The best way to truly build team unity is to develop trust with individuals. The best way to develop trust is to spend time with the people on your team. In today’s technology deluge we get caught up in easy communication. Email has been the standard for years, and even as good as it is it’s impersonal and can often lead to miscommunication. Phone calls seem to happen less these days, and though better than email, it’s still a less-than-ideal method of communication. Video conference is used everywhere now, and has definitely elevated the personal aspect of communication.
All of these forms of communication taken together, as good as they are, cannot replace face time with the team. There’s something magical about being together with people you count on for your success. These occasions are where trust is built.
It’s worth the time and money to meet regularly with your team. It’s not always easy, and there are occasionally extenuating circumstances that preclude it, but whenever possible it’s worth it for the success of your organization. Find the time; make the effort; you’ll be glad you did.
The Product Management Perspective: I spent last week with my development team who I don’t get to see (in person) very often (they live/work two states away). It was a great opportunity to focus on important aspects of our work together. Though we work effectively through video conferencing and chat, nothing can replace the experiences we have when we’re together. Whether you work at the same location with your team or work remotely, buy your team lunch every so often and let them know you appreciate what they do. It’s one of the best “tools” in my bag.