For many organisations, team development is critical, but leaders don’t know what is most effective and where to source it.

As they strive for growth in an everchanging business environment, the need for professional guidance and support has become critical in building high-performing and adaptable teams.

The last five years has seen a major spike in top Australian organisations bringing in accredited business coaches to build strong leadership and entire organisational teams to boost productivity and overall performance. From my experience in coaching some of the country’s biggest organisation – there are five simple changes that I believe any organisation can make to transform their teams to the next level.

Nailing your organisation’s collective goal and purpose

First is ensuring each member of staff is clear on the goal and purpose of the organisation and how their role is integral to collective success. Everyone wants to get out of bed in the morning and feel a sense of purpose or drive – so ensuring staff buy-in on where the organisation is going is critical to success.

Building a psychological safe space

Staff often have clear, effective ideas on how to improve a product, service or the organisation itself, but they keep it to themselves because they fear their feedback will not be received well – so a leader must make their team feel psychologically safe to be creative at work. A leader’s reactions, from how they handle mistakes made by employees to how they embrace their staff members’ bad days has a massive impact on staff engagement and participation.

A culture that makes staff feel psychologically safe also creates the best work environments to challenge one another and boost innovation and growth.

No one left behind: Diverse views matter

Gone are the days of organisation hierarches that silence pockets of staff – in 2024, the more diverse views that you can have in a workplace, the better off you are going to be in responding to changing markets and building your growth trajectory.

Leaders must canvas views from all staff from the Gen-Zs to the baby boomers and ensure all voices are heard to not only build engagement and the highest performing teams but also for overall business success from developing broader solutions to complex problems.

Go deeper with your team

Some of the top organisations that I have ever had the privilege to coach are those that know their teams inside out. This goes further than water cooler chat about their pets or the weather – teams that genuinely know each other’s style and strengths and harnesses them are almost always the most successful.

By deep diving with your team, you may be surprised by what you find. We all know the passion and fire a team member has for their work when they truly love it – find what that is for each of your staff members, make changes accordingly and watch your team thrive.

The art of reflection

One of my favourite pieces of feedback is, “we won’t need you again”. Now that might sound strange but one of the best markers of coaching success is a team that learns to reflect on their performance and the overall team’s functioning.

The one thing a coach wants is to build a team that can coach themselves and continually reflect on and improve the way they work –that is a true marker of a high performing team.

However, I do have one warning for businesses choosing coaches. The lack of regulation in business coaching – means the importance of accreditation cannot be overstated.

The absence of strict regulatory standards poses risks that unqualified individuals working under no standards of practice or code of ethics can compromise the integrity of the coaching profession by doing wrong by organisations.

Just like certified accountants, or the Law society, the International Coach Federation (ICF) sets the benchmark for professionalism and ethical conduct within the field. With over 55,000 members worldwide, when picking a coach in an unregulated market – an ICF accreditation is key to look out for.

The accountability inherent in accreditation serves as a safeguard against misconduct or incompetence and ensures any ethical breaches are addressed swiftly and appropriately.

By investing in accredited coaches, businesses can leverage the expertise, professionalism, and ethical integrity necessary to navigate complex challenges and achieve sustainable growth.

Tim Sprague is president of ICF Australasia.