Expressed opinions Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
Just a few years ago, coaching in the corporate environment was usually a face-to-face practice. Trainers or managers can meet with staff to prepare them for a milestone, such as a customer presentation or sales call. Instructors can even shade the staff during their presentation and then sit down to review performance and polish key skills.
Although coaching has changed dramatically in recent years. Although remote coaching was used before the epidemic, according to the International Coaching Federation, less than 83% of coaches have since increased their use of audio / video platforms, in response to models working from home. And the dynamics of this work are likely to be here: in fact, more than 70% of workers surveyed in the 2021 Job Trends Index (over 30,000 people in 31 countries) indicated that they want flexible job options to continue post-epidemic.
Clearly, companies are facing new challenges, including how to offer coaching designed to drive success in a hybrid workforce – ensuring its quality, consistency and continuity when some employees are away, some in the office and some a combination of both? The quick answer is that people, processes and technology all have a role to play.
Here are three considerations for coaching such a workforce:
1. Offer on-demand training resources
Trainers help employees develop new skills, improve skills, and overcome challenges, but it takes time; It cannot be transmitted only in limited live sessions. So, use live coaching smartly, and combine it with an on-demand approach to training. For example, if an instructor helps an employee who struggles with public speaking, he or she can speak through anxiety-relieving strategies and play a role in a variety of situations that trigger it during face-to-face or live virtual sessions.
The best results will come after sustainable personal practice, so coaches should provide assignments through public speaking resources (videos, tutorials, etc.) and the company’s learning platform.
Combining coaching with training resources in this way is particularly effective for hybrid workforce:
Learning modules and resources can be conveniently accessed anytime and anywhere.
Coaches can use the learning platform to see if employees have access to the materials. (When? How much? And for the quiz, how did they score?)
Face-to-face coaching sessions are less likely to be consistent in a hybrid work environment. You count every minute of them while maintaining the pace of learning in live sessions.
Employees should focus on improving their skills and addressing the challenges they face: Finding the right education resources to do this should be one of the least of their concerns.
Related: The # 1 thing we are looking for in applicants: Coaching
2. Coach leader and manager
A hybrid environment is a dynamic one. When employees take their fast-paced days, it’s easy to lose track of long-term goals because they focus on immediate goals. It is the job of a leader to show them big pictures.
But knowing how to focus and lead employees from a distance is often not an innate skill. As a result, it is important to train leaders and managers on how to lead and train hybrid teams. Among the important skills they need to master:
A Build an integrated culture In the absence of face-to-face group activities.
A Breaking the barrier imposed by their own bias About hybrid workers. A leader cannot effectively manage remote employees if they unknowingly (or knowingly) favor people in the office.
A Being more intentional about creating learning opportunities. (Before an epidemic, casual office interactions often lead to brief and immediate coaching sessions on a necessary basis.)
A Coaching effectively (Both as their own and as a complement to any corporate coaches / mentors) and staff feedback. To that end, companies should help leaders and managers take the time to prioritize coaching even during their busy days.
Above all, leaders need to practice active listening in a virtual environment (since it can be easy to misinterpret gestures or words when coaching online) and create coaching sessions designed for that mobility. For example, what I like to do is listen to an employee first (such as after they give a presentation), then use their impressions and concerns as a guide to further questions. That way, they have a chance to figure out what went well (and what could have improved) and see if they were already aware of possible solutions. Also, I want to ask, “Will this be important in a year?” To drive priorities and clarify the long-term effects of current actions.
Related: Why active listening is a critical skill for founders and entrepreneurs
3. Must be open minded in providing coaching
Forget the idea that coaching can only be in a certain environment or not at all! Coaching a hybrid team means being open and flexible to test different delivery methods. In addition to personal training, there are also:
A Online coaching, synchronous Where virtual sessions are live (such as through web conferencing tools).
A Asynchronous coaching, Where communication between coach and student is not live. Sessions can be managed via email, live messaging or even face-to-face video messaging.
A A mixed method, Personally, with synchronous online and asynchronous elements.
The mixing coaching format often works well in hybrid work environments. For example, you can set up a flow that starts with a face-to-face meeting to prioritize goal-setting, then include zoom sessions for highly interactive exercises. Round the instructions with asynchronous sessions, where employees can practice and record the skills they have learned.
How is feedback best distributed? Coaches can communicate this via email, video, slack and even text messages. Implementing such a hybrid flow takes some testing and error, but is very effective if done correctly.
Related: Here are 6 steps you can take to begin the process of preparation for mediation
Hybrid Coaching: Total Outcome
Coaching is a strategic priority for the organization today, and beneficial and attractive for employees at both levels. In today’s corporate environment, it should accommodate flexible work schedules and be embedded in the corporate culture. Adopting different methods of session delivery ensures that all employees can benefit from them, no matter where and when they choose to work.
Hybrid work to stay here. The question is, what are you? Ready to create high-impact coaching opportunities for your hybrid team?