Away days promote teamworking

Social functions, team away days and job rotations are among the policies used by forward-thinking organisations to encourage...

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Social functions, team away days and job rotations are among the policies used by forward-thinking organisations to encourage effective teamwork.

The Adult Learning Inspectorate, which won the central and local government Best Places to Work Award, has at least two team away days each year to promote team culture.

Meanwhile, at Asda, which won the Best Places to Work Award in the retail, wholesale and distribution category, the IT department will usually have an annual away day which the retailer describes as a mixture of fun and business.

"We have functionally aligned teams, so you know who you work with and what you are responsible for," said Steve Taylor, project manager in Asda's IT department.

"But we found that that could stifle cross-functional working, so every year 10% of the department rotates, transferring their skills to a new area."

However, for some companies a team culture within IT should not be at the expense of IT staff's sense of belonging to the whole organisation.

At Bucknall Austin, which was shortlisted for the construction, agriculture and mining Best Places to Work Award, funding is set aside for team events, and an open atmosphere is encouraged in meetings.

"We are provided with funding, which we use to celebrate IT events such as deployments or roll-outs," said Mark Evans, IT manager at Bucknall Austin.

"Team building is also embodied in our 'Chinese parliament' IT meetings where everyone can speak their mind regardless of seniority within the team."

Building team spirit >>

This was first published in May 2005



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