Teambuilding: A Workshop to Improve Motivation, Communication, and Collaboration within Nonprofit Teams

This weekend we had our taller (workshop) for the month of June in Teambuilding for Motivation! Typically, the Community Assistance Program seeks to train and educate the leaders of nonprofit organizations, but this time we wanted to invite the whole organization to participate in an interactive workshop designed to bring teams together. We were delighted to have Fundacion El Arenal, ADACAPIA, CETAP-Lucy, and even our team from Hearts of Gold participate. The topic of teambuilding was requested by our partners to combat the issue of motivation in the workplace.

Participants identified what it meant to be a good team. Collaboration, open communication, trust, opportunities to grow, and feeling appreciated were all common themes. One driving theme was the desire to work under a shared vision or goal. This more than anything made teams feel united and supported in their work environment. If everyone can truly believe in the mission and have the drive to work towards it, then they are most likely to feel great as a team. When discussing the topic of “what motivates you to do what you do,” this rang true once again.

Through interactive teambuilding games, together we worked on the power of communication and collaboration. While team games sometimes feel silly, research shows that teams who dedicate time to teambuilding are more likely to succeed. It is so important to create that space in which teams can learn and grow together. One of our favorite moments was a ball toss game in which we were throwing balls in rapid fire trying not to drop any on the ground. This game was not only fun, but it taught us that even though sometimes our work can get messy, if we all commit, communicate, and collaborate, then we can achieve our goals.

When we broke out into small teams, each team analyzed the roles within their organization. We used the Belbin model which organizes 9 roles into three categories: oriented towards people, thoughts, or action. This activity helped each team see whether their teams were balanced in the behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses of its members, and if they were not balanced in which ways they could improve. It was also an opportunity to understand each other as individuals and contributors to the team.

We like to close our sessions sharing positive comments between one another. This time, we asked each team to share among themselves something that they admire in their colleague, and an example of a time that they saw that characteristic in action. Feeling appreciated and heard in the organization is at the core of building a great team.

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