Punch the clock.
Check things off the to-do list.
Go to meetings.
Sort out personnel issues.
Punch the clock.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
If that sounds like the typical work day at your office (whether remotely or in person), it's probably time to take a moment to explore how the team is truly functioning. If there's little attention being paid to building appropriate, healthy, functional relationships among team members, there's a good chance that you are missing opportunities to not only make the work more engaging but also to inspire ideas, communication, growth, action etc. With today's technology, more and more distance (physical, emotional and professional alignment) is becoming the norm. People forget that email doesn't always convey tone. They misinterpret texts or phone messages. The human interaction of yesteryear is slipping away and with it, the sense of camaraderie that comes from truly getting to know your teammates.
Team building sessions can be held virtually, in your office, at a retreat center, at an offsite location... anywhere that your team can turn off their email and phones, let down their hair a bit, and connect with their colleagues. In our session, I will guide your team in a variety of team building activities (both physically and mentally engaging in order to be accessible to all) and I will help you identify ways that you can incorporate opportunities for team connection into your daily tasks.
When I was the Director of Field Programs at the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, our managers and coordinators were spread across the state of Vermont from May to October. Connection was essential to our work so on a regular basis, they were all required to meet at the headquarters office. Despite it being more work for us, the HQ team and I always made or provided the meal for that meeting - chili, baked French toast, homemade caramel rolls, catered sandwiches etc and coffee - lots and lots of coffee. No matter what, we broke bread together regularly and while we ate, we talked about our "Peaks and Valleys" of the week behind us, what was ahead of us, and how we might support each others' efforts. Feedback from the team about these meetings was that at first they resented being required to attend (it was something new and perceived as "one more thing") but once they got into the groove of it, it was a welcome respite in their incredibly challenging schedules and weeks. This, combined with other efforts to treat my team with kindness and get to know them personally, stemmed the tide of mass exodus that often followed the incredibly intense field season. People connected, breathed, and felt the support of the HQ team.
I cannot claim to be the founder of the team building spirit at VYCC - absolutely not - it was a cornerstone of much of the work that we did there - but I can say that I brought my personal touch to it and found it to be an effective means of developing relationships with my team.