Does Team Development Make a Difference?
You bet it does! Having been in the Team Development and Training Industry for twenty years, I sometimes wonder if our work does make a real difference. The sad reality is that teambuilding activities often create a short-term fix.
Unless Management is prepared to reinforce the Training outcomes with strong support, it does tend to trickle into nothingness, and it is a case of “back to the tried and tested.”
An experience I had two weeks ago with a very big International Organisation is worth noting.
I was called in to perform a Customer-Centric intervention, which was based on the poor customer feedback on the South African Division compared to the International levels.
Teaching people about customer centricity can be done through a book, but in order the “change” people you need to make them feel “guilty” or accountable for their poor behaviour or actions.
The first step is to remind the team why they exist and revisit their purpose. In doing this I could see that the team was still not fully engaged, so I asked each person to tell me: what would happen if we failed to do our jobs well?
Beyond Teambuilding pride ourselves in creating events, activities and challenges that push any team past mediocrity, allowing them to express themselves in a way that unleashes a team synergy that is often lying dormant. Our teambuilding is done in two definitive ways; formal and informal. Both have merit and are used to create the specific objectives of your particular team’s needs.
It was the showstopper we needed as it related to answers about financial loses, loss of jobs and even death! Only now did I have a captured the audience.
Now we went to work ensuring that whatever we approached and dealt with was related back to the purpose of our work and what impact this would have on our customer.
Too often we found that initiatives put forward by the delegates would make their lives easier or more “unaccountable”, but if looked at through the customer, it had little impact at all. It became our catalyst to understanding whether our initiatives had any worth and the outputs from that point on were substantially more impactful.
The real good news was the following feedback I got along with concrete proof that the work on that day did make a difference.
“John, great to hear from you. I can tell you that the response from the team has been fantastic and I have included below are the results of our user satisfaction survey for Q1.
You can see the improvement very clearly, and this is a direct result of the Teambuilding and Strategy Session.
You can see a direct correlation (positive) between the Session we had in February and the Results, and I am really happy with this. I will reach out to you during Q2 to look at possible interventions or review sessions for the Team.