Why host a team-development conference?
In not-for-profit (NFP) organisations it is vital to have a sense of community and belonging to a team; working together for the greater good of your members or society is the essence of the NFP sector.
Fostering teamwork creates a work culture that values collaboration. In a team environment people understand and believe that thinking, planning and actions are better when done co-operatively, which leads to greater efficiency and a well-balanced work dynamic.
It was for the reasons above that Housing Resource and Support Service Inc. (HR&SS) asked Third Sector Services to plan a comprehensive day of team-building and motivational activities.
Third Sector Services’ brief for HR&SS was to provide an inspirational day of fun that created opportunities for staff to get to know one another in new ways to inspire closer working relationships and greater sharing of ideas. The day also provided their hard-working staff with a chance to laugh and relax together as they were learning.
HR&SS works for social change in the areas of accessible housing, social inclusion, disability rights and self-determination. HR&SS contributes to improving the lives of people with disabilities worldwide by sharing their knowledge and skills across an international network.
How it was achieved
As the professional conference organisers for many national and international events, Third Sector Services fulfilled the brief by:
Tailoring the day to the organisation
Taking into account the values and personality of the organisation, Third Sector Services planned a comprehensive day of activities to achieve HR&SS’s goals.
The industry that HR&SS work within and the different individuals within the organisation were all taken into account to plan a day that suited the organisation and its staff.
Third Sector Services Manager Candice de Chalain said “Team development must align with an organisation’s core values and needs in order to be as effective as possible. This involves understanding the requirements of professional development and team development, and being able to customise these to an individual organisation.”
Engaging a professional team developer
A series of activities by professional team development company Tebu were designed to bond and foster a team, providing HR&SS with an opportunity to relax, laugh and relate to one another.
Tebu has offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and facilitates activities that benefit organisations and their staff, helps staff recognise their (and others’) strengths, and keeps staff motivated.
“Team development must be strategic, targeted, and be bought in from the top,” said Tebu’s Senior Facilitator Peter Hodgson.
“To invest in team development is to invest directly into your people. Organisations’ efficiency and profit is often directly dependent upon their productivity.”
The day commenced with a range of problem solving exercises, including a martial arts battle of skill, mind control and concentration, which ended in hysterical laughter.
Following each activity Tebu facilitated discussions about lessons learned and how to apply them in the workplace, helping HR&SS to better understand how the team could optimally function.
One of Tebu’s renowned activities BUZZ asked HR&SS staff to create an advertisement which explained and marketed their organisation to the world. The brief was met with excitement and costumes were worn with enthusiasm. The activity allowed HR&SS to focus their energy on the values and mission of their organisation while at the same time developing the morale and enthusiasm of the team. The day was concluded with a gala advertisement screening.
Involving a motivational speaker
Over lunch, Paralympian Jessica Gallagher shared her positive insights via a motivational presentation to HR&SS staff. Australia’s Paralympians are elite athletes and inspiring people who are dedicated to excellence. Furthermore, it tied in well with HR&SS’s work in the disability sector.
Gallagher competed in the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver where she became the first Australian woman to win a Winter Paralympic Games medal.
Gallagher was the perfect example of the importance of determination, perseverance and self-belief needed to achieve success and provided many powerful insights.
“Different people identify with different parts of my story and can relate it to their own lives. It’s always a really powerful thing for me to be able to inspire people and open their eyes to what they can achieve,” said Gallagher.
Her inspirational speech left HR&SS with renewed vigour and was a valuable part of the conference. Gallagher’s story is just one of many motivational speakers from the Australian Paralympic Committee.
Thanks from HR&SS
HR&SS were thrilled with the day’s outcomes.
HR&SS Operations Manager Tom Robin said “The type of comfort zone challenges that Third Sector Services set for us really helped to reinforce the power of teams, and that each of us has a unique contribution to make. And the challenges were fun! We all had a great time and a good laugh as well.”
“Team Building off-site once a year is a very valuable and important training experience for the staff and management of HR&SS. We spent a day defining our individual diversity, our work styles and preferences, and focused on team building that will provide the best outcomes for our clients.”
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