BUILDING A TEAM
Teamwork in an organization does not just happen. It depends on the communication and leadership skills of all employees, both staff and management. Team Building Associates conducts a thorough assessment to determine your teamwork training needs and designs a program specific to your unique requirements.
Most programs fall into one of two categories: Leadership and Team Skills Development or Team Building for Intact Teams. The first program uses a learning laboratory approach. The participants come from different parts of the organization to learn and practice specific skills that will help them be better team members and leaders. Intact teams also learn and practice these skills. However time is spent addressing issues specific to the team and creating a “charter” that will help the team achieve a higher level of performance. The team may also conduct strategic planning and improve processes in key functional areas.
Most teams would like to achieve better results and enjoy a higher quality of workplace life. The place to start is making sure the organizational vision and the measures of success are clear. Once the desired state is known it can be compared to the actual or current state. From there issues and obstacles can be identified, strengths and resources defined and actions planned that will help your organization achieve its goals.
At the beginning of the program the participants formulate both team and individual learning objectives. In the latter part of the program the participants use the energy and skills they have gained from the training to tackle the specific business issues and challenges they face in their organization. To help them take back and apply what they have learned the participants develop a “team charter” that will guide how they work together as a team.
Team Building Associates designs and conducts a program to meet each client’s unique needs. The initial consultation with top management defines the scope and objectives of the program. With those objectives in mind the activities are selected and modified. A variety of action learning activities are selected to help the organization enhance communication, develop leadership and continuously improve operational processes and procedures.
Every organization has challenges it must deal with. Too often the internal resources that could answer these challenge go untapped or under-utilized. The people with the answers are those closest to the problem. With skilled facilitation those people can find and implement the answers that will move their organization to the next level of achievement. By raising the level of trust and understanding the different perspectives on an issue can be put on the table. When a problem can be discussed in cooperative manner it can be solved.
The ability to organize and conduct team learning is an essential part of the competitive advantage a “learning organization” enjoys over its competition. To compete in today’s global economy a work group has to be able to learn as a team and apply that learning to enhance productivity. Organizations that know how to learn as a team can adapt, innovate or make the changes necessary to capture new opportunities. As the participants go through each team building activity they gain a greater understanding of how to better inspire and access the human resources of a group. They also learn how to conduct a team problem solving dialogue – an essential managerial skill in making the adjustments needed to improve a team’s performance.
The length of a team building program can run from one to several days. Programs typically consist of a number of specially structured initiatives, discussions and mini-lectures. The format is interactive and highly participatory. It is well suited to a variety of learning styles. Participants find the experience enjoyable as well as educational. They especially appreciate gaining practical knowledge and skills that can be put to immediate use back in the workplace.
The action learning activities in a program can be conducted indoors or outside. They offer the team a fun and engaging way to learn and practice the skills of teamwork. No special physical strength or skills are required to fully participate. The discussions conducted after each activity help the participants develop their teamwork and leadership abilities. Each team is presented with a series of initiatives which require a cooperative effort to accomplish. The initiatives are action learning activities drawn from the ropes course, both high and low events, and other experiential team building methodologies. The activities are selected and modified by our staff based on the needs assessment and the client’s training objectives.
The manner in which the team members work together in the office is frequently replicated during an exercise. Two important questions asked by the facilitator at the end of each activity are: “What worked?” and “What would you do differently?” Team members are encouraged to take the behaviors and attitudes that worked with them to the next initiative and ultimately back to the office.