Here are some effective ways to break the ice with your remote team and keep the morale high.
Ways To Break The Ice With Your Remote Team
Probably the first ice breaker we ever remember doing would be in school. A teacher would have as stand, have us say our name, possibly play “Two Truths and a Lie”. Out of curiosity, did you even remember your name under that pressure? On a more serious note, though, icebreakers are capable of fostering team closeness, and enhancing employee engagement as well.
One of the major WFH problems faced is how remote workers would feel alienated or unsupported. Considering this, a virtual team building activity can remind them not only are they not alone, but part of a team with other members in the same boat as well.
But what exactly is an icebreaker? It can be anything. A game. An activity. A question igniting a discussion. It’s an icebreaker as long as it adheres to two goals at the core:
- It should make participants feel comfortable talking to each other.
- It must help participants get to know each other a little bit.
With the various challenges brought by CoViD-19, this stands quite distinct from motivating a team on call . It’s meant to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. So this begs the following questions:
How do you bond with a remote team?
As the majority of people continue to work from home, virtual icebreakers are a manner by which we can strike a connection with people that we are unable to meet in person as of now. However, like with personal connections, boundaries are good. This means that before you choose an ice-breaker, you need to bear in mind 3 ground rules:
- Have the right tool: Remember, we’re talking about bringing different people with different abilities and facilities onto one event. This would require the right communication to do so as well. MultiCall is such a tool; a group call app dedicated to let you call many with the ease of calling one.
- Take sensitivity into consideration: Certain ice-breakers work best with people who have worked before. Others work for those who haven’t. Forcing closeness onto individuals who haven’t even met yet can create a situation of awkwardness and embarrassment.
- Create space: Much as people like to interact, they like their space too. To that extent, don’t do ice-breakers for every meeting. MultiCall’s Call Scheduling system lets you plan your sessions ahead, both for date and duration as well. You can also set into groups and favourites whom you’d like to invite.
What are some virtual icebreakers?
Carrying out an icebreaker at the beginning of your call would not only help employees establish rapport, it can increase interaction as well. It would allow them to feel more comfortable and willing to speak up. Here are 3 sample icebreaker activities you could try with your team on call.
- Guess Who: Prior to the call, email your team asking for a response to a casual inquiry. For example, “What was your first job?” During the call, one person can share the responses one-by-one, while your team members try to guess whose it is.
- Would you rather: Before your call, set up 5 to 10 questions for your team to answer. This needs to be mixed in terms of its fun, randomness and difficulty. For instance, “Would you rather lose your phone or have no internet?”
- Tomorrow: The future is uncertain. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun through a team building activity in the present . Ask your team to create a news headline of what your company will be doing in five or ten years. This will give them the chance to envision what your company’s future will be like, and innovate on the company’s mission and vision.
Do you really know your team virtual icebreaker?
It’s one thing to have an assortment of ideas for breaking the ice with your team members on call, but which one works best? This isn’t just in terms of being a fit for the team as mentioned earlier, it’s also given the tools, resources and time available. Here too, you will need to set up some rules to be observed during the ice-breaker.
Designate a leader:
The idea of setting up a leader for the ice-breaker is to facilitate the team building exercise. This way, one person is clearly established as keeping an eye on the time, activities and instructing the team members.
They will also be responsible for ensuring minimal interruption to the activities as well. In the remote working scenario, disruptions by aspects such as background noise can be detrimental to focusing in such activities.
MultiCall can help in this context by means of its Call Monitoring feature, which would help track who all are involved. The muting feature allows them to mute someone in the event of disruptions at that end of the line, and they can record their activities to understand how to better improve them as well.
Keep track of time:
Setting a time limit for virtual team building is necessary. This is not just considering the activity, but also to ensure that everyone involved has their due share of contributing to it. Only by doing so can it be ensured that everyone stays engaged. And of course, you don’t want to fall short on time for work either!
Normally, face-to-face contact would have been essential to many of these activities. However it’s important to get a tool that lets you screen share and visually collaborate with team members online. That way, everyone can be present and contribute to virtual meetings.
Virtual team building helps to create and maintain a company culture, connecting remote team members in the process. Icebreakers can not only be used to help with this, but to assess the team members in terms of their vibe, strengths and weaknesses as well. It also would help them to be at ease with one another in a relaxed environment.
Last but certainly not least, for remote teams, ice breakers work to give a sense of community, and help to lift the spirits high. Thus, a strengthened bond between team members forms, and the company as a whole can reach more, now.