Team Building for Collaboration

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Increase teamwork within and between shifts

Mike Cardus developed a twenty-hour team-building program for a manufacturing organization. Conducted over four half-days and two follow-up programs of two hours each. Twenty-five front-line employees and ten of the company’s leadership team participated.

  • Increase communication between shifts and between co-workers about work-related issues
  • Increase team unity by getting team members to value others on the team
  • Share information to aid the team in succeeding
  • Set goals and accountability to implement action plans geared to increase quality and productivity
• • •

Program Methodology


Mike Cardus was introduced to the participants.
All participants took the DiSC assessment; DiSC Feedback Workshops included an overview of personal and team personality and behaviors.

Session 1: Behaviors and Listening / Speaking

Who Are We and Why Are We Here?
Review organizational, team, participant, and facilitator goals.
Agree to team behaviors for the remaining programs to adopt them as long-term behaviors within the workplace.
Intra-Department team listening and speaking.
Inter-Department team listening and speaking.

Session 2: Listening / Speaking Under Stress; Team Development

Revisit goals and behaviors as needed
Introduce Tuckman’s Stages of Team Development: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing-Adjourning.
Address listening and speaking skills for an understanding of the group’s stage; understand implications for team planning.
Understand and practice non-verbal communication skills; learn about pitfalls in communication.
Understand stress and the effects on team performance and communication skills and recognize stress within yourself and within team members.
Develop skills to listen and speak effectively when in a stressful interaction.

Session 3: Dealing Effectively with Conflict

Revisit goals and behaviors as needed
Share information for group success – breaking the “not my job” mentality.
Create a group and team accountability for both team leaders and team members.
Learn about conflict styles via the Thomas Kilman Instrument: Collaborating, Competing, Compromising, Avoiding, and Accommodating.
Use conflict management approaches and accountability to lower cycle time and increase throughput.

Session 4: Conflict-Accountability

Revisit goals and behaviors as needed
Understand silos and how they help and hinder team effectiveness.
Move from individual toward team goals and accomplishments; focus on shifts working together for overarching organizational goals.
Overview Team Performance Model.
Develop team and personal action plans for the future.
Team presentations: celebration
Award Ceremony: certificates and awards


Conducted fifteen and forty-five days after the fourth session

Revisit goals and behaviors as needed
What has changed within the teams (both between and within shifts)?
Reinforce information and knowledge sharing.
Reinforce team and shift accountability.
What do you (teams) feel you need more of (from the facilitators and the company) for continued success?

• • •


  1. A focus on goal setting and accountability.
  2. Action plans put into place increased quality, productivity, leading to a decrease in wasted material/resources and lost opportunity due to communication breakdowns and in-fighting.
  3. Communication between shifts and between co-workers about work-related issues increased, leading to a decrease in overlapping and repeated processes and reductions of set-up time needed between shifts.
  4. Team members increasingly valued other team members and shared information to help the team succeed, leading to a decrease in lateness, absenteeism, and a noticed decrease in the “us vs. them” mentality between leadership and front-line workers.