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Team building is the process of turning individual workers into a cohesive team that works cooperatively to meet your customer’s needs. It’s important because it’s proven to improve the efficiency and performance when groups trust each other and feel connected to a common goal. But it’s not enough to just shove your team in a room together and tell them to work together—it takes technique, skills, analysis, and observation to form a strong, capable team.
When you’re managing a virtual team, team building is a challenge—but it is far from impossible. Whether you're playing a game that helps you bring your remote team together or exchanging funny photos of your dog on Slack, it’s important to ensure that your team has an outlet where remote employees can be vulnerable and socialize outside the context of work. As a distributed company ourselves, we’ve learned a few tricks to keep our teams connected. Remote team building games can be a fun way to refine goals and dissolve monotony in meetings. Here are our favorite ice breaker games and trust-building activities to try with your employees.
Open up your favorite video conferencing software and try a virtual version of this classic game. Two people will square off, the winner goes on to play the next person on the team, and so on. It’s a great way to test people's reflexes, responsiveness, and encourage spontaneity. It can even be a great warm up before a brainstorm!
This is a great exercise in listening, mirroring, and also helps team members learn about each others’ interests. To play, pair people into sets of two and set the clock for five minutes. Instruct them to tell their partner their entire life story at that time. After the five minutes or up, the listener has to relay the life story from memory to the group.
This game can be useful for teams with language and cultural differences. Tell the group to imagine aliens have landed on Earth and want to learn about your company. But since they don’t speak English or understand what you do, it needs to be explained with five symbols or pictures.
Ask each participant to draw five simple images that best describe and communicate your company’s products and culture to a shared document/folder. Take a few minutes and look at all the images and talk through common themes.