How to use team chat to strengthen camaraderie

Team building illustration, figures in chat bubbles

Only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. We can hear managers everywhere sighing. Luckily, there are ways to better engage your team, specifically using tools that create connectedness. Of the workers we surveyed, 71% said team chat makes them feel more connected at work.

A vibrant chat culture is also especially crucial to remote workers. With the rise of the remote workforce, it’s important we get team building and collaboration in chat right. So here are some ways to bring your team together, increase engagement, and ultimately be more productive as a whole.

1. Know your team’s communication and chat styles

We found workers whose colleagues know their chat style feel more connected (54%), more productive (51%), and highly engaged at work (41%).

So start asking your teammates, “How do you like to use chat?” Have a group discussion about each other’s styles and habits. Make notes of people’s work hours and preferences, and store this information someplace openly accessible.

Doing a DISC assessment or Myers Briggs might be a fun way to learn more about how your team works and likes to communicate.

2. Have agreed upon best practices for your teams

Once you’ve talked about your chat styles, create a terms of engagement document the whole team can reference.

One example may be deciding what the team’s etiquette around an away status should be. Say someone’s status is “Out of the office until Thursday,” maybe send them an email if it’s not urgent. Or maybe your team agrees you won’t expect responses from anyone after 5 p.m. If they do respond, cool, but don’t expect it.

The key is talking about it and figuring out what works for your team.

3. Share company values through chat

Your chat program is a great place to reinforce company values in a fun, light way.

Create custom emojis and gifs representing your values. So when someone does something representative of a certain value people can give the perfect response.

We built Stride to help your team express themselves in a number of ways, from choosing the perfect gif response to a team announcement or creating a meme around an inside joke from a retreat. These little extras help build a company culture of camaraderie and reinforce your workplace values.

4. Provide team recognition through chat

A survey found recognition for hard work is worth more than money to most employees. Acknowledging hard work helps employees stay motivated and creates a sense of belonging.

A super simple way to share praise is with Karma Bot. Folks can give “karma points” to each other and Karma Bot keeps track of the points. This simple bot helps create a feeling of camaraderie; a little “I see what you did there, and I think it’s great.”

Bonusly is another Stride app that allows you to give and track affirmations and recognition. 

5. Agree on distraction-free deep work times

Sometimes you need quiet moments to really focus. That’s why Stride has Focus Mode. Maybe pick a few hours a week when everyone goes into Focus Mode and gets some distraction-free work done.

The same thing can work in reverse. Pick a time to all be on chat and dedicate it to something fun and off-topic. This especially helps remote teams bond.

What works for your team? How have you used team chat to improve teamwork? Join the discussion on Atlassian Community.

Team Chat Guide
Check out our team chat survey results.

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