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Earlier this year I participated in a group to plan the Long Service Awards for the NHS. I am going to look at the group dynamics through the Tuckman Guide to Group Dynamics.
Each year our NHS trust gives out Long Service Awards to staff who have 20,30 or 40 years service with the NHS. The awards are given out at a celebration buffet by our Chairman and the Executive Directors are in attendance. In order to prepare for the event, the HR assistants come together as a group with the band 4 in charge of the project. This year as part of my development I was in charge of the project. I had to bring the groups together and got through all the tasks from receiving the staff lists, organizing the event to being there on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly.
The team met and I explained the process of the Long Service awards, the different stages, and time frames. As a lot of the HRAs where new to the role, a lot of support was needed The HRA’s where each gives the staff for the Divisional Business Unit and the first stage would be to check all the staff on the list for 20,30 40 years services and contact them. I explained that this needs to be completed by the end of January so that numbers could be calculated to order for us to book the Room, Food, Frames, and certificates.
The team went back to their relevant DBUs and started to check staff service history and then contact staff. I found that at this time the HRA’s where at different stages. Some of the DBU’s where larger than others and so some HRA’s had more work but when they asked for help from others with less staff, the others would not help which caused conflict and negativity.
We met up again to discuss what was happening and to make sure team was working and to see what we could do about the team members who had more work and to talk about more collaboration within the team.
We started meeting more and the team members got more involved making suggestions. I delegated out parts of the project. To the team and they were more focused and knew what needed to be done. I delegated out parts of the projects (i.e. checking on the prices of frames, vouchers, rooms, and food to get the best value for money).
On the day of the event, we arrived early to set up and make sure that everything arrived on time ticking items of on the checklist as they arrived. The awards were a great success, 120 staff showed up, there were a few issues which we dealt with on the day, where staff at gotten the wrong amount of years but all the staff enjoyed themselves.
At the end of the event, the executive Director congratulated us saying how everyone had to enjoy themselves. We pack up and went back to the office to sort through the rest of the certificates and vouchers for the staff who had not been able to attend and to talk through what we did that worked and what needed improvement. The major thing that did come out was more communication and meetings at the beginning to make sure the team knew what was expected of them and so help us all work as a team.
Whilst the team was working on the Long Service Awards we had a few conflicts with the team. The first was at the beginning when staff that had smaller staff lists would not help those that had the larger lists. I resolved this using the collaborating mode of the Thomas Kilman Instrument, bringing the group back together and talking through the issues. Asking staff who had the capacity to help others.
The second was later when we were meeting more often, one of the team did not drive and so it was talking her 1 ½ hours each way for meetings. This was resolved by using the compromising mode of the Thomas Kilman instrument by moving the meetings around the footprint of the Trust in the separate DBUs not just at Trust HQ and checking to see if any staff could offer lifts when required.