Do you know what I miss most about working in an office? It’s being around people. When you have your team around you, it’s easier to draw motivation from them and get pumped at work. You have a higher sense of belonging and can better appreciate what you do for the greater organization. I also miss the in-office events; how we would celebrate project successes together or just hangout. It’s during these events that we get to build interpersonal relationships which are important in developing great team dynamics.
These simple team bonding activities help employees gain a better appreciation of the work they do. But with remote work being the norm, building strong team dynamics can be quite challenging. The way you bond with your team and celebrate project successes will be different. But that’s not to say that it won’t be as effective. Staying connected and celebrating milestones as a team are essential ingredients to the success of remote teams. You just need to be creative and take advantage of technology to pull it off.
Benefits of Remote Team Celebrations
Just because you’re not physically with your team doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate project successes together. In fact, it’s more important that you should. Project completion is a momentous event for any team. We look back on the struggles and the wins, plus all the lessons we’ve learned from it. Taking this time helps the team to reset and set their eyes on more wins for the projects to come.
Remote workers face many challenges when working virtually. One of the biggest problems remote workers face is isolation. Not having someone around to talk to about work, feeling left out, and lacking a support group can make remote workers feel unhappy about their job in general. This affects their overall performance at work.
Having regular communication with team members and injecting a little bit of fun every now and then can truly make a difference. Here are a couple of reasons why you should celebrate project successes with your remote team.
- Improve team dynamics for better collaboration
- Increase employee engagement and job satisfaction
- Increase employee retention
- Prevent isolation problems
- Achieve project success consistently with a highly engaged remote team
Ideas to Celebrate Project Success Remotely
Celebrating project milestones and completion is a must for any remote team. You don’t need to spend a lot to celebrate with your team. All you need is a little bit of creativity and some remote tech tools. Here are some ideas to celebrate project successes with your remote team.
Setup a Kudos Channel
When you’re in an office, it’s easy to go to Jim’s cube and say “You did a great job with your presentation today, Jim. Keep it up!” It’s this act of appreciation and recognition that helps create a great organizational culture. When working remotely, you need to take advantage of the team communication tools you have to make this happen. You might have heard of the suggestion to set up a “watercooler-themed” channel on your chat tools such as Slack. If you have a channel to discuss random musings, why not have one to encourage appreciation and gratitude? Set up a kudos channel so team members can easily send recognition to each other for a job well done. This won’t cost you a dime to set up.
Send Gifts to your Employees
Imagine how your remote team members would feel when they receive a physical gift for a job well done. You can bet they’d be ecstatic. Having a physical reminder of their hard work is a great way to reinforce team engagement. Having problems sending something tangible? You can opt to give them an electronic gift card too which they can use to purchase something they want.
Give them a Day Off
Some R&R time is always a welcome reward for a job well done. Give your remote team members a day off without deducting their annual leave credits. The team can take turns on availing their time off so business continuity won’t be a problem.
Recognize Team Members on Virtual Town Hall Meetings
Make use of virtual town halls to put the spotlight on your best talents. There’s always a sense of pride when you get recognized in front of the whole organization. Having your company’s leaders acknowledge the efforts and great work of your team is a sure way to get them motivated.
Send an Award
Giving something to immortalize a job well done is a great way to keep employees motivated. For one of the previous companies I worked with, they would send trophies and plaques to their employees who reached a certain objective, completed a high-profile project, or won any deals for the business. They would also recognize employees who went the extra mile to complete projects or submit deliverables. It’s also great to have some company swag as a memento. Recognizing an employee’s efforts during a virtual town hall and then sending an award is a good combination to celebrate project successes.
Throw a Virtual Party
Here’s an awesome way to celebrate project successes. Have a virtual party! Can’t wrap your head around how to throw one? It’s really simple. Decide on the food you’ll serve. Order one for each team member and have it delivered to their home. For example, have every team member get a whole box of pizza delivered to their doorsteps. And then, have everyone online at the same time and enjoy your boxes of pizza together through a video conference.
Start with going over your project results and maybe you’d like to recognize some key team members. You can throw in a few virtual games to complete the party experience. And don’t forget your virtual party playlist too. Having everyone share the same physical and virtual experience will truly be a memorable remote team celebration.
Have a Team Retreat
If you have the budget for it, have a team retreat with your project team to celebrate your project’s completion. If it’s possible to have everyone co-located, then go for it. If not, you can choose to group team members who are at closest proximity to each other and have their mini-group retreats. This is a great way to not only celebrate project success but also solidify the bond between team members. You will find that this will have invaluable benefits in terms of increased creativity and productivity from your employees
Planning your Next Virtual Office Celebration
As you are planning for your next project, I hope you set aside time and resources to also plan on celebrating with your team as soon as the project comes to a close. You can always start small by setting up virtual kudos chats, allotting time during team meetings to recognize their efforts, and sending electronic gifts. When you’ve got more resources to send physical gifts, awards, and even have team retreats, then go for it.
The effort you put into making sure your remote team members are engaged and motivated will go a long way. What are your favorite remote team building activities and ways to celebrate project successes? Share them in the comments and let’s all find more ways to build a better remote team