An introvert’s worst nightmare is a spirit-raising group play at the workplace training.

I am very allergic to group hugs, embarrassing introductory plays, and “let’s make happy customers together” slogans.

Building remote teams is not easy

However, maintaining the team spirit of a remote team is not easy. Few teams remain self-sustaining, and it has been aptly said that the half-life of trust is six weeks. Something should be done, but what? The most typical ways to build trust, i.e. joint meetings and lunches, are ruled out and good tools are scarce.

Team building is especially difficult for new employees who only meet their colleagues through Slack or Teams. In this case, the perception of teammates is at least incomplete, often even incorrect.

SmoothTeam is suitable also for the skeptics

We have been developing SmoothTeam for five years now and we have done thousands of simulations. Based on them, we know that the service works great also for the skeptics. This is because we go straight to the point and talk about things that are truly significant and of interest to the team.

Gamified learning is not play. It’s a discussion of what each of us in the team is like, how we experience each other’s strengths, and how we work together.

Even the contrarians and cynics enjoy

After the simulation, we often hear that (graduate) engineers in particular have had reservations about SmoothTeam in advance, but are surprised positively. So we give the simulations a skeptic guarantee: SmoothTeam is not a troublesome experience for even the toughest contrarian. We offer a meaningful, useful and inclusive experience for everyone.

Some of our team members are very skeptical towards team events – “how can we spend hours playing a game?!” Fortunately the simulation succeeded involving everyone fully. It was not only playful, but also practical training and development for us as a team. Everybody commented afterwards that the simulation was useful and enjoyable. For me as the manager it is essential that I get everybody on board on what we are doing as a team.

Svea Paju, Tikkurila

The simulation does not try to be funny

The simulation is typically a fun experience, but the fun arises spontaneously and is thus a common, shared experience – like a nice evening with friends. The simulation itself has no forced humor, but it gives participants the freedom to have a discussion. This often leads to a relaxed and good atmosphere and also fun moments. There have also been moments of cry in the simulations when really personal things have been told. But everyone is allowed to decide for themselves, without pressure, how much to open up themselves.

If you are still skeptical, get in touch so you can learn in more detail how the service works! Or read about the experiences of our customers.

Pasi Kovanen
The author is responsible for the technology of the SmoothTeam simulation platform and is HR’s worst nightmare: a master’s degree in information technology, a science freak and a member of the Finnish Association of Skeptics.