Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. But that doesn’t come naturally to every team. To get optimum results, you might need a Team Coach. Learn the benefits of team coaching and how it can help you succeed.
Every company wants its employees to do well and be successful. After all, when the employees are productive and possess a positive morale, the company does well and is better able to be competitive in the business world. And this is often the result of teamwork, because when teams are strong and work well together, they’re able to better combine their diverse set of skills and experiences, and, ideally, learn from each other. But this doesn’t happen automatically. Team coaching is important for the support, development, and growth of teams and sets everyone up for success.
In this article, we’ll discuss the concept of team coaching, including:
Why is team coaching important?
What does team coaching look like in the workplace?
What is the difference between team coaching and group coaching?
What are 3 key differences between coaching and mentoring?
Business mogul Andrew Carnegie once said, "Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." To get those results, you might need a Team Coach.
Many companies focus on individual achievement, even with coaching. Individual coaching works one-on-one with employees and is aimed at improving employee job performance and engagement. That's great, of course, but teams work more effectively if they’re coached as a cohesive entity. This method, which lines up with the old “There’s no ‘I’ in team” adage, promotes employees going “above and beyond” their defined job roles and working toward recognizing their colleague’s goals, strengths, and challenges. This creates solid relationships amongst themselves, not just with their immediate supervisors, and supports the ability to take collective ownership of the work, successfully overcome challenges, and to manage any interpersonal conflicts that might occur. In essence, when team coaching is utilized in the workplace, difficulties and dilemmas are viewed as opportunities for growth and education for all members of the team.
Effective team coaching in the workplace can lead to the following benefits:
Stronger interpersonal relationships, not only among team members but also between employer and employee.
A sense of appreciation among employees, who are more likely to feel valued for their skills, experience, and individuality.
Increased employee performance, because effective team coaching supports and boosts each employee’s strengths and abilities.
An improved workplace environment, where open communication supports a positive professional climate.
Team coaching also benefits the companies that utilize it. It’s been shown that on average, companies who have a higher retention rate have up to four times higher profits than their competitors. And according to an ICF Global Coaching study, 86% of companies were able to provide figures that coaching provided a positive ROI.
Team building goes far beyond the dreaded exercises or "get to know you" activities. It is an ongoing, team-focused endeavor that strives to go beyond a company's stated core values and figure out a way to truly work together to achieve professional goals. And we've all seen environments where, when something goes wrong, the managers come in and try to solve it on their own, depriving their team of an important learning opportunity. According to the Harvard Business Review, that keeps employees at a disadvantage, as they’re deprived of the opportunity to “test the boundaries of what’s possible, to challenge assumptions, and to admit when things have gone wrong…which in turn enables faster and cheaper failures and bigger breakthroughs.”
So what does this look like in practice? Companies that employ a team coaching methodology usually demonstrate:
Enhanced transparency, which supports a culture of communication and sets a precedent of parity within the team. This means if you drop the ball, you can openly discuss the issue with the team and work together to solve the problem, and they know they can rely on you to be honest and that you will support them if they have issues in the future.
Celebrated success. Teams that are coached effectively are rewarded for meeting goals and objectives, both on an individual and group basis, and can lead to increased morale. This can include things like professional accomplishments, work anniversaries, or even career highlights.
Honest and constructive feedback. In a team-coached environment, that means the leaders are receptive to feedback as well, demonstrating their willingness to adapt, change, and be flexible.
Clear goals and team expectations. The team’s input on how to meet goals is encouraged, timelines are established, and a method of acknowledging progress and team success is created.
A culture of diverse personalities. Managers take the time to learn about their team as individuals, including their strengths and weaknesses, when they feel the most engaged, what inspires them, and, similarly, what they find daunting. This may include the use of self-evaluations, which help identify areas in which an employee might need help or benefit from additional training and development.
While the terms sound similar, they operate on different intrinsic principles. Team coaching focuses on building and supporting the individual employee within a team framework, in which all team members share a common objective to enhance performance, reach goals, and solve problems for which all team members are held accountable for success (or failure). Group coaching, on the other hand, involves individual employees who work together, but as they are held to different goals and don’t necessarily accomplish a common objective, it focuses more on individual growth.
Coaching isn’t to be confused with mentoring, as they have completely different processes and goals. Mentoring is relationship-based, whereas coaching is more results-oriented. Three key differences between coaching and mentoring include:
Mentoring is done on an individual basis, with the mentor helping their protégée grow by sharing their experience, knowledge, and skills. Coaching, on the other hand, helps an employee develop their skills and knowledge base to meet an employer's goals and expectations.
Mentoring generally has a less defined structure, whereas coaching generally has a more defined set of goals and practices.
Mentoring, as opposed to coaching, is non-evaluative, isn't as performance-driven, focuses less on how employees carry out their everyday tasks, and doesn't measure if their protégée has achieved their shared team goals.
Team coaching in the workplace tackles the issues, professional relationships, and interpersonal flux that can occur when working in a group dynamic. It can help each member of that team learn to work together more effectively, meet their performance goals, and live up to their collective potential.
Looking for an individual career coach to help you with your career? Career.io offers a Career Coaching service, which will help you reach your career goals with personal branding advice, unique job search strategies, and advice on how to overcome challenges in the workplace.
With team coaching, employees work towards a greater understanding of their teammates, which supports the ability to take collective ownership of the work, overcome challenges, and manage interpersonal conflicts.
Team coaching aims for employee success by supporting and acknowledging each team member's strengths and weaknesses.
Group coaching differs from team coaching in that it involves individual employees who may work together but have different goals and objectives, and focuses more on individual, rather than team, growth.
Jennifer Inglis is a freelance writer and content creator with extensive professional expertise in advertising, media analysis, teaching, writing, and literature. Prior to working for Career.io, Jennifer was a public school teacher, teaching courses in college and career readiness, writing, and public speaking. Jennifer has a master’s degree in Teaching, and is the author of two published novels.