The department chairperson at a major teaching hospital needed help cultivating a partnership among its clinical, educational and research teams. The various stakeholders were finding it challenging to share resources and work together successfully.
And Take Names organized an intensive offsite team building retreat to encourage communication and mutual respect among the diverse team members and help foster department-wide cooperation so that everyone could work as a cohesive team.
The first steps in the months-long planning process were to properly identify all stakeholders, learn the key frustrations and challenges for each group, and determine how they could be better prepared to serve their customers. Administrators, doctors, students, scientists and staff were at odds trying to train residents effectively, care for patients, and support research efforts.
For the retreat, discussion groups were organized to provide a forum for effective communication among all of the groups. The day-long sessions each accommodated up to sixty participants, who would then be placed into smaller breakout groups of fifteen for more intense discussion. Each breakout group was assigned a facilitator to keep the conversation on track and to ensure equal participation among team members.
The team building retreat was a great success due to the resulting closeness between groups, productive dialogue and the high level of participation among attendees. Follow-up evaluations were performed on-site, and leaders came away with identifiable goals for encouraging communication and improving departmental cohesiveness. The findings from the day were carefully documented and published in a clear reporting format.
Having laid the groundwork for further communication, all of the stakeholders involved came away from the retreat with the knowledge and motivation to make changes for the benefit of the entire team.