Facilitation Case Study: Team Engagement
Client: A globally established specialist engineering company
Situation: The evidence from an annual company survey revealed the engagement breakdown within a team of eight technical engineers and their line manager.
The survey results triggered senior management to address this matter as a serious and urgent priority.
A candid and confidential feedback session facilitated by the coach concluded that the team members were disengaged, unhappy and dissatisfied. Therefore each did not think, feel or behave as a part of a team.
“Each man for himself” as a principle was the norm. This was a strong common theme amongst them.
The negativity experienced with management meant they did not expect change or improvement in the work place. Their attitude and behaviour was perceived as defensive mainly due to feeling and believing they were under valued and powerless.
Team belonging, working and spirit did not exist. Morale was at an all time low.
They had disassociated and disengaged with each other. This resulted in all of them individually unwittingly perpetuating a disrespectful working culture to some degree.
Their senior manager mirrored their experience of limited expectation and change. Positive transformation of professional relationships and improving the working culture with the manager and amongst the team members could not be conceived or deemed possible by them all.
Objectives & Actions:
- Set up a focused Team Transformation project supported by senior management.
- Coach to understand, assess and evaluate team working effectiveness and map out improvement plan.
- Design and manage a regular confidential forum for the team to share information and feedback openly.
- Integrate senior manager when the levels of trust and openness had been re-established in the team.
- In tandem provide one to one coaching to the senior manager to raise personal and professional awareness of their impact on the team dynamics. Address management & leadership skills gap with coaching development plan.
- Project and Team working goals and objectives agreed.
- Team coaching on the fundamentals of effective communication.
- Support team to identify and create workplace improvement initiatives to enable team working.
- Track, monitor and enable team initiatives with regular meetings and defined meeting agenda.
- Continuous coach feedback to team, manager and senior management team on project progress.
The regular meetings to share and communicate on work initiatives and personal work related issues were positively embraced and valued. These meetings have continued and improve the opportunity to share relevant business and technical knowledge amongst the team.
The communication through awareness and understanding is consciously respectful and open. When conflict issues arise they seem to be captured at the onset hence was resolved before it brewed into a serious problem.
The senior manager realised the impact of not evolving his management and leadership approach. The realisation that disengagement had occurred was a revelation and revealed a deep rooted resistance to change. These fears had resulted in poor communication and emotional behaviours with the team. These concerns and gaps have been addressed with a focused and tailored coaching development programme.
The team working and relationships with each other and the manager have continued to improve through dialogue in the past 3 years. Manager & team feedback with the coach has continued on an annual basis to ensure the learning, development and engagement process is maintained through business change.