Project Management


The fifty strong Audit Team from Howdens Joinery are a remote team spread out across the entire UK. Day-to-day they, amongst other tasks, audit the six hundred Howdens depots and are on the road most of the time.

AkzoNobel Graduate programme 7th - 9th September 2014 - 361



A team that works remotely has many challenges, not least: isolation, communication, team working and camaraderie. It can be a lonely place when away from home and the security of the work base.


Having worked with Howdens Joinery for over ten years it was arranged for the whole Audit team to come together at the wonderful Coniston Hotel in North Yorkshire (with whom we have known and worked with for nearly fifteen years) for a two day offsite meeting.

The main emphasis was around getting to know yourself, your role with the team and understand your team itself (even with remote teams that rarely see each other it is hugely beneficial to still ‘know’ and understand your team – think ‘belonging’).

Prior to meeting the team, each delegate received their Belbin team role questionnaire that they filled in online with the results being collated, analysed and subsequently graphically manipulated and displayed in preparation for the team offsite.

At the hotel, the Belbin results were displayed, discussed and delved into. The afternoon of day two was the culmination of the breakouts, workshops and facilitation and saw the team come together as one unit to create an all encompassing ‘Chain Reaction’ team activity.

The twist? The team had to utilise the Belbin results to create the perfect balance and mix of people in each sub-team in order to succeed.

 Howdens Team day at The Coniston 6th Oct 15 - 227


The use of the Belbin team role tool was the perfect way for the team to come together and begin the process of understanding themselves, each other and the inter-connectivity between everyone in the team.

The offsite at the Coniston also gave the team the opportunity to come together to network, share ideas, best practice and stories.