All high performing teams need to have a bond. The internal dynamics have to be right. And everyone in the team needs to have a sense that he or she is making an essential contribution towards achieving a common objective. There has to be trust and mutual respect.
So far, so good, and hardly controversial. And even though it may be easier said than done, we can see how such a team could be created and developed (in theory at least) when all the members of the team are working in the same building or at least close by. The problem is that in an increasingly globalised and competitive world, your ideal team may well include people working remotely and/or in different countries. How do you get a team like that to bond?
According to Amelia Wilcox, writing for The Huffington Post, “the first and most critical thing for virtual teams is to connect everyone so they have access to open communication and can interact. It’s important for morale and employee buy in for team members to feel like they are connected to the team, and it’s also great for productivity.”
Samantha McDuffee makes a similar point in a slightly different way. “Don’t cut the chit-chat”. The key point is that whether team members are in close proximity or thousands of miles apart, they need to feel free – to be encouraged – to interact at a social level as well as a professional one. We all do. And these days, we have the technologies to do it.