“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” This quote, attributed to Helen Keller, is as true today as it was in the 1920s. A cohesive team is one of the most effective ways to accomplish work and achieve goals. Virtual team-building activities for bringing remote teams and hybrid teams together encourage successful collaboration and employee engagement.
Because a hybrid workforce seems to be here to stay, a strategy for building team trust remotely is important. Engaged employees are committed to each other and the organization, reach high levels of productivity, and show enjoyment and enthusiasm about their work. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, are measurably less positive, loyal, creative, and hardworking than engaged workers. Given that employee disengagement has cost $7.8 trillion,1 it’s vital to plan engaging team-building activities and virtual talent development.
Furthermore, virtual team building can be inclusive. Although remote work became widespread with the advent of COVID-19, it has long been used as a reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. Virtual team-building games and activities offer opportunities to create and sustain a culture of inclusion by facilitating connection and belonging among team members. An effective virtual team is connected, engaged, inclusive, and productive.
Although all people can benefit from team-building exercises, some personalities may be more eager to participate than others. A high score on the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) Sociability scale indicates someone who is socially proactive and team oriented. Scoring high on the Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI) Affiliation scale indicates someone who values teamwork, relationships, networking, and belonging.
Virtual team building can be adapted for each unique team. Team leaders should provide a variety of team-building exercises to support the diverse people who work together on the team.
Read on to learn about these five virtual team-building activities:
Entertainment for virtual teams is a fun, relaxed way to spend time together, connect over common experiences, and build rapport.
- Host a virtual movie event or a watch party using nearly any streaming service or a third-party option like Scener.
- Book a virtual comedian for a comedy club experience. Summit Comedy offers many options, including corporate comedians and even hypnotists.
- If your team is musical (or even if not), try virtual karaoke with an emcee from Kabloom!
- Take a remote tour of India, Spain, France, or other global destinations with an organization like Woyago.
Who would like these virtual team-building activities?
Team members who score high on the MVPI scale Hedonism value a playful, fun, lighthearted work culture. People with high scores on the Sociability subscales Likes Parties and Likes Crowds will also enjoy large-group social gatherings.
A part of office life that many remote workers miss is the chance to spend time with coworkers over a meal. These virtual dining options will help employees reconnect.
- Building in time to chat around the virtual watercooler with Donut has rekindled conversations in many a virtual workplace.
- Meeting with virtual teams for lunch is nearly as easy as setting a recurring meeting, according to this guide to hosting virtual lunch.
- For a remote happy hour, schedule a guided wine tasting or a beer and cheese tasting box through a company like Unboxed Experiences.
Who would like these virtual team-building activities?
Team members who score high on HPI Interpersonal Sensitivity are warm, easygoing, and enjoy interacting with others. Those who score high on HPI Inquisitive will appreciate the opportunity to converse about beliefs and cultures. People with a high score on the Affiliation Lifestyles subscale value the opportunity to connect and strengthen relationships.
Playing games together could take just the first 10 minutes of a meeting or be a separate event. Competitive employees will enjoy the challenge. Noncompetitive employees will enjoy watching the antics of their coworkers.
- Play a remote game like trivia or a scavenger hunt using a platform like Weve.
- Themed escape rooms, such as those offered by Escapely, are filled with puzzles and clues that encourage team collaboration.
- Themed murder mysteries from My Mystery Party and others will allow team members to spend time together playing hilarious roles.
Who would like these virtual team-building games?
Team members who score high on HPI Learning Approach will appreciate complex games and memory tests. Those who score high on Inquisitive will enjoy brainstorming ideas and solving riddles or puzzles. People with high scores on Hedonism enjoy the spontaneity of game play, and those who score high on Sociability enjoy exhibiting in the limelight. Finally, high scorers on HPI Ambition will provide competitive energy and drive.
Learning something new together is a team-building activity that fuels deep connections. It could also reveal shared interests that coworkers didn’t know they had.
- Take an instructor-led mixology or cooking course with an organization like Rockoly.
- Exercise your artistic side with a team painting event through Painting to Gogh.
- Recenter your team during a virtual yoga or mindfulness class offered by Krafty Lab.
- Level up your remote communication game with virtual improv training through TeamBonding.
Who would like these virtual team-building exercises?
Team members scoring high on HPI Prudence enjoy exercising a skill with precision and keeping on task. Those who score high on Inquisitive are intrinsically curious about new challenges, and those who score high on MVPI Aesthetics value creative expression. As well, people with low Sociability scores may feel less pressure to be social in a class setting.
Virtual Team Development
An essential part of the virtual team-building repertoire of an effective team leader is team development.
Data-driven team development uncovers how individual personalities affect team performance and team dynamics. Development helps team members contextualize themselves within the team and understand how they uniquely contribute to the team’s needs.
Who would like virtual team development?
Everyone benefits, of course. Leaders want to improve team performance. Team members want to work together effectively.
Team development sessions can help people learn about how they contribute to the team with their unique personality strengths. For example, those who measure high on Ambition tend to have high initiative and drive and are willing to assume leadership roles within the team. Those who score average or low on Ambition are more team-oriented and comfortable contributing in a supportive role.
Team members with high Sociability scores seek to know how best to engage with others. Members with high Prudence scores want to understand team interdependencies and processes.
People with moderate or low Power and Recognition scores value sharing credit and collaboration. Those with high Affiliation value opportunities to work with others. Team members with high Science scores value decision-making based on the data that team development provides.
The chief takeaway here is that team development is essential to positive team dynamics. From there, a variety of team-building games and activities engage and delight a variety of team members. Ongoing virtual team building enables ongoing rapport.
Once you’ve tried the activities listed here, you won’t be out of options—you could invite a goat to your next virtual meeting. Goats don’t drive engagement, per se, but they do enliven a weekly standup.
A version of this article appeared on hoganassessments.com, posted on August 23, 2022
EXPERD, Human Resources Consultant, Jakarta – Indonesia