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Getting Your Remote Team Together

to start the New Year off right!

Getting Your Remote Team TogetherWhat better way to kick off the team in the New Year then to bring the entire group together to reset priorities for the year and evaluate processes and procedures for working as a team.

Before we get into the “what to do” when bringing the team together, let’s talk about benefits of doing so. In today’s world it is difficult to get a virtual or remote team members together in one location. There is a cost in doing so, and it may not be insignificant depending on the size of the team and the locations of team members. However, the ability to bring together a remote team – even if just once a year – makes such an impact in helping the team to work more effectively together. Yes – we can accomplish much if the team never actually meets face-to-face, but it is a longer process.

Getting the team together enables for strong working relationships among team members, which leads to:

  • Increased accountability among the team
  • Increased trust among team members
  • Reduced conflicts among team members

When together in one location, it is much easier to enable for collaboration among team members. As a team leader, it is easier to determine who is engaged and who seems disinterested or is unengaged in collaborating.

Now for the “what to do” once you get the team together. A team building activity is of value in helping the team to reacquaint themselves with one another and for new team members (who have joined since the team last got together) to get to know the others on a more personal level. One particular activity I use frequently for very new teams (who have never met before) is to send a survey to all participants and ask them to respond to a few questions asking about past experiences, special skills, hobbies, family, education, vacation spots, etc. I gather this data and develop a sheet that includes a variety of facts – such as:

“Who in the group has triplets?” or “Who last vacationed in Hawaii?”

Team members than – throughout the time together – ask each other questions to find the answers to the questions. What a great way for folks to get to know each other and I have yet to have a team not think the activity was fun.

For teams that have been together for a while (and maybe have a few new members) and are getting together in one location, I use a variety of activities that focus on improving listening skills, being creative, improving communication and problem solving as a team. They are fun as well as enable for a bit of skills building!

During this in-person meeting with the team, consider also using the time to accomplish the following:

  • Reiterate the goals and objectives of the team
  • Review team roles and responsibilities
  • Evaluate current processes and procedures and redesign/update as necessary
  • Evaluate communication channels and update as necessary

The goal of this meeting is to effectively “reset” the team for the New Year. Undoubtedly a number of changes have occurred over the past year that have impacted how the team gets the work done. By evaluating how the work is getting accomplished (processes, procedures, best practices), the team can collaborate to make updates where necessary to continue to be effective.

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