Houston Executive Consulting (HEC) Facilitated a Team Building Retreat for Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) from 25th to 27th November 2019 at Colline Hotel – Mukono, Uganda.
HEC was selected as the Best Evaluated Bidder (BEB) after submitting a proposal to provide Consultancy Services for Team Building Services to UNBS Staff. The relationship is managed based on a contract that was signed between the two parties on 24 October 2019.
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Co-operatives established by the Act of Parliament of Uganda, UNBS Act Cap 327, and became operational in 1989.
It is governed by the National Standards Council and headed by the Executive Director who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of UNBS.
The UNBS is responsible for the formulation, promotion of the use of, and enforcement of standards in the protection of the environment, public health, and safety.
The team-building retreat was specifically tailored to UNBS needs and characteristics in which the organization desired a high-quality service in the Compliance Directorate with a special focus on team building to promote organizational culture, advance teamwork/team building, customer relations, workplace ethics, and integrity.
As the expediting firm, Houston Executive Consulting (HEC) is a management consulting and professional services company headquartered in Kampala, Uganda. The firm provides strategy, consulting, digital, audit, tax, and employment law advice to public, private, and non-profit organizations under the slogan “Founded on Competence and Reliability”.
The firm is one of the leading corporate team building companies in Uganda. the company uses a personal and friendly approach which enables us to work closely with clients to offer the perfect event and create unforgettable experiences.
Using team-building activities and events to offer top-class entertainment using only the best equipment. As a responsible activity provider, health and safety is a major priority.
The leaders at HEC are working to grow into national leaders in corporate team building activities. We deliver spectacular events at locations and venues across the country. Our client list includes leading companies from every market sector down to the smallest startups.
Just like any organization that has embarked on the journey to build a corporate culture based on customer centricity, UNBS sought to address the Gaps in Communication between supervisors and teams by first focusing on Import Inspection, and Surveillance Departments.
Communication gaps in organizations could easily result in suspicion among employees, tension amongst teams, eroding staff motivation and confidence hence high staff turnover. This is one of the strategic areas that the retreat focused on.
The team-building retreat was also intended to strengthen integrity among staff especially those in the Surveillance Department which deals with the business community in enforcement of standards of goods and services for the safety of the public.
The front office professionals were also part of the team representing the Public relations division which is the face of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).
This activity was used as an opportunity by the Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Ebiru David Livingstone who announced that UNBS has embarked on the journey to create a typical customer-centric organization.
He also noted that the organization has made recently increased the number of staff mostly in the Import Inspection Department, most of which were part of the retreat.
He took the same opportunity to welcome them officially to the UNBS family while encouraging them to embrace a culture of working together as a team and never to be discouraged since management would like them to perform well and stay with the organization as long as they wish.
Since Staff is spread in the different regions around the country the retreat was used as an opportunity for a get-together, get to know each other, sharing a sense of belonging among the majority of staff.
The retreat was expedited by Experts who worked as facilitator(s), mostly using interactive learning methods to help participants share their experiences and learn through participation. Practical, ‘hands-on’ sessions covered the best practices, case studies, exercises, lessons learned, real-life examples, and expert facilitation practices.
The team building activities were mainly action-oriented and participative approaches were used in activities such as group discussions, case studies, role-playing, and games. Participants were also supported to develop different action plans in their learning logs for applying their new skills and tools. While facilitating this retreat, Houston Executive Consulting Expert conducted an activity evaluation to gauge the level of skills acquisition among the participants.
The corporate retreat is part of the initiatives by the UNBS HR and Management team to build and maintain a high-performing team at the Organization.
This explains why the sought professional approach with a clear understanding of the team processes, relevant activities, and skills training to ensure that a fun activity or event is also a powerful learning experience.
Since the outcomes had been agreed in advance, there was full involvement of participants in open sessions at the beginning handled by skilled facilitators who designed the program for the corporate retreat. The team at HEC believes that an ideal mix of communication, strategy, and learning that will take the team to a higher level of performance was achieved.
Team of Consultants
Houston Executive Consulting Limited is a Private Limited Company that operates a very unique business model format that utilizes professional and skilled in-house & independent consultants to achieve a team composition that is most responsive to the needs of individual projects rather than maintaining a full complement of regular staff.
The team to facilitate was formed by Dr. Alfred Wamurubu, the managing Partner working with Mr. Robert Mwesige, the Learning and Development Specialist and Chief Talent Officer.
The consultants were sourced from Uganda’s top corporate organizations and government institutions that have demonstrated high-level customer relations, teamwork, and strong organizational cultures.
The team was therefore composed of experts from MTN Uganda, NSSF Uganda, Federation of Uganda Employers, Uganda Management Institute, Bank of Uganda, and in-house consultants at Houston Executive Consulting.
Monday 25th November 2019, was the first day of the retreat. The morning hours were dedicated to Arrival, Logistics, and Administrative Arrangements an activity that was managed by Mr. Anthony Simiyu (UNBS) & Robert Mwesige (HEC).
The two worked together to ensure that each participant was in the right place and ready for the three days of the fun team-building retreat. Robert later handled the Introduction, Pre – Team Building Review & introducing Learning Logs to the team.
Mr. Anthony Simiyu, the Learning and Development HRO for UNBS gave the Opening Remarks on behalf of the Executive Director calling upon the participants to enjoy the three days while they learn new skills that will improve their performance as they work as one team, for the same mission and vision.
The retreat was planned in such a way that we had classroom presentations that were accompanied by physical team building games in an open space. The team building games were facilitated by Mr. Tamale George.
Other team members included:
- Mbasa Bryan
- Wepondi Geoffrey
- Davies Malowa
Mr. Douglas Opio
Douglas is the Executive Director of the Federation of Uganda Employers which is a representative body of employers in Uganda mostly on social-economic issues. The organization exists to enhance members’ competitiveness through policy advocacy, fostering best human resource practices as well as the provision of business development services.
FUE is also the one that conducts the survey for the employer or the year awards (EYA) that leads to the different award categories to Ugandan corporate organizations including public sector employer organizations that are applauded for promoting the best human resource practices in Uganda.
During his presentations, Douglas emphasizes the need to put in place the enabling conditions for team performance because great teams make great organizations. He is inv highlight the characteristics of high-performance teams, the stages of team development and advised UNBS Management on why it is important to invest in people.
He shared useful statistics from one of the surveys conducted by the Federation of Uganda Employers. The survey revealed that 49% of the employees in Uganda are highly engaged and they exhibit strong emotional and rational engagement, 6% are disengaged and 45% are moderately engaged. The combined percentage of those who are disengaged and moderately engaged is 51%. This calls for more team building activities within organizations to address the challenge of disengaged employees.
Ms. Agness Mahoro
Agness works with the National Social Security Fund in the quality assurance section. She brought with her an elaborate journey of how NSSF, a government entity has managed to transform into a high customer-responsive organization to the level at which it is today. This is something that the UNBS team had been looking for and it was indeed the right time to learn what NSSF did to reach where they are today.