Re-Creative Resources
By Kimberly Grandal, BA, CTRS, ACC, Executive Director
http://www.recreativeresources.com/index.htm
Kimberly Grandal,
BA, CTRS, ACC

Kimberly Grandal, Founder
and Executive Director of Re-
Creative Resources, Inc., is a
strong advocate for the field
of Therapeutic Recreation
and Activities, with over fifteen
years of experience working
with the elderly in numerous
management and consultant
positions.  She is an Activity
Consultant Certified and a
Certified Therapeutic
Recreation Specialist. Kim is
a member of the New Jersey
Activity Professionals
Association and the New
Jersey/Eastern Pennsylvania
Therapeutic Recreation
Association.

In 1990, Kim graduated from
William Paterson University
with a BA in Sociology and
later studied gerontology
courses at Union County
College and Therapeutic
Recreation courses at Kean
University. Throughout her
career, Kim has been the
Director of Therapeutic
Recreation for several long-
term care facilities, including
one of NJ’s largest.

In 2006, Kim founded Re-
Creative Resources Inc. She
is a speaker for various state
and local activity associations
such as NJAPA, MOCAP, and
NJACA, as well as the Society
of Licensed Nursing Home
Administrators of NJ. She
also offers lectures for Re-
Creative Resources Inc.,
local colleges, and
community groups, and
provides consultation and
support to numerous
facilities in the state.

Kim is the editor and writer
for the “The Rec-Room", a
monthly newsletter published
by her company. In addition,
she writes monthly articles
for the Activity Directors Office
newsletter, and has
contributed articles to
Creative Forecasting
Magazine, and The
Continuing Care Insite
newsletter.

Kim is a recipient of the
Kessler Institute of
Rehabilitation 1997 Triumph
of the Human Spirit Award.  
Her passion is to promote
the field of Therapeutic
Recreation and Activities and
to unite Recreation
Therapists and Activity
Professionals. Kim currently
serves on the NJAPA board
as the Chairperson for the
Legislation Committee.
KIM GRANDAL
THE ACTIVITY DIRECTOR
Providing Internet Resources
for Activity Professionals
in Long Term Care Settings
admin@theactivitydirectorsoffice.com

Copyright 2004-Present
The Activity Director's Office
All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer
About
Re-Creative
Resources Inc.

Re-Creative Resources, Inc.
is committed to enhancing
the lives of long-term care
residents through the use of
Therapeutic Recreation. We
provide a variety of services
such as Therapeutic
Recreation seminars,
in-services, resources, form
development, program
analysis and development,
consultation, and support for
activity professionals and
recreational therapists. A
selection of downloadable
training materials and forms
are available for your
convenience as well as a free
job posting site.
ACTIVITY DIRECTOR TODAY
Build a Championship Team Instead of a
Team of Champions
By Kimberly Grandal BA, CTRS, ACC
Executive Director, Re-Creative Resources, Inc
www.recreativeresources.com


Teamwork is a word used often in healthcare, but do we really understand what it means to work
as a team?  Unfortunately, many Activity Professionals feel they are working independently, not
part of a team. Activity departments are usually small and many times, overlooked, making
teamwork a necessity. Teams can be found within the Activity Department itself, as well as
outside of the department.  There is much talk lately about the role of facility staff in providing
meaningful activities to long term care residents.  

First, it is important to define “teamwork”. Stockley (2007) defines teamwork as, “A group of
people, contributing their individual knowledge and skills but working together to achieve a
common goal or task.” Many tasks, goals, projects etc. entail that people cooperatively work
together. Therefore, teamwork has become a fundamental element of long term care and other
healthcare facilities.

According to Stockely (2007) teamwork is important because it can increase employee moral and
motivation, as well as increase productivity. Many Activity Directors and professionals, work
alone, which can lead to stress, lack of morale, feelings of inadequacy, and eventually, a high
turnover rate.  For some reason, Activity Professionals tend to shy away from asking for help,
and at the same time, have the inability to say “no” when asked to take on additional
assignments.  

Stockely also suggest that teamwork is essential because individuals often do not have all of the
knowledge and skills necessary.  Activity Professionals can highly relate to this because the job
requires a vast array of leisure talents, skills and knowledge. Since not everyone is good at
singing, doing a craft, cooking, and so on, there is a need to share talents, expertise, resources
and such.  Once, again, teamwork becomes a vital component of providing meaningful activities
that meets the individual needs and interests of the residents, patients, and clients in health care
facilities.

Before we begin to develop teams it is important to understand the process. Team Technology
(2006) identifies the team building process. First, the team leader must clarify the team goal.
What is the team expected to do? Perhaps the team will organize a community event, create a
recreation room, or increase CNA involvement in activities. Next, the team leader must
demonstrate goal commitment. If the team leader establishes a particular goal, then there must
be evidence of commitment such as memos, posters, flyers, minutes of meetings, etc. The next
step is very important and involves identifying any inhibitors. What factors may act as a barrier to
the development of the team? Is it a certain staff member, lack of time, lack of interest, etc? Once
these inhibitors are identified, remove them and watch your team develop!

Creating teams requires vision, planning, and commitment.  There are many strategies for
creating teams and promoting teamwork.  My recipe for teamwork includes the following
ingredients:

1) Leadership, 2) Motivation, 3) Teambuilding Activities

Demonstrating excellent leadership skills is an important part of creating a team.  Leaders
provide inspiration, create opportunities, energize people, and make key choices. It is important
to lead by example, have vision, honesty, and humility, and to provide support, training, and
mentorship. (S. Khan 2006). Remember, that being a manager and being a leader are different
roles, both of which are equally important but it is the leader that leads his/her people to work
together.

Motivating employees is also a key element in creating teams. Dwight D. Eisenhower once said,
“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do
it.”

There are many ways in which we can motivate ourselves, the Activity staff, and the facility staff.  
Some suggestions include:

•        Have Activity staff attend care plan meetings
•        Involve the Activity staff in the Quality Improvement process
•        Have the Administrator meet with the staff
•        Encourage feedback
•        Encourage staff to be on committees
•        Holiday events
•        Theme days/dress down days
•        Sunshine Club (celebrate birthdays, weddings, babies, etc.)
•        Luncheons or other meals
•        Celebrate recognition weeks (Activity Professionals Week, TR Week, etc.)
•        Have departmental t-shirts
•        Go on field trips to other facilities
•        Provide awards and certificates
•        Celebrate employee appreciation day
•        Ask for employee feedback (employee surveys and suggestion box, etc.)
•        Play games, have contests, etc.

The final recipe for building successful teams is the facilitation of team building activities. These
activities are not only fun but have many benefits. Larry Lipman (2006) suggests that team
building activities create an open climate for communication, promote trust, establish rapport,
stimulate creativity, promote learning, provide opportunity for hidden problems to surface, and of
course, strengthen teamwork and motivation. There are many fun team building activities,
icebreakers, energizers. For some great ideas you can visit the following websites:

•        Re-Creative Resources:
www.recreativeresources.com/recreationtraininggames.htm
•        Wilderdom: www.wilderdom.com/games/InitiativeGames.html
•        Group Dynamics and Team Building: www.community4me.com/groupstarters.html
•        Big Dog and Little Dog: www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/icebreak.html
•        Business Balls: www.businessballs.com
•        Fun Team Building: www.funteambuilding.com

In summary, teamwork is an essential aspect of most healthcare facilities especially in long-term
care, assisted living and adult day care centers. Don’t be afraid to be the team leader! Build an
effective team by being a leader, a motivator and a team building facilitator. So, go ahead and
build a championship team instead of a team of champions!

References







Copyright Kimberly Grandal, 2007.  All rights reserved.
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