Business managers are always looking out for ways to bring teams closer to each other. In recent times, we have learned that virtual team building, and in-person team building are both different things and require different techniques.
With virtual team building icebreakers, the goal is to create personal connections, create space, and a quality work relationship with your co-workers who work remotely in a virtual environment. Nowadays, virtual meetings start with a lazy and awkward attitude. Thus, these icebreakers are used to overcome that awkward, lazy attitude, and create an effective and positive environment before work gets underway in earnest.
Importance of Virtual Team Building
It’s obvious that a team that has never met in real life will always find it hard to engage with other members. Tackling problems, teaming up, and proper communications will also pose unique challenges for the team. Moreover, virtual team building activities can also distract members from feelings of loneliness in the workspace.
Numerous research studies have indicated that cohesive teams are more effective when working. To build an effective virtual team, there are several activities that managers can encourage.
Benefits of Icebreakers
It is important that your employees feel engaged and valued. The more engaged a team is, the more motivated they become. To keep your employees engaged, icebreaker practices could be the most proficient strategy. Apart from that, it brings dynamic learning and encourages innovative thoughts within a group. It’s one of the best ways to start engaging more with other members of the team instead of working in a virtual silo.
Everyone has a different style of learning things. Icebreakers allow individuals to share their learning styles and how they manage to face challenges during work hours. Socializing and engagement between employees have improved communication, which is the key to running a successful company, and no doubt, icebreakers play a vital role in engaging employees.
Drawbacks of Icebreakers
The significance of team building icebreakers is no doubt vital in engaging employees so that it keeps them motivated, but it also consumes a great deal of time. On occasion, it might be a wise idea to focus more on work instead of icebreakers within the team.
In some cases, people may not want to engage with you as a team member. You have to understand that not everyone is as open to new team building activities or engagements as others, and it’s one of the main reasons why you may want to avoid using these team building activities all the time.
How to Use Icebreakers in Virtual Meetings
Employees who are working remotely need to engage with each other, and if your company is not doing it already, you need to think about hosting such activities.
Not only does it help in building a rapport, but it also ensures that the manager is able to figure out how each member of the team is doing, and how they can optimize performance. If you notice one member not participating as well as they should, you can simply talk to them in a private meeting to determine what’s wrong.
This will ensure that you remain up to date with how each employee is doing throughout the remote team. There are now quite a few different remote team building activities that you can conduct in your team.
Understand Your Members
Master the working style when you are working with new individuals. Attempt to know whether they are somebody who leans toward calling or messaging. Do they favor working at another location or require breaks during work where they can just relax their mind? Understanding and realizing somebody’s working and learning style avoids numerous future issues and draws communication lines in the middle.
This is an important way of figuring out your team members properly and knowing what makes them tick.
Another excellent way to build connections between team members is to have them introduce each other online. Ask about their interests and other things instead of limiting the conversation exclusively toward work. This is a good way to relieve the tension and make it easy for people to talk freely.
The Rose, Thorn, and Bud Method
The rose, thorn, and bud activity has become a popular team building activity over the years. A rose is simply any highlight or success, whereas a thorn is a challenge that they face or need support for. New ideas that could eventually turn into something big are considered buds. You could ask team members to share these for each member to build trust.
Intranet Treasure Hunt
You can organize a treasure hunt game virtually, asking your employees to participate and get a chance to win a prize. You can promote your intranet article, create an amazing video, or email letting employees know when the treasure hunt starts, how to participate and when it ends. Teams can work together, or one can play individually as well to win the prize. It’s important to promote it as much as possible to build hype regarding the event.
Make a Team Video
You can ask your employees to make a short video of them to mention how they support their co-workers while working, or if they think teamwork is important, or any other kind of questions. In the end, combine all the short videos and make a movie by putting effects and sound. This way, the team will feel connected to each other. This could also go well on your company’s meet the team page.
War of Wizards
One of the most popular live activities for 90 minutes includes games, puzzles, storytelling, and other fantasy elements that are woven in. It’s a fun way to explore your team’s creativity. War of Wizards is one of the most effective activities in terms of engaging virtual team building.
An organization’s key achievement is engagement. An organization that is able to engage employees closely and keep them motivated, despite working remotely, could consider itself successful in multiple ways. It shows that organizations are empathetic toward their workers and are willing to take steps to promote engagement and ensure that they are able to manage work properly.
Virtual team building icebreakers are simply methodologies used to establish rapport and foster an encouraging climate for employees where they don’t end up stuck in responsibility and think about nothing else except work.