Team Morale a Key Challenge
At the beginning of this year I was talking to Catherine, a corporate client of ours from a multinational company here in Dublin. Catherine mentioned that one of her objectives for this year is to boost team morale to aid team cohesion. The conversation came about in the context of a major new project that was beginning in a few weeks and involved multidisciplinary teams within her organisation. Within many business organisations today there is growing recognition that boosting staff morale has a positive impact on productivity, attendance and staff retention.
Heavy Workloads and High Demands
As we spoke a little more she mentioned that energy levels were waning recently and surprisingly this had become the accepted norm. This is an ongoing challenge that I see with our corporate clients and one that faces many HR managers. It can be quite common place in larger organisations, particularly when workloads are heavy and high demands are placed on individuals and teams.
For Some Heavy Work Can a Piece of Cake!
People are always open to improving their working environment. I find that when HR managers approach teams with a proposal for a team building activity, the response is enthusiastic. Employees want a pleasant working environment and want to achieve good team relations. People are usually open to finding creative ways to achieve that.
By initiating a situation where individuals can work together informally with creativity and fun, team morale problems can be effectively addressed indirectly, without dealing with it head on. I love the humour in Gary Larson the far side and especially this cartoon of the guy whistling whilst working in hell!
We wanted to create an event that promoted engagement, collaboration and having fun. Together we devised a workshop on building terrariums. The design and format of the workshop ensured individuals from different teams worked in pairs or groups of three. Their tasks involved problem solving, learning through doing and team building in an informal environment.
Wide Appeal For All in The Group
In order to appeal to all the participants in the workshop. We included a range of topics in the workshop.
- Terrarium History and Economics
- Plant Varieties and Plant Care
- Terrarium Design
- Everyone took a their handy work home (for better or worse,in sickness and in health)
A Remarkable Success
The workshop proved to be a remarkable success with staff. People were engaged and enthused with the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. Individuals who would not typically engage directly with each other learned that they had shared interests and abilities. The formal feedback was so positive that Catherine and the management team has decided to offer our team building workshops on a quarterly basis.