Medical team bonds despite working away from the office

By Shaun Eagan DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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A gaggle took off at the starting point of the 5K and then quickly weaved through traffic to get to the front. However, while they focused on reaching their ideal pace, one group of runners hung in the back of the crowd with a different motive.

Members of a team from the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Medical supply chain participated by walking together and used the time to discuss each other’s lives outside of work.

“The 5K gets our team outdoors, without any other distractions, where we can just talk about things other than work,” Tom Revak, a Medical operational customer facing division member, said. “It gives us a chance to learn about each other’s ‘non-work’ lives and form stronger bonds.”

In an environment where employees don’t often gather in the office, due to telework and alternate work schedules, division employees are making efforts to ensure they perform as a team.

Randy Owens, Medical’s operational customer facing division supervisor, began incorporating quarterly team building activities to develop relationships and instill pride within the team.

The division is responsible for providing medical supplies support to operational forces deployed globally.

“Since team members will telework multiple times a week, our team building exercises rein everyone back in and reconnect us,” Owens said.

The team tries various activities, both on and off base, to keep members engaged and to have fun, including miniature golf, dining out and, most recently, the 5K.

Several members believe the team building activities are an opportunity to build trust and rapport with their fellow coworkers.

“To have a group of employees who go once a quarter as a group for team building events is exhilarating, not only building character, but team cohesion as well,” said James Monroe, a tailored vendor logistics specialist in the division. “It warms my heart to know these men and women will go to bat for one another without hesitation.”

The activities also allow them to share personal and professional experiences with those who may be facing similar situations.

“Being able to know and understand each other on a personal basis promotes a healthy work relationship,” Alfonso Mitchell-Rios, also a TVLS, said. “Team building, with both peers and supervisors, could help a person overcome their fears or obstacles. You never know who shared the same experiences and can give a word of encouragement.”

Owens expects that the more cohesive his team is, the better they’ll perform their warfighter support mission.

“I hope my employees come away with a renewed sense of team cohesiveness and esprit de corps,” Owens said. “Our agency can only benefit from a close knit team that works and plays well together. We have each other’s backs, and know how to help each other out in accomplishing our mission.”