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Team Coaching for Highly Motivated Employees

Our employees often work in teams, executing projects or drumming up innovation. How valuable is it for us to implement coaching for these folks who are already highly motivated? We were considering some type of "team coaching," although we don't really know if such an animal exists.

—Pleased with Our Employees, but not Complacent, engineering/architectural, Washington, D.C.

October 15, 2013
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Dear Pleased:

A proactive approach, sometimes referred to as continuous improvement, is often an expectation we place on the individual employee. You’ll find that companies ranked as “best places to work” are more likely to take that same proactive approach to team development. Unfortunately, more often it is after a team begins failing that management pulls in the team building. There is so much to be gained by taking a proactive approach to ensuring your team’s continued success.

Executing projects and drumming up innovation happens in a collaborative environment. A collaborative environment requires trust and communications skills. There are other components too such as personal accountability and self-management that contribute to the success of a team. Having clear goals and priorities are important as well. And team resiliency is a critical component that is often overlooked yet easy to maintain through team coaching.

Team coaching is used to clarify and align goals and priorities as well as develop and maintain trust, collaboration, communication skills, personal accountability and self-management. We see highly effective teams using this kind of coaching to bring new energy, solve problems and accomplish greater goals. Team coaching also serves to reduce the risk of unwanted turnover. And designed and delivered appropriately, team coaching can be incredibly enjoyable for the team.

An assessment can be used to diagnose where the team wants to improve. I use one that focuses survey questions in four main areas of a team: 1) Processes 2) Work Management 3) Leadership 4) Relationships. The results of the assessment will help you determine what to focus on and how to design a team-coaching program. As for individual coaching, the team leader will benefit from one-on-one coaching, which will have a broader positive impact on the entire team.

Here is a short list of objectives that your team coaching might address to keep your teams performing at a high level:

  • Increasing self-awareness – those who really know who they are and how they operate (strengths and weaknesses) are found to be much more effective and successful in a team environment
  • Communication skills – recognizing, understanding, appreciating and adapting to the communication needs of others on the team
  • Communication strategy for problem solving – learn and apply a simple 5-step model for coaching each other
  • Team goals – articulating and aligning purpose, goals and outcomes for clarity
  • Building trust and collaboration skills
  • Defining and clarifying each role’s key accountabilities
  • Identifying and eliminating waste in teamwork
  • For leadership teams or teams responsible for organizational change initiatives, build coaching on change management for teams

Team coaching reduces the risk of failure and increases goal achievement. Everyone is expected to contribute to being faster, better and cheaper toward goal achievement. Team leaders and executives who have utilized development strategies such as team coaching are likely to tell you their teams are much more likely to surpass all expectations and achieve more.  

SOURCE: Carl Nielson, The Nielson Group, Dallas, Texas, August 6, 2013

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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