Anna Springett has worked with us at the academy to create a toolkit for team development. The toolkit supports teams to spend time together, get to know each other, discuss what is important to them and ultimately consider how they can be more effective in continuing to deliver care to our patients and citizens. Anna is a Registered and Chartered (HCPC & BPS) Psychologist who specialises in leadership assessment and development, executive coaching, team building, and training design and delivery
We know that taking time off the ‘treadmill’ to re-group and reconnect is important when it comes to performance and wellbeing, and that this is true for teams as well as for individuals. The evidence backs this up: Investing time in teams – to build relationships or create a shared vision for the future for example – has a direct impact on outcomes (see for example Aubé, Rousseau & Tremblay (2015): ‘Perceived shared understanding in teams: The motivational effect of being ‘on the same page’. British Journal of Psychology). And yet we often do not prioritise taking time out to refocus, enhance team dynamics or address our shared challenges. Organising a team event takes time, and there are costs involved. For many of us, buying in external support creates a barrier, and we may not have the know-how or confidence to design and deliver a team session by ourselves. These common factors are what led to a ‘Team Development Toolkit’ being created: We recognised the need for a cost-effective and time-efficient route to enabling regular team development.
We allocate time for team development for a variety of reasons – to celebrate success, recognise the end of a challenging period, clarify team purpose or goals, build skills, engage a new team, improve relationships, enable better communication. This informs the first steps towards a successful event: We start by building clarity around the purpose and the desired outcomes, and then we plan from there. Investing this time maximises engagement from everyone involved, which in turn leads to the event meeting expectations and delivering the identified outcomes. That’s it in a nutshell: Where do we want to get to by the end of the allocated time? And, therefore, what do we need to do to get there? If you keep this as your focus, and with the support provided in the toolkit, you have every chance of delivering successful team sessions.
As some of you will know, before designing this material, we asked for input from team leaders across the South West region to inform what we included. Some of the challenges that were identified in relation to running team sessions are listed below, by way of a taster, and we have addressed them in detail in the toolkit itself.
- Time – Releasing teams for full day events.
- Cost – Venue hire can be expensive.
- Geographical spread – Making it accessible.
- Time – Different working hours.
- Buy-in – Getting stakeholder support.
If these challenges echo the barriers you have experienced, and if you are ready to invest in your teams, please register your interest to receive the team development toolkit: