The use of online team building sessions is incredibly helpful for companies who have staff based in isolated and remote locations. If they cannot experience the benefits of working within an office or team environment in-person, technology should afford them the chance to tap into those advantages. This is a chance to see what is best practice for brands who are on the cusp of introducing these initiatives from the early stage.
Be Transparent Around Program Introduction
It is always considered best practice for businesses to be upfront and transparent about their engagement with online team building activities. When these programs are sprung on individuals, it is often received with less enthusiasm. Outline to them why it is being rolled out. This is a venture that allows people to improve their connection with their peers, build positive working relationships and ensure that there is assistance with mental health needs during periods of isolation. Once that is understood, then it is easier to progress with the other steps.
Encourage Engagement & Exchange of Ideas
What constitutes best practice when it comes to online team building programs? Well it only works out when participants feel as though they are stakeholders in the process and it is not an activity that is imposed upon them. This is where the planning and strategy of the building should utilise input from men and women who will be logging in and getting involved. If they know that this is an activity that they have helped to shape and nurture, then it will become a sustainable platform that doesn’t require continued oversight.
Test Device Access
Team building activities that are used through online formats have to be able to meet one very basic threshold – ensure that every member and every participant has a functional device with a quality Internet connection. Thankfully these sessions can switch from desktops to mobiles and laptops and tablets. The key for individuals is to have a login that they can stick with and a device that allows them to login and take part in the team building.
Begin With Informal Session Rollout
Best practice with the initial introduction of online team building should not delve deep on the commercial side of the business. The objective here is to increase engagement, boost communication and improve confidence. This is where informal discussions should be had to initially test out the device, the connection and ensure that participants are comfortable with the format. Once that foundation is in place, then it’s possible to develop more programs.
Mix & Match Exercise Options
The good news about online team building ventures is that there is such a wide array of programs, approaches and options that have been showcased before. Trivia games are a common go-to choice but there will be video games, coffee chats, book clubs, virtual pub crawls, workshops, dance parties, virtual sightseeing tours, Wordle, card games, team dinners, icebreakers, exchange of recipe ideas and much more. Teams are able to adapt between different levels of effort, engagement, fun and impact in this regard, but the key is to mix and match to see what delivers the best outcomes.
Don’t Place Strict Rules, Limits or Impositions on Building Routines
Companies can use online team building time to micromanage their group. However, given the evidence that has been assessed with these initiatives, it is obvious that the business stands to gain more from the investment in their people if they don’t place strict rules, limits or impositions on it. Allow people the room to get comfortable interacting with one another before deciding what occurs next.
Commercial organisations that want to enjoy more control over online team building sessions are able to take that approach, but the case studies that examine those outcomes demonstrate that they are less successful and less sustainable over the medium to long-term. By adhering to these principles, organisations find that they experience higher levels of engagement and strive towards their ultimate goal of better productivity.