Evaluation of the success of the offsite retreat as a teambuilding exercise
The offsite retreat was successful in teambuilding. It enabled the employees to meet and interact in a different environment away from their working place. The unofficial environment provided a conducive medium that allowed employees to interact and learn about each other. In fact, the visual arts topic, which clearly was outside the domain of the job, provided an opportunity for teambuilding. The spirit was for employees to interact. The concept of teambuilding centres on interaction among people. Employees learn about themselves, know each other and understand their weaknesses and strengths. This can only be learned through gradual, open and interactive sessions as presented by the offsite retreat. In addition, the retreat provided a situational scenario in which the employees dispensed with their individual roles, responsibilities and titles. It allowed employees adequate time and exposure to interact.
In such set ups, employee titles are disregarded, and the interaction is personalized. The retreat activities including punching, kicking and boxing should have been embraced by all. It is in such avenues that employees learn to build confidence and trust in each other. It provides a medium for practising teambuilding techniques. In teamwork, individuals perform activities together, employees cover up for each other and people learn to work as a team. In the martial arts event, the employees were supposed to participate cohesively. They were supposed to learn how to face different circumstances and always be focused on winning. It was unfortunate for the female employees refusing to participate in some activities such as kicking and boxing. It should be appreciated that the tasks and duties employees usually face in the workplace do not usually discriminate based on sex. In fact, with the current trend, in which traditionally men dominated fields are incorporating women folk, women needs to adapt to different circumstances at workplace. The kicking, boxing and punching sessions were primarily skewed towards providing a dummy medium similar to the situations in the real world.
The idea behind teams usually is for people to progress together and achieve objectives as a team rather than through individual success. In such set ups, it is usually critical for team members to be able to step in the work process in any capacity. Consequently, members should be able to do all that appertains to the work. It is this concept that the retreat incorporated. The women were, therefore, expected to participate in the game in any way.
Perhaps the shortfall of the retreat should be seen in light of its failure to incorporate the wishes and desires of the employees. For proper teambuilding, it is advisable that employees are engaged in activities they feel most comfortable in. It would be prudent, therefore, for the management to use activities that all the employees would be comfortable doing. In that token, it was a mistake for the company to indulge in activities that were not sensitive to the wishes of all employees. Evidently, the women were not prepared psychologically and physically to indulge in martial arts. For example, the women did not have convenient attire. Team building needs to be set up under environments that favour all and sundry. The fact that martial art was unfriendly to women was the only misstep.
Company stance on the women
Indeed, the company stance on the twin cases reflects leadership and accountability. For starters, it should be noted that the company had express policies that prohibited discrimination based on any factor including sex. The course of action the employees should have pursued was to use the internal channels to complain. In addition, the company was right in the disciplinary measures they took against the two women. The onus remains on companies to implement disciplinary measures against rogue employees. As the company claims, it was wrong for Boutilier not to address call volume problems in her area. Therefore, it was only a managerial measure for the company to dispense with her services. On the other hand, Green was reportedly aggressive on her subordinates and rejected the whole idea of couching. In management, it is usually left upon firms to devise their own internal mechanisms that address employee disgruntlement. Leadership would then be conceived in the way in which the firm implements its own documented policies. That the company in this case was able to authoritative act on the misdoings of the female employees demonstrates their leadership.
Ultimately, the onus lies upon the company to ensure that employees generally observe laws and policies within the life of their contracts of employment. Failure to act decisively on disciplinary cases could be costly in light of the bad precedent it sets for the entire business organization. Companies must strive to focus their employees not only to achieve company objects, but also to observe the rule of law.
DuBrin, A. J. (2012). Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills. New York: Cengage Learning.