Leading a team to success is built on teamwork, respect, collaboration, trust, and connection. While each element has its own unique set of challenges, connection and collaboration can be the most difficult to garner, especially when remote, dispersed teams have become the norm.
According to a Salesforce report, 86% of employees surveyed felt that a lack of collaboration and ineffective communication were responsible for workplace failures.
So how can leaders bridge the isolation gap for a more effective team and better team performance?
Here are 5 ways you can keep your team connected for more collaboration, communication, and ultimately better results.
1. Understand each individual’s strengths
Knowing your team’s individual and collective strengths is one of the best ways to drive engagement and improve performance. When you understand where each team member will excel, you can assign roles that will support the overall team and the organization’s goals. This will also help your team have greater job satisfaction, feel empowered while growing personally and professionally.
2. Be more available
It’s not always easy for leaders to make themselves readily available to everyone on their team. You’re busy. But these are unique times. And generating a culture of connection and collaboration between your team will rely on you being more available to bring your people together. You may have to restructure your day or set intermittent availability times. Let me suggest that you place a block on your calendar called “Team Time” then inform your team that you want to be more available and anyone can schedule a time during this time. Let everyone know your virtual door is always open. Your team needs you.
3. Offer feedback often
Feedback is always important, but for a remote team, it’s even more important. You no longer have the luxury of subtle nuances, quick conversations, or simple performance reviews. Take time to schedule regular feedback sessions with your team to make sure they are on task and feel cared for. Recognize and highlight what they are doing well and offer support and help for what’s holding them back. Allow them to self-evaluate and communicate suggested improvements.
4. Do more creative brainstorming
Nothing represents collaboration more than brainstorming. It can be one of the best ways to problem solve, generate creative ideas, listen to each other, leverage one another’s ideas, and generally feel more connected. Plan your brainstorming sessions to be light and fun. Invite them to schedule “team time” when they have ideas to share. Get everyone involved and ensure your entire team feels empowered, gives input, and is heard. This is also an engaging way to bring focus and direction to accomplishing future goals.
5. Recognize a job well done
Everyone loves to hear that they’ve done a good job. It promotes confidence and energizes people to keep striving to achieve more. Make a special effort to celebrate each team member’s accomplishments openly. Regularly offering authentic recognition will inspire your team to keep working hard even when things get challenging. While leaders need to provide recognition, it’s also important for team members to recognize each other.
Bringing a team together during times like these is no easy task. Now more than ever, generating connections that will lead to greater collaboration should be a top priority. To improve team performance, consider a team assessment to understand each team member’s unique strengths and abilities to work more effectively.
Have any questions or thoughts about our recommendations? I’d love to hear from you!