South Africa has entered a technical recession and with that organisations – large, medium and small – need to prepare themselves for immense challenges. Seugnet van den Berg, Director at Bizmod says that, “With the current economic backdrop, market conditions are tough, and businesses will be undertaking organisational restructures mergers and consolidations as part of their strategies to be successful or simply to survive.”
Ultimately, whatever the strategy is, companies are going to have to rely on their employees to unite as a team and make plans a reality. “Herein lies the problem,” says van den Berg, “talented and competent individuals do not always translate into talented and competent teams.”
To fast track their team performance during difficult times, organisations do tend to implement team coaching. Team coaching is usually required when:
- Organisations are implementing wide-scale changes
- Strategies need to be cascaded to all levels within the organisation
- Team effectiveness needs to be optimised and linked to creating a new organisational culture
Van den Berg says that team coaching works best as a series of structured interventions over a period of a few months. “This provides the team with the opportunity to work together on a specific outcome, as well as enabling them to process the outcome.” Organisations should consider the following elements when implementing team coaching in their environment:
- For the coaching to be successful it has to be mandated by senior leadership.
- The most effective and successful results come from discussing real issues as there is then a willingness to work through this and resolve it.
- Fortnightly sessions provide the best results, weekly sessions can be too intense, as participants need time to prepare for the sessions and digest issues that arise. And, monthly sessions are too infrequent to maintain momentum.
- Real issues only tend to surface after two or three sessions, also time is required for trust to be built amongst the team members.
- The facilitator of the session is just that – a facilitator of the process. The team is ultimately responsible for the plan and progress.
- Ideally, these interventions work best if implemented, as soon as an organisation is struggling, rather than when things have already gone wrong.
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