Corporate culture and camaraderie are essential aspects for job satisfaction, but these can be challenging to achieve with a virtual team. When everyone works remotely, how can you make everyone feel like one cohesive team? In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin shares some tips about building stronger relationships virtually. There are five ways to bond with a virtual team:
- Make the time.
- Be the liaison.
- Meet in groups.
- Keep working at it.
The only way you will ever strengthen any relationship is to make the time for it, and this holds especially true for virtual teams. Factor in time for small talk to really get to know one another and to help build trust. Leaders who connect coworkers to one another really help to build relationships, as well as help to advance the project along. If you know someone who is an expert in a field, you can match them with the person currently working in that area.
There are a myriad of events you can celebrate just because: birthdays, national holidays, work anniversaries, or even pizza day. You do not have to go all out to celebrate; just acknowledge what a special day it is.
When the entire team cannot be together to meet, it is okay to have a partial group work together. But also keep in mind that face-to-face meetings help to rapidly build relationships and trust. Relationships are work, and they are something you need to continually work at. They are likewise not something that can be formed in one gathering. Make time to ask those seemingly trivial ice-breaker questions, and really put forth the effort to get to know one another. Something as simple as taking an interest in the other’s favorite hobby can go a long way.
You can read the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/build-relationships-virtual-project-team/