Case Study

Uniting Team Through Cultural Workshop Series

Establishing and optimizing team culture is about creating cultural practices that motivate teams to drive results. Aligning on shared values and a clear purpose, while fostering a safe, supportive environment, are critical elements of a successful team culture. When a health plan organization set up a new, diverse, centralized Technology function, Vynamic designed and delivered a comprehensive series of Culture Curation workshops to help the team define itself – and its goals.

The Challenge

When a large health plan organization set up a new, diverse, centralized Technology function, bringing together both new and established colleagues with various levels of experience, senior leaders within the organization recognized the need to align the team on multiple important objectives. The challenge was to help everyone understand what the Technology team stood for, what its priorities were, and how they could collaborate to achieve them. In short, they wanted to help the team create a culture that everyone could buy into and that would provide the best environment for success. Unsure of how to do that, they partnered with Vynamic for support.

The Approach

Establishing and optimizing team culture is about creating cultural practices that motivate teams to drive results. Aligning on shared values and a clear purpose, while fostering a safe, supportive environment, are critical elements of a successful team culture. Working closely with the senior leaders, Vynamic took the time to understand what the client wanted to achieve before designing a series of tailored, strategic cultural workshops to be attended by both the leaders and their teams. Vynamic utilized a survey-based measurement tool to gather feedback from participants to help inform which workshops to prioritize for each audience.

The workshops, conducted over 18 months, were highly interactive and engaging, focusing on a number of critical themes ranging from strategy development, to communication, and ways of working. These all had the aim of building team cohesion and motivation, fostering a greater understanding between colleagues, and helping everyone to appreciate the value the team delivers.

In particular, the workshop sessions focused on:

 

Defining the team’s values, purpose, and strategy, ensuring alignment with the broader organization

Defining the function’s ‘story’ in order to better promote what the Technology team does, how it supports internal stakeholders, and where it adds value. This also helped to build a sense of pride and belonging among the newly-established team.

Understanding individual styles and preferences through the Taking Flight© with DISC (DISC) personality style assessment. DISC helps individuals understand how to maximize strengths of their own styles, recognize the unique contributions of other styles, and build a foundation of trust for future working relationships.

Understanding biases and how to strengthen awareness to create inclusion and belonging

Exploring concepts of resiliency, how to build it, and how to maintain a healthy balance

Considering the importance of psychological safety in the workplace, so everyone feels equally valued and comfortable sharing or challenging ideas, without fear of punishment

The Result

The workshops were thoughtfully designed and structured to build on each other, allowing participants to pull through learnings. For example, in an early session the team defined their values, which were then used as the foundational touchstones for everything that followed. Learning about emotional intelligence and psychological safety equipped the team with the language and skills to ensure respectful and healthy discussion during strategy sessions. Similarly, the team fully embraced their DISC personality types, using them to frame their discussions and even going so far as to add them to their email signatures, aiding future communication.

Leaders also took part in an advanced DISC session focused on how to lead people with different styles, resulting in improved performance evaluations.

By the end of the workshops, the new team was united behind a shared purpose and a consistent set of values and behaviors. By involving all team members – not just those in the most senior roles – the workshops gave everyone the opportunity to contribute to team strategy, instilling a sense of ownership in the cultural practices that were created. Following the workshops, the team also appointed captains and co-captains to ensure ongoing accountability for executing upon each of the team’s top priorities.

Upon completion of the initial workshop series, Vynamic re-deployed the survey-based measurement tool and the team’s scores increased significantly from the baseline survey scores. As the team continues to grow, Vynamic has maintained a close relationship with the team, and a further series of workshops is planned to help them scale their cultural practices as their organization evolves.

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