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Group Dynamix produces extraordinarily fun events for youth, corporations and organizations at the largest indoor team building center in the U.S., and at client locations everywhere.

Posts Tagged ‘Dallas’

Recognizing the Need for Team Building

Monday, August 6th, 2012

team buildingBefore helping start Group Dynamix in 1998, I labored in a lot of different work environments many of which the companies lacked any understanding of how to build effective teams.  In fact, most never truly realized they had a need for team building until it was too late.  Several of these companies nearly failed as they witnessed key employees leave followed by their key customers.

For decades, surveys have shown that the top thing employees want most from theirs jobs is not money but appreciation.  Some might make the case that a bonus is a good way to show appreciation, but it’s more than that.  People want to be valued by their organization, not just by their manager, the CEO, their project leader, but by their work groups.  That’s why colleagues sometimes have more influence on employees’ work performance than their bosses.

Too often, companies encourage “silo thinking” with their employees in which collaboration, resource sharing, fruitful communication and other team attributes are limited in hopes the employees will be self-managed or self-directed.  Unfortunately, that counters what employees rank as the second most important thing they want from their jobs  – feeling “in” or better yet, feeling part of their groups.

Harken back to those drama-filled days of high school when you felt isolated from certain groups that you wanted to be a part, or the times that you felt you were the only one doing the work or cared about what you were doing.  Feeling alone in work or play is discouraging.  Most people can’t thrive without connection with others.  When part of a team effort, people respond by working harder and seek success more for the group than personal accomplishment.

So how do you know if your group needs team building?  The simple answer is “if they’re breathing.”  Any group of individuals who share a work environment and are gathered to produce some outcome for their company could easily be called a team.  The problem is teams don’t just happen, they are made.  When you dump out a puzzle from its box, you can claim that all the pieces are there to produce an outcome.  But how it turns out depends entirely on how the pieces fit together.

Group Dynamix employs a lot of different tools to help the build process.  What is important about every tool we use is that it bridges a connection between the participants that establishes a relationship that carries forward.  From that dynamic, “appreciation” and “feeling a part” becomes more realized and shared among the group.

An Amazing Journey With Advancial

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

The place- The brand new Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas. The people – 160 Advancial employees.  The Event – A Group Dynamix Amazing Journey.

As guests check into the Omni Hotel on January 15th, their curiosity is  peeked by waves of laugher and cheers heard sporadically throughout corridors of this lavish hotel. Their curiosity turns to amusement as they see gaggles of green-shirted Advancial employees hurrying  to various destinations  throughout the hotel seeking clues or performing tasks before moving onto their next destination.

Advancial, who was voted one of “Best Companies To Work For” by the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal and Texas Monthly, prides itself on creating a great work environment. According to Brent Sheffield( Advancial President & CEO), they try not to take their work too seriously and have  fun, and “having fun starts from  the top down. ” As an example of their fun culture,  during a circus event, Brent dressed as a circus ring leader and handed out animal crackers to employees around their office according to Heather Stalling, Business Relations Officer at Advancial. “The Leadership Team is always doing something fun to promote company activities and never ceases to wow us!”

So when they wanted to “wow” their employees again, they turned to Group Dynamix.  Their stated goal was to bring individuals  together whose primary interaction is over the phone. They didn’t know each other or have any shared experiences. They really wanted to build bonds that make their ties stronger so that at the end of the day shared an experience that lasts a lifetime.

At the end of the event,  some of the Advancial employees were asked to share their thoughts of their Amazing Race.  Here are some of their comments.   ”This was an amazing event.” ” We want to do it next year.” “If I was going to build an event I would not change a thing.” So was GDX successful? In the words of Brent “When  someone has nothing they can criticize you  on than that is pretty special!”

During the post event interview, Brent stated, ” When we did this event, we looked at a number of companies to outsource to. GDX stood out head and shoulders above all the groups we talked to. They really matched our kind of corporate culture.”

Generations and Teams: A New Era

Friday, March 30th, 2012

An “era” is defined as a period of time marked by distinctive character, events, etc. I believe right now we are ushering in a unique and challenging era in corporate America. For the first time in history, employers are struggling to balance the different needs and working styles of four different generations in the workforce. If working with teams did not have enough challenges when the workforce was comprised of all Baby Boomers, try and get your arms around getting things done with FOUR generations! Leaders and team members alike need to understand the distinctive challenges with such a powerful dynamic and how to maximize productivity in a generationally diverse workforce. Employees, though diversified, are still a product of their generation and generally have a set of convictions about work habits such as collaborating, communication, accountability and rewards, productivity and decision making. In future articles we will dig deeper into the impact of each generation on team dynamics but want to introduce each of the generations today

  • Traditionalist — (born before World War II. Also called the Silent Generation)
    Basic Characteristics: Typically Punctual, sharply dressed and often conservative and believe that hard work has its own reward. More comfortable in a command-and-control structured hierarchy.
  • Baby Boomer — (born post-World War II, roughly the 40’s and 50’s)
    Basic Characteristics: Marked by a high level of idealism and willingness to question authority. Instead of chain-of-command, they believe in a change-in-command. They are motivated by prestige and position.
  • Generation X — (born 1960’s-70’s. Also called Gen X’ers, the Lost Generation or The Baby Bust Generation)
    Basic Characteristics: Typically more collaborative, less hierarchical, good at dealing with change. They strive for a balance between work and private life. Technologically and financially savvy.
  • Generation Y — (born during the 80’s and 90’s. Also called Nexters, Millennials)
    Basic Characteristics: Weaned on participation, not command. Have an appreciation for diversity and empowerment and like immediate and frequent feedback. They like to dress more casually but have grown up with access to technology and have integrated it into every fabric of their life.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that when you have such a wide-range of ages/generations working together side-by-side in the workplace that there are going to be challenges. The goals of this series of articles are twofold:

  1. As with any diversity effort, the key to building bridges between people with different worldviews is to better understand their perspectives. We want to help educate you, within a business context, so that you will better see things through other “generational” eyes.
  2. What are some things you can do in the workplace to encourage communication, mutual respect and productive relationships? We want to explore with you some practical ways others have successfully used in bridging this gap.
    Stay tuned…

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