BUILDING A TEAM WITH REMOTE EMPLOYEES
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is a success;
Team, teamwork, team spirit – the word ‘T’ dominates the business world in the 21 st century. The reason behind this is that the health of our teams leads to the better health of our business. The one and the only way to make the team better is that the organization must invest in team building. Though the exercises, activities, and approaches turn the group of individuals into an effective and efficient team.
What is team building?
When individuals have the same tastes, attitudes, and interests, they will be ready to work together. Every member of the team should participate and contribute equally, this helps them to achieve their common goals in the best way. At the same time, a team cannot do well until and unless each and every member takes the responsibility as a serious thing.
Team building is a management technique of creating a team that is cohesively working together to achieve a common goal. It involves a lot of skills, analysis, and observation for forming a strong team. The main motive of this team building is to achieve the organization’s objectives and mission.
Why team building is necessary to an organization?
Sports are the best example of team building, that help them to win the match. This is also similar to the business world. An effective team is not only hiring the best employees, it is just a part of the equation. So the organization must take effective activities to bring them together. This gives a lot of benefits to the business such as improves productivity, increases employee motivation, builds trust and collaborations between them. But many companies did not understand the value of team building and did not make any activities to support and improve this team building.
- To solve the problem, investment in team building is a better idea. Because the solution we get from these team members is more effective than the problem solved by the individuals. A simple example is if a problem is given to the individuals they try to get the solution based on their own resources. But to do the work or to find the solution as a team, every member working together and they collaborating, leveraging their strength and also they put their different angles of the issue.
- The most important thing is that effective team building leads to an increase in the business’s productivity. The simple thing is when the team members did not trust each other when working with them as a team is very difficult to manage. If they are don’t work together it will be the biggest challenge to the organization to reach its goals.
- you want to succeed in your business you need to keep employee engagement high. This is only attained through team building. According to one of the 2017 reports, if the engagement between employees is high, that company has 17%more productivity, 41% lower absenteeism, and also have 10% higher customer satisfaction than the company which one is not investing in team building.
Virtual team building:
Many workers are ready to make the connections for their personal and related to their works through virtual technology. Virtual team building is an ongoing process of creating human-to-human connections between our remote team members. It simply refers to a group of individuals who are worked together from different geographical locations and made communicate with other members by using communication technology such as email, instant messaging, video or voice conference services, etc. According to the Office of National Statistics, in the UK 4.3 million people are already in remote work. It may be expected to increase nearly 50% in the future.
Importance of virtual team building:
Building a nurturing relationship is very important to the employees and company growth because it helps them to feel free to communicate openly, to find a solution, and to collaborate with them. But these days they never meet in real life so it is hard to connect them as a team. But this virtual team building to be a solution to reduce the feeling of isolation and loneliness. Many people do not aware of the benefits of team building, but many studies have shown that it will improve the trust and effectiveness among the team members.
Challenges in virtual team building:
The sudden pandemic outbreak makes some companies aren’t prepared to deal with this technology. Many advantages exist in this virtual team building, like boosts employee morale, promotes workforce collaboration, supports the management, etc. But these are all only happens if we are prepared enough to overcome the challenges of virtual team building. The challenges are following below, Developing cohesive virtual teams: One of the fundamental problems is to create co-operativeness among the team members. Many studies show that when the
employees worked in different locations it makes a lower level of trust and higher-level conflict than they worked together. Many issues started from the communication hurdles. The Economic survey predicted that these issues can result in incomplete projects, missed performance goals, loss in sales as well as cause stress and low morale. But when it be a successful one, it leads the business successfully, because the job satisfaction level is higher than the in-office team. So the team leaders have the responsibility to promote a collaborative and balanced work
Many new technologies are available today to connect people, but the main problem is that have a lack of face-to-face communication. Text-based communication like email has the lacks body language, tone and etc. These are created a lot of misinterpretation. Many team members may unaware of the digital channels and less interested to participate in the meetings and reply to the emails.
Problems in delegation:
This poor communication may cause confusion in the staff’s responsibilities. Leaders must careful to avoid conflicts and confusion when they assign the task or target to their team members. Leaders must avoid the temptation to micromanage their team and also know when they trust employees and take the hands-off approach.
Work ethics difference:
The article of SN Applied Science journal described the concept of “social facilitation”. This told that some people work hard in an office environment because their many co-workers are surrounded by them. But in virtual mode, some ignore the request or refuse to reply to their authorities. If any employee perceives that their co-workers don’t work properly they aren’t putting so much effort to complete the task, it may create distrust and delay the project.
Lack of personal connection:
In this type of virtual work, a team member may feel isolated, which will affect the team’s unity. But in physical situation the informal communication like chatting help us to reduce conflicts.
Some actions to face the challenges:
A team leader has more responsibility to take care of their team members than in the physical office mode. This is true in this unprecedented time. Because they need your support not only related to the productivity but for the additional anxiety and stress due to this covid-19.
- Effective collaboration among the team members creates a strong bond and builds trust among them. This helps them to know about their ideas, strength, and weakness. So for this purpose, we must encourage the video conference regularly and assign some team tasks. Another way is to connect phone calls with the team members, and in that phone call talk about their lives and how they are doing first instead of a task to complete.
- An additional thing we have to prevent is the health of the team members. Because when physical health is good it helps us to boosts our immune system, decreases stress, and increases energy. So we give permission to take leave for the sick, encourage them to improve their mental health.
- This pandemic has changed the approach of business and also the people most think about their individual priorities. Because they want to spend more time with their families, so they didn’t worry about their target or task to complete within a particular time. So if possible adjust project deadlines and make more flexible hours, which will help the teammates to take off their priorities without worried about their deadlines.
- At some times many people tend to work more hours on average. So they tried to manage it properly. Because it will be very stressful when the line between home life and work becomes blurred or confused. So it will be a responsibility of a team leader to maintain a healthy work-life of their employees.
- Most of the team members thought that their supervisors take of their about them as a person, encourages their career and personal development, give them opportunities to learn something new, etc. But it is difficult to do all of these in this period. So we can suggest they engage themself in some professional opportunities like open online courses, learning or skillshare, or webinars.
- In the past decades this virtual team building as a part of our strategy. But in the covid-19 period world are focused on this technology and the global restriction also be the reason to adopt this tool. So we must take this as an opportunity to improve our business, not as a temporary solution.
- All companies have the intention to achieve their goal. But most companies have to lack the knowledge to use this excellent technique to utilize its benefits. Due to this problem, many teams don’t receive or share the information regarding their projects, tasks and etc., unfortunately, many companies posted their online videos, power points, and written instructions and used their helpdesk to resolve this problem.
Benefits of virtual technology:
This technique is not only used in team building, but it provides many benefits in the business world.
- It makes easy the communication process with the customers, dealers, and suppliers who have different time zones.
- Help us to access our business at a global level.
- Connect the meeting with the people in different locations.
- To conduct the training and development-related programs through this technique.
- If we follow this technique it will reduce our cost every year by approximately $2000 for the employer and $7000 for the employee.
- It reduces stress, gives work flexibility such as work from home or any location.