Team bonding is the main criterion for a successful and productive job and team. When you have a strong rapport with your colleagues, you’ll increase trust and team efficiency. And while managers and leaders should work toward strengthening team bonding, you, an employee, too can work for it.
Here are the five ways to get started:
1. Help a new employee settle in successfully
Every new employee is nervous the day they join. They want to know about the company culture and operation (meetings, status updates, etc.) and other little details.
While the hiring manager will brief them about this, it’s common to have doubts and questions and feel hesitant to approach them frequently. Until the new hire becomes comfortable enough to clarify their doubts with the manager, you can be the helping hand.
If a new employee joins your department, ensure you answer their every question. Plus, educate them about your company’s specific rituals (how you take meetings, provide status updates, and more).
2. Share the workload
No, I’m not telling you to ignore your job and do theirs. Or that you should agree to every request of theirs every time. Instead, there are specific instances when your colleague might struggle, and your guide could help.
For example, say your colleague is working on a project and is struggling with research, and you’re a pro researcher. You can teach them how to research (with specific examples)—so they learn how to do it and can do it independently the next time.
Nothing builds team bonding more than helping your colleagues when they don’t know how to solve a problem.
3. Schedule calls
Remote work doesn’t offer frequent chance interactions. You don’t run into colleagues in the cubicle or can’t have a small talk during lunch. These interactions are essential to strengthen team trust and communication.
So, what’s the alternative?
Book Zoom calls with your teammates every month. You don’t need to only talk about work to have a conversation (although that’s a good start, too). Brainstorm with colleagues about new initiatives or solve a problem.
But, the best way to start is to host a get-to-know-each-other session. You can converse about your likes/dislikes, how you like to work, your favorite books, and more. Once you’re into it, you’ll automatically discuss several topics and build a strong relationship with them.
Why is this important? You’ll enjoy collaborating, not hesitate to approach each other with problems and increase your team productivity.
4. Congratulate often and provide critical feedback
Everyone likes appreciation and support—be the one to give them. It motivates your colleague to double down on their effort. But ensure the congratulation is genuine, and you aren’t saying it just for the sake of it.
Apart from this, don’t hesitate to provide negative feedback when necessary. Tell your coworkers when they are doing something wrong and how they can improve. People aren’t comfortable receiving negative feedback—so be empathetic throughout (be direct but not harsh). The other person should feel like you’re doing it for the betterment and not to settle a score.
Every smart people will thank you for this in the long run. They’ll respect you for your honesty and reciprocate the same behavior with you.
5. Be considerate
Remote workers are more prone to loneliness and burn-out feeling. Some are even parents who are handling both their parenting and office job.
So, if you’re a manager and find employees submit their work late (once in a while), talk to them to understand why, and if it’s a genuine reason, be accepting. Don’t be harsh. You can, if needed, even converse to find out what’s bothering them and come up with a solution. A little empathy goes a long way.