As any successful business owner knows, your company’s success relies on a great team. Morale and engagement are huge indicators of a happy and productive team. These also reflect the commitment a team member has towards the company and common goals. You can think of this way; happy team = happy dream!
If you’re new to the virtual and remote team world (or even if you’ve been at it for a while), here are some tips to boost morale for your remote-working team.
1. Water Cooler Conversation
The days are long enough as it is. Don’t make it even longer by keeping all conversations centered around work. Provide an outlet for the team to talk about news, current events, or just to share that funny meme they saw online. Depending on what you use as a team messaging platform, creating a space for Water Cooler talk is easy enough. If your team members are Slack users, simply create a channel dedicated to this type of conversation.
Bonus tip: Assign someone to be the “cheerleader” of the group. They help to get the conversation going and put a little pep in everyone’s step!
2. Create a “Friend”-ly atmosphere
One of the biggest advantages that physical workplaces hold is the ability for team members to become lifelong friends. After all, 29% of people say their best friend is also a coworker. Sure, friendship in the workplace doesn’t always equate productivity, but it can definitely help with morale and overall happiness. So, how do you bottle up that friendship and make it work for a remote team? Here are some things that may work for your remote team:
- Coordinate one-on-one coffee or lunch meetings between team members that may not usually spend much time together.
- Have a weekly Happy Hour where you play games and learn about each other in a non-professional setting. Need some ideas? Check out this list.
- Share your wins, failures, and learning experiences with each other.
- Coordinate physical meetups whenever possible.
- Give a gift or perform a random act of kindness. Providing the team with some company swag or a small trinket that reflects an inside joke can go a long way in building relationships with your team.
3. Take advantage of the Tech
With remote teams at an all time high right now, there are plenty of platforms you can take advantage of to keep that sense of teamwork top of mind. From communication tools to online games, you can find just about anything online to help garner team spirit. If you’re wondering where to start, here are some ideas:
- Cloud-based file sharing can improve team collaboration.
- Miro, a digital whiteboard, can be a great option for brainstorming and work sessions.
- Kaapi offers polls, morale boosters, and self-assessments for remote team members and integrates with Slack.
- With iAppreciate, you can send ecards and praise your team members for a job well done.
- Team Mood lets you check in on your team in real time. They’ll receive daily emails asking about their mood and you’ll receive the results as an anonymous group of data.
4. Keep To Regularly Scheduled Programming
Remote teams likely come with members that are on all sides of the world. Instead of scheduling meetings randomly throughout the week, be sure to have a set schedule for mandatory meetings. You could even record these important meetings to lessen FOMO for your super-remote team members and help them avoid getting up at odd hours in the night.
A daily “huddle” or “scrum” to go over project updates, daily goals, and to-do lists are a great start to the day and help the team to feel connected. Weekly check-ins, monthly “town-hall” meetings, and even quarterly Big Picture Planning sessions are great ways to keep everyone feeling connected and on the same page.
Whatever your team’s meeting timetable turns out to be, staying strict with the schedule can go a long way in maintaining expectations and keeping employees feeling in-the-loop.
5. Stay emotionally connected
As the team leader, it’s your responsibility to know your team and lead by example. Sure, it may seem a bit overwhelming, but with great power comes great responsibility (you can go ahead and change your Slack username to Spiderman now).
As the leader, understand your team members’ challenges, life goals, and their hidden skill sets. Maybe you have a developer who just LOVES writing blog articles. Or maybe a team member wants to share their knowledge of furniture painting. Whatever their hidden skill or passion may be, make it a point to know what it is. You’ll be amazed at the huge smile you’ll get when you ask a team member how their weekly book club is going.
Another great way to stay emotionally connected is to get real-time feedback from team members when you see a drop in morale. Understanding what has caused the dip can make all the difference. By asking them for their opinion and feedback, you’re also providing them with a chance to really be heard, which is a win-win for everyone.
Whether your remote team is fairly new or you’ve been rocking the remote-work game for years, there’s always room for improvement and there’s never such a thing as “too happy”. Our team at Volt Studios has been fully remote for over 4 years and we contribute our highly successful projects to a team that is aligned toward a common goal. After all, it’s all about the team!