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 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.
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.
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.
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.