Team Development - Conflict - Organisational Change

Resolving Workplace Conflict

Case Studies

The Client:

A Unit of a large Queensland University whose role is to work with students to provide learning support strategies with staff working across multiple campuses. The Unit comprises some 20 staff.

The Brief:

To work with the new Unit Manager to design and facilitate a team building process to address conflict within the group and provide a basis for the group to develop strategies for staff to move forward. A number of unproductive group patterns and behaviours were evident and were constraining the performance of the Unit.

The Unit had recently been created following a significant organisational restructuring and had not yet formed cohesively. Three previously discrete but related functions had been reorganised into a single Unit to provide more integrated learning services to students.

The team building needed to result in action plans which could be supported and implemented by staff to enable the Unit to develop new ways of working in line with the Unit's new role.

Our Response:

We worked with the Unit Manager to understand the background and history of the group, as well as it's core business, functions and priorities. We conducted a needs analysis by getting the input of all staff to better understand their concerns and aspirations in getting the Unit working effectively and in developing a team approach.

HR Advantage designed and conducted a team planning and development workshop which focussed on these issues identified by the needs analysis – improving team working, clarifying roles and responsibilities within the group, exploring the mission and vision of the Unit, and establishing clear actions to address issues arising.

The workshop was conducted in way which was highly interactive to support open communication and enable participants to air and address issues of concern constructively with fellow team members. The process included facilitation of a clear plan of action, with actions recommended and agreed by participants to ensure their commitment, energy and ownership to follow through.

The Results:

Improved open communication between Unit members and recognition of concerns of group members. Participants commented that the process was 'cathartic' in some respects, enabling staff to get 'issues off their chests', and move on while also understanding the perspectives and concerns of others.

The group had undertaken previous teambuilding activities during the restructuring process that team members had not seen as valuable and participants commented that the HR Advantage facilitated session had been productive and time well spent, with clear actions and commitment to actions arising.

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