Team Coaching in the National Health Service

The Brief

To help managers to bring about positive change in their teams whilst using a ‘light touch support’ approach. Teams were weary with change, felt overloaded with work backlogs, and were spread over the whole of the city.

The Response

Q. Learning carried out coaching in the workplace, supported key issues, and took up little time (3 x 2 hours), yet facilitated real change. The process had seven steps:

  1. At a launch, teams met their coach, and discussed logistics.
  2. Prior to Session 1, they completed a ‘temperature check’ and the manager had a 1-1 conversation about their needs, involvement, and how they could support the initiative.
  3. Team Coaching Session 1 was about contracting with the team, who discussed ground rules and agreed the present state. They also developed an understanding of what they could change or influence.
  4. Team Coaching Session 2 helped the team decide on its focus by generating ideas for real projects.
  5. The team choose a project, planned how to tackle it and selected a representative to coach them, and to be a voice externally.
  6. Team Coaching Session 3 provided a reality check, pointed to the future, closed down the support and prepared the team for the celebration event.
  7. Celebration events brought teams together to share stories, learn from others and continue to build bridges across the organisation.

The Outcome

This programme has run over 3 years, and so far 34 teams have experienced a respectful and flexible process that helped them learn how to manage change. In different ways, at different speeds teams learned to uncover issues and solve them.

The Benefits

  • ‘Stuff’ got done and work backlogs have been cleared. Many micro improvements to services accumulated to deliver significant change.
  • Self-improving teams have reduced management hassle time.
  • People felt listened to and more engaged. Channels between management and front-line teams opened, resulting in a greater willingness for people to give each other ‘the benefit of the doubt’ and be open to new ideas.