Key ways to make it work
Nail those goals
Obviously, there are limits to what can be achieved online. Physical games, large group interactions, or in-depth strategy planning sessions may have to wait until live meetings can take place. Rethink the goals of your team retreat but remember the sky as the limit. In our virtual sessions we’ve covered content, such as team goals, setting joint team targets, brainstorming communication problems and solutions. We discussed new organization policies to uncover and understand personalities, facilitated exercises to grow team spirit, and more.
See each other: turn on the cameras!
Imagine a retreat in a hotel where you are blindfolded for three days. That wouldn’t make any sense, would it? Well, that is what happens when your virtual participants do not turn on their cameras. Webcams must be on in virtual team buildings! We can’t stress this enough. There are so many reasons: more engagement, better focus, eye contact, minimizing people’s sense of isolation. Besides this, it motivates the team to dress up and be fully ready! In short, no camera, no team building.
Most platforms (Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, Webex) now have breakout room options. Some go even further, like We Wonder, where you can walk around as if you are in a virtual world café. What a fantastic feature. Great for teamwork in subgroups. Mix the teams, give clear assignments, set the time, and you are good to go. We can think of so many types of group work, serious or more creative: visioning, brainstorming on virtual white boards, storytelling in the chat box, jointly drawing, song writing, even drama and roleplay can be done.
Bring out the tigers
Most teams flourish by a bit of competition. Bring out those competitive spirits. Play an online game or quiz. Teams love to solve a murder case online, crack a virtual escape room, or play a board game online. Quiz platforms like Mentimeter or Kahoot give instant winners. Or give awards or prize to the most creative team slogan, the best cut-and-paste poster, song, or video. The sky is the limit!
Want to know more? Contact us or talk directly to one of our experts.
By Susanne van Lieshout and Jolanda Buter, MDF trainers