“Aligned with our monthly focus around all things virtual, I wanted to draw our attention to virtual team development. This is the focus of both chapter 10 and 11 of my new book - Effective Virtual Conversations. According to the 2016 Culture Wizard Culture Survey, only 22% of virtual team members had participated in any productivity training for their team. Access the survey here.
Like in intact teams, team development "doesn't just happen" it needs to be planned. As we've explored here at the blog, high performing teams need both great relationships and shared clarity around their goals and measures. When feasible, training and support activities should focus in both results and relationships. In the next few weeks I will be covering a handful of different virtual team development in our Tuesday and Wednesday posts.
Today we're going to look at an activity which "expands the window of the screen share or video stream" which is usually all that team members see of each other. Hopefully team leaders are building into their virtual team development a series of ways for team members to get to know each other. There are multiple ways to facilitate this. Consider the following:
Every year (or two!) scheduling in face to face time where the team can come together physically and spend time together in a formalized team session focused on both planning, reporting and getting to know each other. These were probably the most important moments for the virtual teams I managed throughout the years. While we had good results before, the conversations and connections we were able to foster by spending a few days together once a year far outweighed the cost. Consider what type of budget case you will need to make and how much something would cost. Are there any other events you can connect with, which might be bringing people together?
Build in virtual planning days - strategic planning doesn't just have to happen "in the room". Virtual strategic and annual sessions can be very engaging and effective. As we move towards the end of the year, what could a year end planning session look like for you if you can't get together physically. Contact us to discuss virtual retreat services.
Build in time for virtual team development sessions - whether it's part of your regular team meetings or something separate, vary how you are going to focus on both relationships (getting to know each other) and results (goals, actions, accountabilities).”
What’s going to help your team excel this year? What support can you offer to team members?
Enjoy your weekend,