Team building With Sheffield University Staff – Feb 16

Why did I use ELT?

I am a new manager to my department, and my team is split across 2 offices. I wanted to bring my team together and develop productive team relationships to overcome the physical barrier of locations, while also being able to assess what type staff I have within my team.

When you say ‘teambuilding’ staff think of workplace meeting rooms, sticking post-it notes on walls, desk based games, and questionnaires telling you what type of animal you are. While these are good ways to teach the theory of leadership and teamwork, it doesn’t actually challenge people and get them work together as a team, and if I’m honest, staff find it boring.

I wanted to get people out of the office, away from the corporate jazz, and see how they actually work together, as individuals and a team.
I could not find any company in South Yorkshire that met my expectations until I found Expert Leadership Training. I emailed Andy what I had in mind – and we met coffee to discuss the various options he had prepared for me. Andy produced 5 different offers, catering to a range of prices and focusing of different areas of teamwork. All of these ideas were excellent, exciting, and custom to my request – but one of them was the best by far!

What did we do?

I chose Andy’s option to take the team completely away from the office and do some practical teambuilding exercises in the beautiful village of Castleton. Andy organised everything from minibus pick up, venue hire, and a pub lunch – which went down very well with the staff – and I only needed to pay ELT rather than arrange it all and pay for it myself.

The day was themed as a ‘Crystal Maze’ style challenge, where we completed physical and metal challenges – the team were anxious and excited (which isn’t normally said for teambuilding days!). A concern was the age / ability range of my staff – however Andy already had this covered due to his wealth of experience and excellent planning, he was able to adapt every part of the day to any individual needs – I found the people who were most cautious to being with became the most active once we started.

The team took part in 9 challenges over the afternoon that were not only great fun but made the team identify each other’s strengths and how to support each other’s weaknesses.

My highlight is the team learnt that everyone has to work together in order to overcome a challenge. After each challenge, the team self-analysed (without being prompted) so they could win the next challenge – learning about themselves and each other in ways that paper based exercises could never achieve.

By exposing us to different challenges, time pressures and failure outside of an office environment we were able to really bond and really work together as a team, massively improving relationships.

Andy made sure everyone took part, his attitude, energy and control made sure we all benefitted from the day.

Benefits

My team really saw this as a reward and a great day out, they learned to reflect upon their performance and actively work together as a team (without being told to).

As a manager I was able to analyse and review my staff and how they contribute to the team, learning more about their leadership styles and personalities than I could in the office. I also had a great day doing something different and fun as all the planning and organisation was done by Andy, meaning I had nothing to worry about.

I will be using ELT again, and I would recommend you contact Andy and let him plan your day for you too!

Adam A
Student Experience Manager (TED)
Sheffield Hallam University

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