Asda staff work up to a ‘frenzy’ on prize course

winners of Personnel Today’s overall HR Excellence Award for 2000 completed a
teambuilding event called Madhouse Frenzy as part of their prize last month.

Asda’s 28-strong people development team was split into groups and had to complete
a number of tasks to earn "money" which then went towards buying
props for a final presentation.

The team, which was also named Personnel Today’s Training Excellence Award
winners at the ceremony in November, travelled to Pontefract to take part in
the event, run by Impact Development Training Group.

Sam Carey, marketing manager of Impact Development Training Group, said,
"A challenging team development event enables people to get to know each
other in a less formal situation, which will help to develop trust and
commitment at a deeper level.

"Basically, if people understand each other, they are more inclined to
like each other, and people who like each other tend to work better as a

Although most "tasks" put to the teams were fun, they did contain
a serious element, and involved team members working together, using different
strengths and skills to their best advantage.

Projects included putting up a tent blindfold and earning cash by singing
Bohemian Rhapsody.

Impact Development Training Group’s Carey explained, "The tasks
themselves have been designed to highlight all qualities of both the team and
the individuals, from mental agility to downright exhibitionism. It really
helps individuals discover characteristics about themselves and bonds the team
together as a whole."

Team member Alex Sissons, , said, "I loved it – I got to work with
people I don’t usually get tog- ether with. It was certainly inspiring."

New staff have joined Asda’s people development team since winning the
awards, and its head, Paul McKinlay, wanted the opportunity to further
integrate them into the team and get to know them personally.

Sarah Lowey, who started as development manager the following week, said,
"I wanted to go on the day so I didn’t feel as if I was missing out. I
felt part of the team immediately."

The HR team spent two hours in the blazing sun completing a range of
practical tasks, including lowering a cane to the floor using all members of
the team, defusing a bomb aided only by minimal household items, and getting
the team from A to B across a highly dangerous electricity field. They then
made final presentations themed around Asda’s values.

Nicki Seignot, who has been with the company for 15 years and is now people
development manager of Talent Store, was impressed. "Because of the number
of new team members this is an ideal time to experiment with new ideas. Our
structure is such that we have a number of smaller teams within a large team,
so with this we have got the whole team mixing in which is great." 

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