Fostering teambuilding and communication to transform the workplace

Posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Information Technology staff at Teamwork, Communication, and Trust workshop

On December 2, 2019, Information Technology staff participated in an interactive Teamwork, Communication, and Trust workshop, facilitated by Sylvie Rimbach, Performance and Training Specialist from Algonquin College.

Coming out of several strategic initiatives such as Transformation 2030, our three-year IT strategic plan, digital ambitions, and the evolution of Information Technology into a modernized workforce, it is imperative that Information Technology embrace new ways of working, collaborating and communicating to achieve the desired goals and strategic priorities of the University.

Martin Bernier, Chief Information Officer noted at the start of the session, “When I first came to the University I was surprised that employees weren’t working remotely, I believe that there is an opportunity for us to showcase a mobile, modernized workforce and be an example for the University.”

Seeing the transition to the new mobile workspace, and recognizing the apprehension surrounding the change,  Alex Dipietro (IT Manager) organized an interactive workshop focused on the fundamentals of teamwork, communication and trust. He observed, “With the new workspace, there is an opportunity for us to improve our connections, communication and collaboration.” The workshop was an opportunity for staff to change the way we think and do things to create an environment conducive to the kind of innovation that we aspire to deliver.

During the workshop, participants worked in teams to reflect on several common notions of the workplace. For example, identifying characteristics of an ideal leader. In addressing this question, almost all teams agreed that a good leader is a good listener, has a big heart, is open-minded, and approachable and collaborative with employees.

The teams also discussed was of communicating effectively, and methods for building trust between colleagues. To help brainstorm process, Sylvie asked participants three questions: "How do you show others you trust them? ", "How do you know others trust you?" and "Once lost, how do you regain trust?". To these questions, many mentioned the importance of communication through open discussion and transparency with colleagues.

Towards the end of the workshop, participants were asked to reflect on the concrete actions they will take in the short-, medium- and long-term that reinforce the ideas and concerns touched upon in the workshop. These actions will be gathered and shared with the entire team so we can advance our digital workspace and other strategic initiatives. There was unanimous consensus that proactive communication with colleagues and taking the time to listen was important, and paying attention to body language is also something to consider.

Participant feedback

  •  “The topics discussed in the event were consistent and relevant with the organizational ecosystem we want. It was nice to get everyone involved, hear all perspectives and talk about it.” - George Agadah, Web Developer
  • "From a very positive viewpoint and innovative context, the workshop gave us a unique opportunity for sharing, entertainment and learning. Events like this unite us even more strongly as a team and as individuals. I also found that this moment of sharing has equipped us to handle future challenges and inspired us with innovative ideas. - Rosa Leal, Application Support Analyst.
  • “Like so many others, I believe that collaboration and communication are key success factors. The opportunity for everyone to participate in this type of training is fantastic! I also had the opportunity to meet team members I haven’t previously met.” - Anabel Beaudry Sarazin, Project and Portfolio Manager.
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