5 Proven Steps to Build a Cohesive Team Online
Managing Remote Developers

5 Ways to Build Cohesive IT Teams

Sharon Koifman
Founder and Remote CEO at DistantJob - - - 3 min. to read

High employee turnover can hurt your company. To keep your top talent and thrive, you need teams that work well together. How do you build a cohesive team, especially when your developers are spread out, working remotely from their homes?

With developers being responsible for 70% of a company’s sales performance, the first question that comes to mind could be how to make sure that your dev team stays productive over time. Before software measuring KPIs and time trackers, there is another thing that will boost your productivity. And that is a collaborative and cohesive team. 

In this article, we explore 5 effective strategies to foster team cohesion and collaboration. Let’s start with what it means to have a cohesive team in the first place.

What Is Team Cohesion And Why It Does Matter

By definition, team cohesion happens when team members feel connected and driven to achieve a common goal. As easy as it sounds, a cohesive team maintains unity throughout the development project. Each member contributes equally and supports the others’ work.

Virtual teams are often made by people coming from opposite sides of the world. Despite cultural differences, when team members share values and goals, they stick together in time. Why is team cohesion crucial? 

The answer lies in the impact on company performance and productivity. Almost 97% of employees feel that a lack of alignment with team members negatively impacts the outcome of a task. On the flip side, cohesive teams lead to better performance, have a strong sense of belonging, and personal satisfaction. These elements are vital to creating a dynamic and positive work environment where people want to stay. 

What Makes A Cohesive Team?

Being part of a team doesn’t only mean working together on specific tasks. Over time, you share satisfaction and happiness when you finish a project or frustration and stress under tight deadlines. Especially in busy times with important projects, team cohesion is essential to keep people together, avoiding conflict or ineffective discussions. 

What makes a cohesive team changes over time. Like in an office setting, virtual teams go over different stages and phases.

How you build trust among team members depends on multiple factors. For example, if you are running a startup with a new team, improving social engagement and casual conversation is an excellent strategy to help the team bond. The same type of strategy won’t work with a team that has been working together for years.  Let’s get into the steps you need to take to build that cohesive team today!

How to Create a Cohesive IT Team Remotely

Each team is unique. However, there are five strategies that you should always keep in mind to transform your remote team into a cohesive team. 

cohesive team

1. Define Your Remote Company Culture 

Company culture sounds like an affirmer or an abstract definition. In a remote company, creating culture means creating connections. The company mission is like an invisible web that keeps everyone connected. No matter how far the joints of this web are its lines are strong enough to hold people together. 

The lack of a strong company culture has substantial and visible effects even more in remote settings, where people work through digital interfaces and screens. 

When you create a strong connection through culture, people stop working only for themselves. They start working together towards a common goal. Company culture is the first step to take if you want to create a cohesive team that will last in time. 

2. Establish Internal Communication

We are obsessed with remote communication. Thanks to our experience as a remote recruitment agency, we know how important effective communication is in virtual teams. Looking at some data, almost 86% of employees blame the lack of remote communication for late deliveries and low-quality results. As a team leader, you must create clear communication channels and keep organized the company documentation. 

There are tons of apps and software for remote workers that can help you organize and structure internal communication.  On busy days, your team members will be autonomous and ready to support each other, rather than wasting time finding a document or the right channel for announcements.

If you create a clear and efficient virtual workplace, your team will be more productive saving time for casual conversation!  

3. Give and Ask for Feedback 

One of the best ways to create a cohesive team is by giving and asking for feedback. No one is perfect, and even the most skilled programmer needs directions. During a development project, you must be there to give feedback. It should be a mix of individual feedback and team discussions. If you point out what didn’t work well, your team should explain the process and the course of action. Exchanging opinions and discussions on tasks and projects will water the ground for a more cohesive unit during the next project.

On the other hand, as a team leader, you should always ask for feedback. You also are a human being, and you can get mistaken. Or you can overwhelm team members because you aren’t fully aware of their workload. Make sure that feedback comes from both ways and that you listen to your team members.

4. Trust 

As we mentioned a few times, it’s crucial to set clear communication channels and that your team members feel comfortable with open communication. Whether they’re talking with a CEO or a coworker, no one should feel scared of sharing ideas. 

Building trust isn’t an abstract idea but a very concrete action. Giving feedback also means correcting mistakes. How you handle these mistakes can enforce or break trust.

To build trust in virtual teams, being transparent isn’t enough. You must show over time that you care about your team’s opinion. If they burn out because you overwhelm them with tasks or meetings, arrange a 1 – 1 meeting to discuss a different method and strategy.

When your team members see your effort in making their work experience better, they will trust you when you point out that something isn’t working. 

5. Team Bonding & Celebrate Wins

Last but not least, have fun. After feedback and tough projects, there should always be time to celebrate.

Appreciating your coworkers for their hard work is the last step to creating a cohesive and dynamic virtual team.

Remember that building a cohesive team is a never-ending process. New projects bring new challenges and team members. Creating occasions to celebrate and bond besides working tasks is the best way to maintain your team cohesion over time. 

Hire Wisely and Build The Best Virtual Team 

The process of creating a company requires strong team cohesion. You need inspired and passionate individuals to boost productivity and create a great brand. Team cohesion is the best way to connect with your talented developers and make them fall in love with your company’s mission.  

These tips come from our direct experience as a remote recruitment agency. Our team works from opposite sides of the world, but distance never mattered for our company. 

Remember that, before every strategy you can find, a cohesive team requires strategic hiring. These tips won’t work if you hire people that don’t fit with your company. If you want an expert eye to go through the application or someone who knows how to ask the right questions, just contact us! We will walk you through the whole hiring process to find the best remote developers for your project

Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman, the founder and remote president at DistantJob, specializes in recruiting top remote developers and spearheading remote workforce strategies. Sharon's approach combines cutting-edge remote recruitment practices with a deep commitment to building effective, globally distributed teams.

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