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The Zapper program is SD1’s teambuilding program, which is a vital element necessary to a high-performance organization. It is based on the book Zapp! by William Byham (Byham, 1998). This book was written to provide motivation for empowering employees. It is called Zapp! because it offers ideas for zapping energy into people rather than sapping it from them. The scope of the program continues to change, but the overall purpose remains the same, which is to provide the following to SD1 and all of our employees:

Recruitment/Staffing: The Zapper program provides employees the opportunity to develop teambuilding skills and a unique ability to meet others not in their specific job area. Employees realize that the organization cares about their relationships with one another. Retention is increased because employees feel a sense of connection with others in the organization and a sense of purpose. Employees feel more empowered with the opportunities to take on leadership positions within their team.

Training: The Zapper program is a “hands-on” training session that provides practice in teambuilding skills, interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, time management and goal setting. Most adult learners retain more information by doing, and this program provides the ability to put learning into action in an open and safe environment.

Employee Relations/Communications: Employees can get to know one another better and can communicate on a more personal level within their Zapper teams. Being on a team together increases the chances of effective communication since the same goals are in place. Vital communication skills are practiced such as listening, interpersonal communication and conflict management. Employees have a greater sense of one another's purpose in the organization, which directly affects the overall morale of the organization.

Diversity/Affirmative Action: Employees are able to work with others on their Zapper teams who aren't in the same position or “norms” as they are. The groups are diverse in their make-up. This allows employees the ability to interact with those they may not be around on a daily basis and create a sense of awareness and appreciation for those that are different than they are.

Employment Practices/Policies: Through the Zapper program employees learn what is expected of them. They have a great opportunity to see first—hand the culture of the organization. It is one that holds teamwork, positive attitude, respect and communication as core values. The Zapper program brings these concepts to a higher level of understanding and helps the organization maintain a level of high performance.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-01-01

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