How to build social connection in a remote team
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A sense of connection and belonging are sentiments that are helpful for building “affective trust” – a form of trust based on emotional bond and interpersonal relatedness.
It varies from the “cognitive trust” – which springs from reliability and competence. Both are influential to performance, but affective trust tends to be more salient for a team at the beginning of a relationship, according to studies.
If your icebreaker questions are intriguing, cheeky, humorous – the answers you receive will be, too.
Many remote teams will kick off their weekly meeting with an icebreaker question or insert it during their morning stand-up meeting. Even more popular is asking a series of icebreaker questions during the onboarding process when hiring someone.
With affective trust being so important to foster at the beginning of a relationship, onboarding new hires well becomes even more critical for virtual team building.
You can partner newcomers with experienced employees and have a formal onboarding process at the company, or at least a partially in-person one, with expenses covered by the company.
Many remote companies offer buddy systems for onboarding. This is also a way for people to have fun and get closer, as well as to increase job satisfaction and commitment.
This can take the form of assigning an official “mentor” or a random employee, with whom they have periodic one-on-one meetings to get acclimated to the company.
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1 + 1 = 3, that's the defintion of a good team.
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