An annual or semi-annual corporate event is often the only time remote teams have the opportunity to interact with each other in person. Maximize this limited time with training sessions and activities designed to unify these teams and create lasting bonds that will transcend the physical distance between them.
Team-building activities that create a shared experience at corporate events can have lasting effects, even after individuals have returned to their various locations. Having the ability to reference a shared experience after a corporate training event opens doors for communication and enables team members to quickly get on the same page about more complicated issues.
Even though remote team members might work together on a daily basis, seeing each other in person can initially be awkward, especially if they have never met face to face before. Don’t assume that just because they communicate all the time via email, video, and other digital tools that they will fall into an easy rapport in person. Use an icebreaker activity to provoke conversations that will connect people on a personal level. Even a task as simple as finding ten things in common between two people can quickly warm up a room as employees are encouraged to dig deeper than a typical, surface-level conversation.
CONNECT OVER CULTURE
A gathering of remote employees is an opportunity to promote the internal corporate culture and galvanize the team around it. Linking training events to both the culture and the daily tasks, as well as challenges that individuals face in their jobs, will help create the habits that contribute to the type of culture desired. For example, an annual meeting of customer service representatives from all over the country is a perfect time to reinforce a culture of customer centricity by providing an experiential learning activity that builds conviction around always considering the customer first and then teaches the skills and behaviors that can be applied on the job. This type of training can be followed up with digital enforcement tools that keep customer centricity top of mind no matter where individual team members are located.
WORK TOWARDS A COMMON GOAL.
Experiential learning can be employed in many other ways to unify remote teams over a common goal, while teaching new skills at the same time. Whether participants are learning how to lead a meeting, plan time more effectively, or be more productive, the process of working together to solve a problem or overcome a challenge will create unity in a way that a lecture never could. When deciding what type of training or learning activity makes the most sense for your team, think about the current knowledge gaps that could be filled or the types of behavior change that could improve individual and team performance.
Remote teams are not uncommon in today’s business landscape, and it’s important to adapt training programs and corporate events to accommodate a changing workforce. Don’t assume that remote teams are already comfortable with each other, even if they have met before. Take the time to allow remote employees to reconnect in person before diving into a deeper training. Incorporate experiential learning into your corporate event to engage everybody and unify teams over a common goal that supports your business objectives.
As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s extensive senior leadership experience and facilitation skills have established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert. She has a proven track record of successfully leading culture transformation in Fortune 500 companies and has established herself as an authority on training and development. Sue has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed solutions for Eagle’s Flight.
Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight