If you’re a manager, then you know that with any sign of corporate change in the air, you have to be on your toes.
Things can quickly go south if your team doesn’t stay on track in spite of changes occurring all around them.
One key tip for navigating change is keeping morale healthy in your team. Verizon Wireless sent their team to us exactly for this reason. A charity team building workshop turned out to be just the ticket for sagging morale amidst company-wide changes!
Verizon wanted above all to benefit someone else.
When the Verizon manager came to us and asked for help in choosing a team building workshop, she stated there was one major stipulation. The event had to do something that benefited others!
That narrowed it down pretty quickly to our selection of charity team building workshops. We suggested Wagon Builders™, which benefits kids or families in the Minneapolis area. Teams build little red wagons and them fill them with toys, household supplies, or whatever items fit the receiving charity.
Secondary goal: managing change.
Our initial consultation with the Verizon contact revealed a lot of things. She mentioned that the group was stumbling along a rocky path of corporate change lately, and she’d love to address that during the workshop as well.
In addition, she ticked off a few other items on her list: peer relationships, merging teams, and thinking outside the box. We had our work cut out for us!
Wagon Builders™ provided all of that and more.
By filling wagons with donations for a local charity, the Verizon group fulfilled their primary goal.
As for relationships and thinking outside the box, the hands-on activities of this workshop addressed those topics as well. All our workshops do this, actually! And the goal of focusing on merging teams? That required fundamental communication skills, which of course are always a part of our workshops. Done, done, and done!
Wagons go to the Ronald McDonald House of Minneapolis
Wagons assembled by the teams were filled with useful items for kids, then donated to the Ronald McDonald House right here in Minneapolis. That’s goal #1.
How the workshop went.
After icebreakers (Air Counting), the 55 participants were divided into teams. This broke up little bunches of co-workers who stuck together out of habit, since they worked side-by-side every day of the week.
This did wonders for getting everyone to leave old communication patterns behind and adopt a fresh perspective. Once that was accomplished and the ice was broken, we did an exercise to determine team leaders. These leaders were to play important roles throughout the rest of the Wagon Builders™ event.
Workshop activity actually mimics the perils of corporate change.
The next activity was called “Minefield” and involved team leaders choosing someone from their group to leave the room. In the meantime, teams placed school supplies around a square, creating a “minefield”.
Upon return, the chosen participant is blindfolded and led through the minefield by teammates’ verbal instructions. Everyone gets involved, and success depends on collaboration and great communication skills.
It just goes to show that everyone needs a coach or friend at work. Sometimes you’re that blindfolded guy and sometimes you’re the mentor, guiding someone through a difficult patch.
It all tied in nicely with the goals Verizon Wireless set out to achieve. Score another one for teamwork!