In early 2007, personal relationships in the Oswestry office of Shropshire County Council’s Highway Maintenance Team had been identified as a contributing factor to disappointing performance from the Oswestry unit.
The challenge was to improve the team’s quality and quantity of output, in line with expectations of customers and stakeholders, by improving the way that the team relate to each other and work together.
A four-session development programme was designed that was preceded by a short “buy-in” workshop, with a similar session at the end to develop individual on-going personal development plans.
The programme set out to raise team members’ desire to work together as a team, the respect that they have for each other, and the way that they behave towards each other.
It focused on getting people to recognise each other’s strengths and possible weaknesses, and develop the ability and confidence to utilise these personal traits in a cohesive and effective team.
The programme’s structure meant that the team interacted with each other, away from their normal work environment, on six separate occasions, getting to know and understand each other, and enabling a solid start to the required behavioural changes.
Progress was initially slow, with inherent scepticism being a significant barrier. As confidence grew the rate of progress improved, and by the final session the whole team publicly acknowledged what they had personally gained from the programme, how the team had benefited and what they were committing to do to embed the changes and continue with the teams’ development.
"An unqualified success - we’ve had six months since the programme formally ended, but the team has continued to build on the obvious benefits that we saw at the end of the programme.
Some individuals have benefited more than others, but all are now interacting well. Leaders are more accepting of their leadership roles and have become more supporting of their teams.
Thank you very much Innergy, an excellent programme and a result that exceeded expectations."
Chris Edwards Assistant Director, Environmental Maintenance, Shropshire County Council