Keeping the Disconnected Team Connected

With today’s flexible work arrangements (e.g., telecommuting, job sharing) and geographically dispersed teams (e.g., satellite offices and multi-national corporations) it is becoming more difficult for employers to build a sense of “we,” maintain a stable and consistent corporate culture, and foster supportive communication and cooperation between team members. Employees who don’t physically work together may struggle to recognize the priorities of others, lack an understanding of what each member’s “job” really looks like, and be unable to access the resources they need – or even know such resources exists. Furthermore, if they are working alone, whether at home or abroad, they may feel isolated and neglected.No matter what employee structure you have or are working within, to foster employee engagement and business success, it’s important to make time for the team to connect. Here is a short list of ideas, some of which we’ve used at Life Strategies.Develop a system for regular updates to keep everyone “in the loop” and help them stay connected

  • Choose a method that works for you – in person, over the phone, via the internet (e.g., GoToMeeting)
  • Use a framework to structure your meeting (e.g., Let’s CHAT!)

Utilize alternative methods of connecting beyond email or phone (e.g., Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Blogger, LinkedIn)

  • However , don’t rely solely on electronic communication; pick up the phone if necessary

Invest in professional development opportunities that get dispersed teams together

  • Attend workshops, seminars, and/or conferences
  • Take part in webinars or teleconferences
  • Provide an opportunity to debrief learning

Set aside time for fun

  • Arrange a potluck at team meetings
  • Participate in a charity event

Celebrate “good news” and recognize team successes

  • Use something quick and simple (e.g., an informal congratulations email, post on company intranet or blog) or more formal (e.g., “employee of the month”)

Originally posted July 18, 2011 by Cassie Saunders

Leave a Reply