The Sprint team within Transport for West Midlands are creating a bus priority corridor that links Walsall to Solihull and Birmingham Airport via Birmingham City Centre, along the A34 and A45. Sprint is designed to support the region's economic growth and expanding population, and will actively combat congestion by offering reliable, connected, and sustainable public transport.
- Transport for West Midlands
2020 was a critical year for the Sprint Team – recruiting new roles and hitting key project milestones. To add to this pressure all of the Sprint Team were working at home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant having the usual physically away day not possible. As a result of this BA Events were asked to run a virtual team event for over 50 people in the Sprint Team.
This event was really important to bring together the team to reflect and refocus on the future.
The objectives of the virtual team event were:
1 – To bring the team together virtually
2 – To provide an opportunity to remind everyone why we are here
3 – To focus on the future
The most important action we take before facilitating any team away day is to speak to the team about what they would like to achieve from the event. We get to understand from the leadership team what the key challenges are they would like to use the time to focus on. We worked with the Sprint team to do this and using this information was able to create an away day plan, made up of activities to achieve their objectives.
We decided to use Zoom to deliver this team away day. The functionality in Zoom for accessibility, sharing notes, creating breakout groups and recording the team event made it the ideal solution. We decided this event wasn’t going to be a full day, instead a few hours – as we know full-day events online are too intense.
We started off the day by asking the team how they were feeling, this allowed us to create a word cloud and understand how people were currently feeling. The downside to running events online is that you cannot easily read people’s body language. As a result of that, we wanted to know how people were feeling.
We then ran a group work activity to enable the team to think about 10 things they each have in common. This could be when they all joined the team, they all have a dog or that they have a similar hobby.
After a busy year with your head down delivering to a programme, it is always important to take a step back and think about your why and your purpose. We asked the team to do a little activity called ‘aliens have landed’. In this activity we asked the team to go online and find a series of images that would explain two questions to aliens:
1 – What are we doing?
2 – Why are we doing it?
Once we had done this we finished the session with an opportunity for further breakout group sessions to enable the team to think about a series of key questions.
The event was a great success. We were able to bring the team together virtually and because the event was online this made the event more accessible meaning more members of the team could attend. Once we finished the event we created a team away day summary document. This document summarised the event outputs and will be used as an opportunity for members of the team to refer back to throughout the year.
I can absolutely recommend BA Events; they did a brilliant job designing and hosting our virtual away day and we’re very pleased with the results! Their approach was thoughtful, fun and engaging – a real pleasure to work with.