happy hour. Everybody is preparing this kind of information and when the time comes you’re just initiating it starting from yourself and then asking everybody around the circle to share their facts so that others will have a chance to guess what was the false out of four.