A report titled High-Impact Performance Management: Maximizing Performance Coaching by California-based advisory firm Bersin and Associates cited that organisations where senior management “very frequently” coached demonstrated 21 per cent higher business results.

This study went on to report that organisations with well-established support for coaching showed 39 per cent stronger employee results, including better employee engagement, productivity and customer service.

The report was based on responses from nearly 200 American companies and also noted that most managers do not know how to coach.

So where does one start?

Every organisation is driven by a network of teams.

They can exist in many forms such as departments, project teams and functional teams.

Excellent work gets done when the teams function effectively.

A team is a group of individual employees who work together effectively and efficiently towards a common goal.

Spot the symptoms

Have you come across teams where there is a lack of trust among members? Where members were guarded in expressing themselves and cautious about everything or there were disagreements between team members?

These are symptoms of an unhealthy team, which inadvertently affects its performance and productivity.

To avoid such detrimental effects, you need to be proactive in improving not only your team’s performance but also the performance of the individual members.

Even if the team is already meeting its goals, there is still room for improvement.

By becoming a good coach, you can take not only the individual but also the team to the next level of performance and thereby enhance productivity.

Team productivity

The best place to start is to understand why the team’s performance is “stuck”.

N.E.W.S. Model founder Aviad Goz has distilled the reasons for the stalling:

* Lack of clarity in direction;

* Being held back by limiting beliefs or self-imposed obstacles;

* Lack of strategy to achieve goals; and

* Lack of motivation in the team.

A team will not be performing at its best if any one of the above conditions exists.

So the coach can examine the team dynamics and seek to understand which area or areas the team is “stuck” in. 

A team could be part of a larger team or an organisation, and if it is not aligned to the over-arching goals, it is will not be effective.

As a coach, your role will be to bring the team members together to examine and identify where the team is “stuck”, help it get “unstuck” and move ahead.

You will be looking at the interpersonal behaviours and values that can help the team achieve its desired goals.

Your role as a coach is to work with the team to establish some agreed values and promote an environment of trust for discussions and exchange of idea.

Groups innovate and become productive when they are comfortable sharing and exploring new ideas.

If ideas are met with cynicism and viewed as a waste of time, the team might miss out on some great contributions.

Individual productivity

The team is as good as the quality of its members.

Hence, it is important to find the “right people” to join the team.

When you find them, how do you engage and retain them?

As a coach, you will help the individual performers gain clarity in their role and direction in the organisation, overcome personal or job-related issues, help them develop a clear strategy to achieve their goals within the organisation and, finally, leave them motivated to do their jobs effectively and strengthen their bond with the organisation.

Your role is to guide individual development within the organisation so that each employee is better prepared to meet the challenges of the organisation.

Not all teams are the same and what works for one team might not work for another.

Different teams will need a different coaching focus to improve their productivity.

Improving the performance of a team takes time and may require deeper insights than merely improving processes.

Coaching individuals to remain engaged and give their best will also be worth the effort when it improves the organisation’s productivity.