Case Study: Transforming Sustainability Efforts through Team Coaching in an Australian Utilities Company
Industry: Utilities (Electricity and Gas)
Challenge: Enhancing Team Effectiveness to Impact Sustainability Initiatives
Solution: Team Coaching (6-months)
Our client, a leading utilities company specialising in electricity and gas distribution in Australia, recognised the growing importance of sustainability in their industry. Committed to reducing their environmental footprint and meeting the rising demand for renewable energy, they embarked on a transformative journey by investing in team coaching for their Sustainability Team. This team was made up of 6 highly capable professionals, some of whom had been with the company for 12+ years, but most of whom had tenures of 1-2 years. The team had challenges relating to communication and alignment to strategic direction.
Our client operates a vast network of electricity and gas assets, and their commitment to sustainability was not just a corporate responsibility but also a strategic imperative. The Sustainability Team was tasked with aligning the company's operations with sustainability goals, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and embracing renewable energy sources. However, they faced various challenges in navigating the complex landscape of sustainability, regulatory changes, and stakeholder expectations, and in particular they had recently had some breakdowns in team relationships and communication, which resulted in key team members taking extended leave. The business saw this team as critical to its strategy, and invested in building their skills for collaboration and respect.
- ● Complex Regulatory Environment: The utilities industry operates under stringent environmental regulations, making it challenging to implement sustainable practices while ensuring compliance. This created some restrictions and frustrations for the team, with different individuals believing they should approach their work and market differently to overcome elements of this environment. This created friction in the team.
- ● Diverse Stakeholder Expectations: Our client had a diverse range of stakeholders, including government agencies, investors, and environmentally conscious consumers, and internal executives with different perspectives on how to approach the regulations. Managing their expectations and demands required a nuanced approach, and the team was not managing these stakeholders comprehensively. They felt they were ‘at the whims’ of these stakeholders.
- ● Internal Alignment: Achieving sustainability goals required aligning various departments within the organisation, from operations to finance. Ensuring that all teams understood and supported sustainability initiatives was a critical challenge. The Managing Director (MD) of the team was new to the business, and had some friction in relationships with these internal departments.
Solution: Team Coaching for the Sustainability Team
Our client engaged BOLDLY and a team coach to work closely with the Sustainability Team. The coaching program was designed to address specific challenges and opportunities:
- ● Leadership Development: the BOLDLY coach worked with team members in the group to enhance their leadership skills, empowering them to drive sustainability initiatives effectively by opening options and shifting their mindset on challenges.
- ● Team Cohesion and Trust: through a series of 90-minute sessions over 6-months, the BOLDLY team coach worked with the team on their communication style, their ‘positive intent’ in working together with each other, and uncovered several areas of conflict that could be explored and worked through for the team to build their common alignment.
- ● Stakeholder Engagement: The coaching program focused on strategies for managing diverse stakeholder expectations and communicating the company's sustainability efforts transparently.
- ● Internal Collaboration: The BOLDLY coaches in Australia worked 1:1 with the MD of the team to open up options for cross-functional collaboration and ensure that the leader could help team members develop skills for bridging communication gaps and fostering a culture of sustainability throughout the organisation.
The team coaching initiative led to significant positive outcomes for our client during the 6-months of coaching and in the 12 months following:
- ● Enhanced Stakeholder Relations: The team went on to establish stronger relationships with regulators, investors, and environmentally conscious consumers, enhancing the company's reputation and trustworthiness.
- ● Internal Synergy: The team reported improved collaboration between departments which resulted in smoother implementation of sustainability projects, cost efficiencies, and a more unified approach to sustainability throughout the organisation.
- ● A New Level of Trust: through coaching, the team were able to come to see each other as highly qualified professionals, all frustrated with similar issues, but with a common purpose to impact the environment through better processes for the utilities under their remit. They were able to understand new perspectives, particularly from the viewpoint of the MD who was in a unique position of pressure, interfacing with executives and other departments with competing needs.
The team performance coaching services offered by BOLDLY resulted in the team reporting lower levels of stress, and no members of the team were turned over within the following 12 months after team coaching.
Our client' investment in team coaching for their Sustainability Team proved to be a strategic decision in their journey toward sustainability excellence. The coaching program not only enhanced the team's capabilities but also contributed to the company's environmental goals, stakeholder relations, and internal cohesion. As they continue to evolve in the utilities industry, our client remains committed to sustainability and recognises the value of ongoing coaching to drive their mission forward. Interested in similar transformative results? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to kickstart your team's growth journey.