In the wake of the current pandemic, the events industry has seen a significant turn towards virtual and hybrid events. With the reliance on virtual meetings and events increasing in 2020, platforms like Zoom have allowed us to work and socialize with our team members remotely from the comfort of our own homes. Still, many organizations ranging from major corporations to small businesses have had concerns about their team’s performance while working virtually.
As helpful as tools like Zoom have been in keeping teams engaged, there have been many challenges as well. For one, team communication can often feel fragmented. Luckily, there is a solution: virtual team-building activities.
Virtual team-building activities have never been as beneficial to organizations as in 2020. It is expected that they will only grow more critical in 2021 and beyond. After all, a lack of team-building skills among team members can negatively impact morale, hurt bottom-line results, and even kill productivity. When people are committed to teamwork, the entire workplace operates more efficiently.
According to Gallup research, “Virtual team-building exercise leads to an increase in employee performance rate, claims 41% lower absenteeism and 21% higher profitability.” But what are the exact benefits that your organization can expect when using virtual team-building activities to strengthen your remote team’s performance?
What Are Virtual Team-Building Activities?
Virtual team-building activities are designed to strengthen the communication, performance, and productivity of your team. Strong teams aren’t created simply by hiring the most qualified employees- they need to be built through activities designed to bring employees together. This is what has made team-building exercises so crucial in recent years.
Team-building is any action or method that motivates a team to work together collaboratively. When the coronavirus caused a massive transition to remote work, many organizations felt they had lost the opportunity to put such exercises into practice. That’s where virtual team-building activities gained traction.
Strategically designed virtual team-building activities provide communication while reinforcing a shared team identity. These activities have also been shown to bridge the gap caused by remote working’s most primary challenges.
When remote workers feel lonely or unsupported, virtual team-building training can remind them of the fantastic team they’re a part of. When remote workers feel the excitement for the work they’re doing starts to slip, these activities can rekindle their passion by exposing them to equally excited co-workers. Finally, virtual team-building activities help build trust amongst every member of an events team.
Venture Up, a team-building consultant with a reputation for helping organizations across a range of industries strengthen their team’s performance, believes in the power of virtual team-building activities. Recently, they launched their Cyberthon Virtual Challenge. This virtual team-building experience sends remote teams on an amazing global race through cyberspace. Using host platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Lync, teams race through the Cyberthon, intending to become champions.
According to Venture Up, many virtual team-building studies speak to the importance of such exercises. Let’s explore how your remote team can benefit from practices such as Venture Up’s Cyberthon Virtual Challenge.
1. Identify Communication Troubles With Your Remote Team
Nothing is more important than effective communication amongst organizations in the event industry. Virtual team-building can help employees identify how easy it is for misunderstanding and conflict to arise due to poor team communication. Here is one virtual team-building activity that has helped to identify communication troubles in a remote team:
- Present a series of statements and ask your team to write down what the phrases mean to them. Examples of such statements include “By the end of the day, please” or “Turn this in at once.”
- Have each person read their interpretation aloud on a Zoom meeting, taking note of the differences.
- Ask the group for ways to remove ambiguity in conversations and expectations.
This activity is powerful because it shows that even phrases we understand to be clear may not be. Teams can only thrive when communication is concise, direct, and commonly understood by all. Virtual team-building activities, such as the one listed above, strengthen communication for remote teams.
2. Boost Employees’ Morale
It is common knowledge that constantly pushing your team to deliver work and adhere to deadlines can cause a hostile work environment, disengagement, and burnout. For this reason, the ideal leader of an events team must be proactive about encouraging the team to function cohesively. This can be done by conducting virtual team-building activities such as online meetings, group discussions, brainstorming sessions, and more.
Such team-building practices empower the team with positive reinforcement, making them feel valued as individuals.
3. Workforce Collaboration is Encouraged
Work projects cannot succeed without team efforts as most tasks demand coordination between resources. In a concrete workplace, team collaboration is easy and encouraged. When employees are working remotely, team collaboration can seem forced, which leads to challenges aligning the team with the project’s progress. This is due to greater chances of discrepancies in communication.
When conducting virtual team-building exercises, employees are encouraged to stay connected with their counterparts. Such activities force them to work together collaboratively as a single cohesive unit. They also make resources aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to coordinate and complete tasks according to their competence. This saves valuable time and effort.
4. Increases Productivity
With teams working remotely, the chances are high that your team lacks a clear work direction, leading to lower productivity. Virtual team-building activities allow team leaders to thoroughly explain organizational goals with the utmost clarity.
When your employees have a sense of purpose, this motivates them to work with everything they have to meet a common goal. In turn, this improves the resource pool’s performance index without any form of employee burnout in the process.
5. Supports Innovation Management
In the most competitive industries, innovation is key to gaining a valuable business advantage. Virtual team-building is a medium that brings employees together, promoting creativity, brainstorming, and fostering innovation. When multiple perspectives are taken into account during team-building exercises, any single idea can potentially lead to a company’s breakthrough innovation.
The more often your employees are put into such situations, the stronger their innovative skills will become. This way, when employees are taught to look at challenges through the lens of innovation, they become more engaged in accomplishing the company’s long-term goals.
Use Virtual Team-Building to Empower Your Workforce
There are many advantages to making virtual team-building activities a central part of your collaborative efforts. The current pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we live and work, and these changes are sure to become our “new normal.” Suppose you want to take advantage of practices that give your company an edge in your industry. In that case, you must empower your workforce to function at its best. That’s what virtual team-building activities aim to accomplish.
Visit Venture Up’s website for more details on how a team-building consultant can help you achieve your company’s long-term goals by strengthening communication, trust, and collaboration.