Staff Team Building Workshops at College of Health Sciences
In line with the College of Health Science’s (CHS) communication strategy and UKZN’s REACH campaign, team building workshops to stimulate and improve communication as well as to increase collegiality among College staff were held at the UNITE Building on the Howard College campus in Durban.
REACH stands for Respect, Excellence, Accountability, Client orientation and Honesty - five core values based on uBuntu which formed the basis of the team building workshops.
The workshops, facilitated by Team Attitude which provides training, development and team building, assisted in getting staff ready for a fun-filled day with ice breakers, team building and a motivational talk.
Dean of Health Sciences, Professor Sabiha Essack, told staff the workshops were part of an effort to revitalise collegiality. ‘Despite our difficulties, we know where we want to be within the University as a School, and regardless of our stresses, we are delivering, as we have the greatest trajectory in research. This workshop will assist us to unwind and re-establish our relationships with our fellow colleagues’ said Essack.
Staff participated in a variety of tasks which tested their communication skills and ability to work as a team. Group tasks such as “Crossing the Crocodile River”, a beanbag throwing challenge, a giant inflatable obstacle course and human football were some of the exciting, competitive activities staff got involved in.
Dean of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, Professor William Daniels, said activities of the day generated great camaraderie. ‘Many of the exercises were metaphors. Not only have these workshops encouraged socialising they reminded us to not shy away from challenges and that if we have the right mindset and are focused we can be a great team.’
Team Development specialist and motivational speaker, Mr Brett Ellis addressed some of the many issues people experienced in their daily lives, saying ‘one of a person’s greatest leadership qualities is their ability to communicate’.
Operations Manager from the School of Clinical Medicine, Mrs Antoinette Botha, said the workshop assisted in raising awareness for staff who were dealing with certain issues. ‘We’ve learned that we need to bond as a team, respect each other, prove our excellence, be accountable in our dealings with each other and with clients, as well as being honest within the team. The REACH values prove the kind of attitude we want to adopt during a time when many changes are being made and I truly appreciate the spirit each of you have shown in doing what is needed to take part.’
After the School of Nursing and Public Health’s workshop, Dean and Head of School, Professor Busi Ncama, thanked all those who participated in the day’s events.
‘It’s always important to take time off from our busy schedules to look back and see if we still identify with the University’s vision of being a research driven Institution.’
Ncama emphasised the University’s REACH principles, especially the principle of honesty which is represented by the blue lanyards. ‘The exercises showed that sometimes it’s easy to be dishonest if you’re desperate to win or when put under pressure.’
She encouraged the staff to always work diligently and honestly at all times. ‘We want to work in strong teams and move the College towards this.’
A specific theme in Ellis’ talk was that leadership inspired teamwork. He asked whether when the power of leadership in an organisation was discussed, it was regarded as a skill or rather an attitude that was adopted?
‘One’s own agenda is secondary to the team’s agenda. When we work as a team, we must remember that competition hinders the vision we work towards. Being a team player is how you can bring value to the team. We have to be the influence to make the change,’ said Ellis.
After the successful Communications Workshop held in August this year within the CHS, team building workshops were held at all Schools within Health Sciences.
Staff is now encouraged to send in any queries or suggestions they have in this regard to the Ask account, an anonymous online platform at ask.fm/UKZNCHS