A team is a group of people who pursue a common goal.
In a company, a team exists to achieve results that are greater than the sum of the individual efforts of the employees. Teams - in contrast to a work group - have a high degree of interdependence among their members and with their stakeholders. Teams that have both high productivity and a culture of trust and positive relationships deliver sustained high performance, are innovative, resilient and ensure high job satisfaction among members.
A team coaching process has an average positive financial impact equivalent to 20% of the total annual personnel costs of a team. (See case studies of Team Coaching International.)
Team Coaching sustainably ensures higher productivity, lower fluctuation, decreased absenteeism and higher stakeholder engagement and loyalty, particularly with customers and suppliers. This makes team coaching a valuable investment.
At the start of the team coaching process, the current state of team productivity and team culture is determined by means of one or more assessments. In a joint workshop, the results are discussed and the team develops goals. In further workshops, the team creates a common vision and strategies for cooperation, performance and engagement
Ongoing team coaching sessions take place regularly, usually monthly. During these meetings, actions are reviewed and discussed, new development activitities are designed, and results recorded. At the end of the coaching process, team assessments are repeated to measure progress and define the next development steps.
Team coaching is a process of developing a variety of key collective competencies over a period of 6-12 months. Results and progress are measured and tracked using objective criteria. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of team coaching and there is a consistently high return on investment.
Team building, on the other hand, usually consists of short-term interventions designed to foster social cohesion in a team. While this can be very useful, particularly in the formation stages of a new team, many team-building initiatives do not have a lasting impact on team performance, unless imbedded in a longer-term coaching and development process.
In team coaching, the team learns to perceive itself as a living, learning system, to reflect on its own actions and thinking, to discover and develop its own competencies and to lead itself. It is based on the assumption that the team already has relevant knowledge and potential for high performance and positivity.
Training, on the other hand, focuses on teaching new skills that were not previously available. Targeted training can supplement coaching when specific new knowledge or skills are needed in the team. However, as with team building, team training measures which are not embedded in a coaching and development process have little lasting effect on a team's productivity.