Creating cohesive teams at YMCA

YMCA Birmingham is a diverse, independent charity that uses a wide variety of staff, volunteers, and support workers from different social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. They needed a tool that could bring their staff together more cohesively. After board-level trustees were introduced to TetraMap by Paul Harris, Certified TetraMap Facilitator from Real Success Ltd, the immediate benefits they saw convinced them that the organisation as a whole could benefit from going through the process.

YMCA Birmingham sees diversity as opportunity

YMCA Birmingham is an affiliate to the national and international YMCA movement but is also an independent charity which works with people, especially the young, regardless of faith, race, ability, or gender. The organisation utilises a wide variety of staff, volunteers, and support workers that often do not interact with each other directly. They also have a diverse social, economic, and cultural mix throughout the organisation and with their service users.

Therefore, positive and effective communication is vital to ensuring that they deliver an exceptional service with highly motivated staff. YMCA needed a tool that could help staff come together in a more cohesive way with direct benefits to their service users.


How YMCA introduced TetraMap to its wider team

The first step was hosting a Why are you like that? workshop at a board and trustees level. The board was very pleased with how it helped them to understand how key decision makers, with very diverse approaches and styles, can become harmonious and productive. The CEO then decided that all senior management would attend a workshop followed by the management team, all staff and volunteers. Nearly 100 staff members attended these half-day workshops which were mixed to allow different departments and teams to engage in the process together.


Improving team performance for everyone:

  • Communication and understanding has improved at all levels of the organisation.
  • The board of trustees works with senior management more effectively by better understanding communication preferences and styles.
  • Managers and leaders work better with staff through improved understanding of needs.
  • People across the organisation are more aware of how their ‘natural’ behaviours and expectations might be experienced by others.
  • More effort to work cooperatively with others who might be different to them.

Conflict reduced and morale boosted amongst staff

The decision-making process at board level is faster and more harmonious. Staff are working together with greater levels of understanding and awareness, reducing conflict, and improving morale. An unexpected benefit of this programme was the greater understanding of the various roles within the organisation and the personality styles that tend to gravitate to each area. This has helped the organisation to come together behind their common goals whilst fully appreciating the dynamic and important differences that each Element brings to YMCA Birmingham.


Reinforcing the Elements and moving forward

The senior management team constantly reinforce the language and use the learning to resolve conflict and recruit more balanced teams. In board meetings, they continue to refer to the Elements and the need for a diverse range of styles. A full follow-up with the entire organisation is planned in six months when the team will be brought back together to review how productivity has improved due to the sessions.


YMCA Case Study

YMCA Case Study 373.91 KB 38 downloads



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YMCA Case Study

YMCA Case Study 373.91 KB 38 downloads

The commitment to take every single member of the organisation through the process ensured that a real buzz was created around TetraMap and the deeper understanding of team members. This was not a management or leadership programme where only a small number at the top of the organisation took part and benefited. The entire organisation participated on a completely even level and this helped to bring the organisation together in a highly effective way.

Paul Harris, Certified TetraMap Facilitator, Real Success Ltd

The team loved this process and at each level of the organisation there was genuine interest in the workshops . I’m delighted with the positive impact it’s had on our staff and volunteers and the improved clarity with which we now communicate with each other.

Alan Fraser, CEO

The feedback from staff has been excellent and they all commented on how easy it was to understand the principles of TetraMap.

Jane Healy, HR Manager

The TetraMap workshop was great – I now understand so much more about me and how I talk and behave with others.

Paula Kelland, Children’s Services Manager

I can see how I can use TetraMap with our customers as well as my colleagues – it was a real eye opener!

Peter Adams – Sales & Marketing Officer (Training)