Division’s Team Building Good for ‘Silo’ Prevention

By Ben Boulden

The team building workshop brought together about 20 members who ordinarily are split up working in three different buildings across campus.

The Organizational Development Division of UAMS Human Resources organized the workshop, which was facilitated by Lisa Wymer.

‘We really have to keep our communication lines active because we are a decentralized division and it’s very easy for us to get into ‘silos,’” said Mildred Randolph, D.V.M., director of the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine and a professor in the College of Medicine.

Wymer picked out exercises and activities in which staff members had to work in two teams with co-workers with whom they were less familiar and then all together as one large team.

“Since we have different work areas, we don’t get to see others on the team,” one of the participants said. “The workshop allowed us the chance to see the whole team and all the different personalities.”

Among the activities they engaged in were:

  • Guiding a ball around a tarp without it falling through holes.
  • Competing in a contest that involved rolling/unrolling crepe paper around hands.
  • Battling it out in a fast-stepping contest.

“I think everyone had a blast and most importantly we learned things about each that we didn’t know and it made us depend on one another,” Randolph said.

After the workshop, participants said they had “a higher level of respect” for co-workers after the activities and they were taken out of their “comfort zone” in a good way.

One said it was interesting to see how differently people approached solving the same problem.

Other activities the team has done together include visiting the elephants at the Little Rock Zoo and speaking with veterinarians about large animal care; going to the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute for a demonstration of laparoscopic equipment; and attending a Waterfowl Association retreat with Arkansas Children’s Research Institute personnel.