Coaching For Teams: Everything You Need to Know

Coaching for Teams: The Basics

Individual coaching has been around for a long time. Most professionals are familiar with the practice, and have experienced its application. Individual coaching began as a practice limited to execs, and has gradually become something that is waterfalled through an organization.

This traditional form of coaching is highly individualized: one-on-one sessions, typically very confidential. They aim to improve and grow the coachee, with ancillary benefits to an organization via goals that are private and personal to the coachee. 

In recent years, a new paradigm has emerged: coaching for teams.

Team Coaching, when combined with one-on-one coaching, ignited meaningful cultural change within organizations.

When teams are brought together to be professionally coached in a team setting in tandem with one-on-one coaching, this ignites meaningful cultural change. By making the coaching experience a team one, a host of benefits are created. By focusing on enhancing the collective performance and dynamics of teams working towards shared goals, companies create a culture that experiences enhanced collaboration, communication and productivity among team members, ultimately leading to improved performance and achievement of organizational goals. 

Read on for everything you need to know about coaching for teams: what it involves, what makes it unique, and how it works in practice.

The Difference Between Team and Individual Coaching

Coaching is a powerful tool for enhancing performance, fostering leadership, and aligning individual aspirations with organizational goals. However, coaching an individual is very different to coaching a team. Here’s a breakdown:

AspectIndividual CoachingTeam Coaching
FocusTailoring development to personal goals.Enhance collaboration, communication, and performance within a team to achieve collective goals.
OversightTypically very private and 
self-directedNorth star goal set by the organization and refined by the Team Leader
ApproachPersonalized process centered on the coachee's specific needs, strengths, and areas for improvement.Focuses on the collective performance and dynamics of a team to help them achieve their objectives collaboratively.
BenefitsNurtures personal aspirations, overcomes personal shortcomings, and develops the skills required for specific roles.
  • Improved team dynamics
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Increased creativity
  • Stronger sense of cohesion and alignment towards common goals.
  • One-on-one coaching sessions.
  • Regular self-assessments and 360-degree feedback.
  • Personalized action plans and meticulous tracking of progress.
  • Team Lead and team members establish clear team objectives and goals.
  • The coach facilitates open communication and trust-building among team members.
  • Team receives guidance, feedback, and support to help them improve collaboration, problem-solving, and performance.
  • Developing competencies that align with personal and organizational objectives.
  • Faith that coachee's growth contributes to broader organizational aims.
  • Enhancing team cohesion and collaboration.
  • Improving team performance
  • Achieve collective goals
  • Improve business outcomes.
OutcomePersonal milestones achievement and professional success through focused competency development.Improved team dynamics who are empowered with a stronger ability to achieve shared objectives effectively.
Bridging Individual and Organizational Goals

A successful coaching approach, pinpoints the essential skills needed to bring out the best within the workforce.

The real power of coaching emerges when there's a direct line between the organization's big-picture goals and the specific outcomes coaching seeks to achieve.

The real power of coaching emerges when there's a direct line between the organization's big-picture goals and the specific outcomes coaching seeks to achieve. 

Here’s the thing: broadly speaking, this is much easier to do in a team coaching setting. The team can discuss, collaborate, and move forward together, with far more collective insight into goals and what is being achieved.

The Impact & Key Benefits of Team Coaching Programs

The increasing prevalence of team coaching programs signifies a significant evolution in corporate culture, demonstrating a heightened commitment to how important team effectiveness is towards achieving company goals and creating a value based culture where everyone's voice is that of a leader.

Team coaching programs are gaining popularity because they offer tangible benefits that align with the strategic objectives of businesses today.

Team coaching programs are gaining popularity because they offer tangible benefits that align with the strategic objectives of businesses today.  By embracing team coaching, companies can unlock the potential for enhanced collaboration, improved communication, and increased productivity among their teams, ultimately leading to greater organizational success.

The long-term impacts of team coaching are compelling. 

  • Improved team cohesion and morale.
  • Enhanced communication and trust among team members.
  • Increased productivity and efficiency in achieving goals.
  • Greater creativity and innovation through diverse perspectives.
  • Sustainable development of the team's leadership skills.
  • Enhanced problem-solving abilities and conflict resolution skills.
  • Long-term growth and adaptability as a high-performing team.

The true value of coaching lies in its ability to effect change that aligns with and supports the organization's broader objectives, ultimately leading to a positive impact on the bottom line.

The true value of coaching lies in its ability to effect change that aligns with and supports the organization's broader objectives, ultimately leading to a positive impact on the bottom line.
Here is a deeper dive into some of unique benefits of team coaching:

Adapting to Modern Work Environments

Team coaching is ideal for the modern work environment because it fosters collaboration, adaptability, and innovation, which are essential in today’s fast paced and constantly evolving business landscape. Additionally, it promotes a culture of continuous improvement and empowers employees to take ownership of their team’s development, which aligns with the dynamic and agile nature of modern organizations.

A New Kind of Leader

Across workplaces, we see a demand for a new kind of leadership that promotes flexibility and supports employees’ desires for a holistic sense of purpose. Gen Z workers especially are calling for leaders who can strike a balance between psychological safety and accountability. Team coaching equips leaders with the emotional intelligence to navigate these dynamics effectively, creating policies that accommodate the needs of a diverse workforce and maintaining a competitive employer brand.

Reimagining Leadership Development

The demand for skilled leaders outpaces supply, with many current leaders lacking essential skills required in today’s fast-paced world. Team coaching is at the forefront of addressing the leadership gap because it helps companies reimagine leadership development by shifting the focus from individual leadership skills to fostering collective leadership within teams, empowering them to collaborate effectively, adapt to change, and drive organizational success through shared accountability and alignment with strategic objectives.

Assessing Team Coaching Programs

Evaluating the effectiveness of team coaching programs requires a nuanced approach that goes beyond simple satisfaction surveys.

Evaluating the effectiveness of team coaching programs involves more than just using satisfaction surveys; it requires a nuanced approach that begins with establishing clear, measurable objectives aligned with the organization's strategic goals.

Beyond Satisfaction Surveys

While satisfaction surveys can provide initial feedback on participants' immediate reactions to coaching, they fall short of measuring the true impact of coaching on performance, engagement, and organizational culture. To genuinely assess the value of team coaching, organizations must look at a broader set of metrics that reflect the program's deeper and more systemic effects. Skilled coaches can define on a case-by-case basis what these metrics should be and how to track them.

Establishing SMART Objectives

The foundation of any effective evaluation strategy is the establishment of clear, measurable objectives. Utilizing the SMART goals framework—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound—can guide the setting of these objectives. This approach ensures that the goals of the coaching program are directly aligned with the strategic needs of the organization and are capable of being evaluated objectively.

For example, if the aim of the coaching program is to improve leadership skills within a team, a SMART goal might be to increase the team's project completion rate by 20% within six months, leveraging enhanced leadership competencies. This goal is specific (improve leadership skills), measurable (20% increase), achievable (with the right coaching and resources), relevant (to the team's and organization's success), and time-bound (within six months).

Measuring ROI in Coaching

Understanding the return on investment (ROI) in coaching involves comparing the gains from the coaching program against its costs.

ROI in the context of coaching isn't always about financial returns. It encompasses a broader spectrum of value, including improved employee engagement, retention, leadership effectiveness, and organizational culture.

However, ROI in the context of coaching isn't always about financial returns. It encompasses a broader spectrum of value, including improved employee engagement, retention, leadership effectiveness, and organizational culture. Dr. Peter Hawkins and Eve Turner, in "Systemic Coaching: Delivering Value Beyond the Individual," advocate for a comprehensive approach to evaluating ROI. This approach considers not just the direct outcomes but also the systemic impact of coaching on the organization

For instance, the cost of not implementing coaching—such as the impact of poor leadership on employee morale, engagement, and turnover—can be substantial, highlighting the value coaching brings in preventing these negative outcomes.

Case Studies and Real-World Applications

Through real-world applications and tangible outcomes, case studies offer a window into the transformative impact of focused coaching programs across various industries. These narratives showcase the innovative strategies and solutions driven by team coaching that have led to significant advancements in leadership development, employee engagement, and overall organizational success.

Synlogic, a biotech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, embarked on a journey to democratize leadership development. Recognizing the outdated model that reserved executive coaching for top-level executives, Synlogic partnered with AceUp to develop a targeted leadership coaching program for middle managers.

The company faced the challenge of high burnout rates among middle managers and the need to enhance leadership quality, a top driver of employee satisfaction.

Solutions and Outcomes:
  • Cost-Effective Leadership Coaching: 

    By choosing AceUp, Synlogic provided accessible leadership development to high-potential managers who might not have had access due to budget constraints.
  • Supporting Transition and Growth: 

    The program targeted managers in transitional phases, aiming to unlock their leadership potential. This approach allowed Synlogic to allocate resources effectively within their close-knit team.
  • Effective Matching and Individualized Coaching: 

    AceUp’s coach-matching process ensured a successful experience, allowing coachees to select their coach based on growth and development goals.
  • Enhanced Leadership Skills: 

    The coaching led to significant improvements in problem-solving, communication, and decision-making skills. Remarkably, 77% of coachees were promoted during their coaching engagement.

Paradigm for Parity®, in partnership with AceUp, launched a Leadership Accelerator program aimed at providing equitable access to leadership development for multicultural women, addressing the stark underrepresentation of women in senior management roles.

Women, especially women of color, face numerous obstacles in advancing to leadership positions, including daily microaggressions and a lack of representation in C-suite roles.

Solutions and Outcomes:
  • Comprehensive Leadership Development: 

    The six-month pilot program included business and financial acumen training, sponsorship, mentoring, and coaching, focusing on profit and loss (P&L) training for early-career multicultural women.
  • Finding Confidence Through Coaching:
    Executive coaching was pivotal, offering one-on-one and group sessions that provided safe spaces for participants to share challenges and gain motivation.
  • Widespread Success: 

    More than 11% of participants received promotions within six months of completion, with significant growth in leadership competencies observed across the board.

Suffolk, recognizing the need to support and advance women in the construction industry, partnered with AceUp to launch an all-women’s coaching cohort aimed at leveling the playing field for women leaders.

The construction industry faces a significant labor shortage and a low representation of women, with only about 10.9 percent of the U.S. construction workforce being female.

Solutions and Outcomes:
  • Innovative Talent Practices:

    Suffolk’s partnership with AceUp aimed to deepen investment in female leaders through a coaching cohort, demonstrating the company’s commitment to building a culture that supports women.
  • Building Leaders in the Field: 

    The program emphasized the importance of coaching for field-based roles, challenging the traditional work environment by integrating coaching into the demanding schedules of construction site managers.
  • High Engagement: 

    The cohort saw 90 percent of the women highly engaged with AceUp’s platform and their coaches, showcasing the program’s effectiveness in fostering leadership development

The AceUp Approach to Team Coaching

At AceUp, our programs are designed to address the needs of every level within an organization, from new managers to senior executives.

AceUp's team coaching programs cater to the diverse needs of teams across all levels within an organization, ranging from entry-level teams to senior executive teams.

Navigating the complexities of team coaching requires a deep understanding of team dynamics, leadership development, and aligning individual strengths with organizational goals, underscoring the importance of personalized coaching strategies. By aligning our coaching with your organization's goals, we ensure that our services are both strategic and scalable, supported by a team of world-class coaches and behavioral scientists.

Our individual coaching framework is built on a competency-based model, emphasizing leadership across four key areas: Leading Self, Leading Others, Leading Organization, and Leading Change. This approach is complemented in coaching for teams by robust analytics to track progress and performance, offering a clear view of the coaching program's impact on individual and organizational success. 
AceUp’s engagement features like goal tracking and peer coaching sessions are designed to foster a culture of growth and accountability. As a strategic partner, we're committed to demonstrating the tangible ROI of our coaching programs, ensuring they deliver real value to your organization.

With AceUp, your organization secures a partner committed to propelling your team to new heights, guaranteeing that each member contributes effectively and cohesively towards your collective success.