West of Scotland Housing Association

For their annual staff event, West of Scotland Housing Association approached Maximillion with the brief to build on the huge success of their 2009 staff event – no mean feat! They envisaged a balance of work-related content, with a focus on ‘Working Together’ seamed throughout the day. This key theme of ‘Working Together’ surfaced as a key issue on the back of a recent staff engagement survey. Underpinning this was the need for staff to gain more of an appreciation of each other’s roles, as well as the idea to use the activity elements of the day as opportunities to raise awareness of two current workplace initiatives; ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Gaining Efficiencies’.

Event detail

  • Venues: West of Scotland Housing Association new HQ and Celtic Park, Glasgow East End
  • Group size: 60 participants
  • Format: Facilitated team development combined with indoor team activities
  • Participants: All West of Scotland Housing Association staff


  • Staff engagement – getting teams to work more effectively together
  • Creating opportunities to break down cross-functional barriers
  • Foster better interdependent team working

What we did – Morning

To welcome all staff from other offices and introduce them to the newly built HQ, the day started at the West of Scotland Housing Association brand new East End offices with an opening address from the CEO Duncan McNaught. Lead Facilitator Mike Tierney ran a “Rules of Engagement” session to create a sense of purpose, agree standards for participation and establish boundaries. Event Manager Nick Aitken then led the group in a short, sharp Team Top Trumps energiser to enable people from the different offices to get to know each other better, and after a further internal presentation the group set out on foot to nearby Celtic Park.

During the rest of the morning, the whole group, working in pre-determined sub-teams took part in Kinetic Connections, whilst the afternoon was reserved for Eden.

What we did – Afternoon

To kick off the afternoon activities, Maximillion MD John Strachan was invited to give delegates an insight into Maximillion’s journey to achieving its award-winning status as a sustainable business, specialising in “delighting customers with sustainable experiences”. During the Eden activity, participants were encouraged to come up with their own ideas on how the sustainable practices of West of Scotland Housing Association could be improved. These ideas were collated post-event, then sent back to West of Scotland Housing Association management, along with the participant feedback results from the day.

In response to the brief, Lead Facilitator Mike positioned and led each activity on the day, incorporating a mechanism for team review against the key theme of Working Together (both Kinetic Connections & Eden), as well as the sub themes of Gaining Efficiencies (Kinetic Connections) and Sustainability (Eden). This assisted teams in reflecting on their experiences through the activities in the light of the wider workplace context. Mike both observed the group and helped to draw out headline messages, as well as supporting the group in identifying opportunities and actions to take back into the workplace.

What they said

  • For 98% of participants, the day met or exceeded expectations
  • 98% of participants were happy or delighted with the relevance of the day to the organisation
  • 96% of participants were happy or delighted with the practical exercises
  • 100% of participants were happy or delighted with the quality of the presentation

The activities were focused, energetic, engaging. the atmosphere in the room energetic. Captured the essence of our 3 key themes in one day. There was also limited input required from ourselves in terms of organising which substantially reduced the amount of time that would normally be put into planning the conference

Main goal of the day was working together and the activities worked extremely well for this. Also allowed sub themes of sustainability and efficiencies to be included.