Why Development Planning should be part of your Management Planning

Development planning should be a central element to any management structure. Helping your employees to plan their future careers is essential to their growth, team spirit and the future of the company. Not understanding the needs and the talents of your employees can lead to the loss of talent, a company that manages its staff well and with due diligence and care will win every time.
An article titled “Why Top Young Managers Are in a Nonstop Job Hunt” by Monika Hamori, Jie Cao and Burak Koyuncu from the Harvard Business Review stated that
“Dissatisfaction with some employee-development efforts appears to fuel many early exits. We asked young managers what their employers do to help them grow in their jobs and what they’d like their employers to do, and found some large gaps. Workers reported that companies generally satisfy their needs for on-the-job development and that they value these opportunities, which include high-visibility positions and significant increases in responsibility. But they’re not getting much in the way of formal development, such as training, mentoring and coaching – things they also value highly.”
It essentially described that many high achievers are not getting the career development that they need. So why is development planning frequently ignored?
1. Many companies focus on the here and now, day to day operations become more important.
2. No time for activities. This is such a poor excuse, as team building done correctly will serve a wider purpose, not just from an individual’s development but from an overall team perspective.
3. Genuine interest in your employee’s future is important to the morale of the team as a whole. It will also build loyalty. Once you have the engagement of a team member then this will lead to enhanced productivity.
4. Talented people who are good at their jobs want to advance in their careers, supporting and nurturing this is key. Training, mentoring and coaching are all part of making this happen. Being versatile and valuable will enhance an organisation. Allowing your employees to experience this is paramount.
5. Development planning does not necessarily have to be as costly to a company as you may think. Finding the right professional who can tailor events and workshops to your needs will only benefit everyone, not least of all the overall productivity of a company.
6. The right training will lead to a strong team that work well together. Why not think about a weekend get away with your employees, a food and drink event as a reward for hard work, a day on the water or even simple indoor activities to free the mind and get the creative juices flowing.
How will this help? It will help you to understand your employees as individuals. You will be able to establish what their skill sets are and any needs they may have. Identifying the gaps in their knowledge will help you lead them to a brighter future. If you get this right, then the reward will be long term loyalty, so the pay offs can be immense.

Contact us NOW on 01425 629327 to find out how we can help your team.


Leadership – where does it begin?

Leadership – where does it begin?

Teambuilding Solutions had the pleasure of presenting a Leadership Workshop for two hours at Eden Girls School in Walthemstowe, London. This prompted the question of when and at what age should we be thinking in terms of our own leadership and leadership style? At what age is this appropriate?

Well, we believe that the younger you introduce these concepts to children, the better equipped they will be in later life. When I think back to my own school years (quite a long time ago I know!) we didn’t receive any formal learning of teams or leadership – we learnt by doing. My first encounter with management style was at University during my degree, and that was a very formal way of learning. The rest came whilst working in the real world where all mistakes are amplified. It was only through self development did I really become to better understand how important this is in life and relationships. And yes, I’m still making mistakes!

I congratulate schools like Eden Girls for being progressive in introducing the concept and some of the terminology to children as young as Year 7 (11 to 12 year olds). After all, what are the key messages for being a good leader?

Listening skills

Positive attitude

Encourage others

Help people around you grow and develop


Are these not great attributes for our youth to aspire toward if they are to develop into the kind of adults we want them to be?

Well done Eden Girls School, we applaud your attitude and willingness to arm your pupils with important skills that they will find extremely useful not only during their school life, but later on in their adult life. This is a lesson many companies could learn!


Boosting Team Spirit with Food and Drink

When it comes to social situations, nothing brings people together and helps them to relax and bond more, than enjoying some good food and drink. After a long week at work, many of us will unwind by going out for dinner or a few drinks. For others, the actual preparation of the food is a major component in their eventual enjoyment, so may invite friends and family round for dinner parties.

These sorts of situations are commonplace in our social lives, and now is the time to introduce them into your teambuilding efforts. Activities based around food and drink can bring a wide range of different benefits to your workplace.

Just as with social situations, food and drink teambuilding activities can be split into two areas – tasting (wine and chocolate tasting spring to mind!) and preparing (how about learning how to make your own cocktails or sushi?)

Food and drink tasting activities can give your team an opportunity to enjoy something delicious with their co-workers, while also learning some interesting information that they may not already know. You can also introduce a competitive element to the day, by pitting people against each other in teams, seeing who can guess the most correct answers to a quiz at the end of the day.

Activities based around food and drink preparation will allow your team to showcase and develop their creativity, while also helping to build relationships and trust. These activities put everyone on the same level playing field, regardless of their position within the company.

There are a lot of similarities which can be drawn between preparing a meal and working, and certain skills are transferrable. To successfully prepare a delicious meal requires a great deal of creativity, innovation, time management, communication, multi-tasking, and the ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines. All of these skills are highly sought after by employers, so encouraging them within your own team will help you continue to grow and succeed.

Taking your employees on teambuilding activities is a great way to encourage the development of vital skills, but it also a fantastic opportunity for you to get to know your team in a more social environment. Activities based around food and drink can take place indoors, so are a perfect solution all year round!

The Krypton Maze Explained

We are often asked if we can make one of our events have a certain outcome. The simple answer is yes. The perfect example of this is our Krypton Maze activity. This consists of a series of physical and cerebral challenges that are designed to test a teams team work capability. If you are of a particular age, you will remember the inspirations for this activity – Tv’s The Crystal Maze and The Krypton Factor. We have used the challenges in these shows as our inspiration. We have then incorporated some our our experiences to come up with a mixture of challenges that not only engage the extroverts in your team, but also the introverted thinker.

To help understand the way in which this activity can engage your team and be tailored to a variety of outcomes, we have produced the following document. As this is one of our most popular events, we hope this will help understand why it is such a versatile and popular event.

The Krypton Maze


Rugby and team work

Which sport is the best example of great teamwork? I’m sure we will all have a different opinion as to what we think is the best – from the completely different ‘teams’ employed in American Football to the pit crew and support staff in Formula 1. Whilst these are great examples, the one thing they miss out on is the interaction between the teams at any one point. Of course, we can see the exact thing replicated in our work place as individuals and teams work in ‘silo’s’ completely detached from one another. So, is there a better example in Sport of teamwork?

I believe that Rugby Union may be one that fit’s the bill better than most. For those of you who don’t know the game, there are a number of differing positions which not only require differing physical attributes, but also differing personalities. Let me give you some examples:

Prop Forward – Physical Attributes: Large heavy and bulky frame, broad shoulders, not too tall.

Personality Attributes: Dogged, determined, prefers background to limelight, never say die attitude.

Stand Off/Fly Half – Physical Attributes: Athletic frame, quick feet and hands, flexibility

Personality Attributes: Sees big picture, vision, awareness, creative problem solver

These are taken from just two of the 8 primary positions on the field. It’s also interesting that there are 8 primary positions as we always stipulate in our teambuilding activities that teams should stick to a maximum of 8 per team. The ‘forward’ and ‘back’ number breakdown also has 8 as a theme – 8 forwards and 7 backs. Excellent teamwork becomes more difficult once this ‘magic’ number is exceeded and we develop a ‘herd’ mentality where we lose interaction and debate and become followers.

As with any team, success or failure is made up of individuals that excel in their positions. Unless we have people who are ‘experts’ in their field, success is less likely. Of course, we can have a team who’s teamwork is exceptional, but the deficiencies in their basic skills won’t make up the difference.

Again, this is also true in the workplace. When a company recruits new staff, they will usually look for ‘relevant’ experience. This is to ensure a person doesn’t have to spend months learning what to do. Of course there is always a learning curve when you join a new team or organisation, from differences in culture and vision to different tactics required. However, the basics are already in place.

So, let’s just get back to Rugby Union and summarise just why I believe it’s a great example of teamwork in action:

1. Made up of two sub-teams who constantly interact but operate differently

2. Each Sub-team has to interact well to perform at highest level

3. Team members must have vastly different skill sets for the team to succeed

4. Skills in each individual must be high

5. Strong leadership needs to exist in key areas on the pitch for optimal performance

6. Off field support needs to be of the highest standard

7. Preparation is essential

8. Communication is key

How can you take your teamwork to the next level? We offer Belbin/SDI/MBTI workshops to help us understand the differences in teams and how it’s important. We also run Facilitated Activities to let you play around with the roles we play in the team and to ensure the interactions between team members is appropriate and correct. Get in touch if you want to give your team their annual MOT!