Hint: It’s not the Office Coffee Machine. Wondering what it is….?

By Kavita Ryali, Product Evangelist & Advisor, Numly™ Inc.

Great company leaders have an innate desire to hire great talent, train, make them happy, successful and have them stay and grow with them forever. FACT – that doesn’t happen and more often than not, attrition takes over. So, what builds resilience for the company and for leaders to have a strong sense of loyalty amongst employees, a high sense of pride and feeling of fulfillment?

Most employees feel that a ‘Coaching culture within the organization is a very powerful incentive.’ A coaching culture sparks a very conducive environment to foster all round growth, learning and self-attainment for employees. This learning is further super charged with engagement and empathy as there are connections happening at a grass root level amongst employees and between teams. Employees don’t feel in despair but feel they can get timely help and also help others in need. As an outcome of the coaching efforts, one genuinely feels invested in, feels secure and peaks in their performance. As a result, there is a natural environment setup for care, growth and mentorship across the entire organization.

Glue it on with “Internal Coaching”? The notion of “Internal Coaching” has grown significantly in the past 4 years. The key is in building a pipeline of change-ready leaders. In business, its simply when your coaches and coachees work within the same organization. These coaches can be trained managers, leaders, or any employee with oodles of experience, wisdom and an aptitude to share. Large companies, like Google and Microsoft, are including internal coaching as part of their employee development programs. Coaching has been identified by organizations as a critical leadership and management competency as well.

Why do companies care? Coaching and mentoring fuel learning, prepare our workforces for the future, and enhance the performance of organizations by increased Employee Engagement. With the advent of everchanging business models, Covid-19 disruptions and remote work environments, and a higher bar for meeting employee expectations, coaching and mentoring might become even more critical. According to Gallup reports and HR.Com reports , the state of employee engagement is dismal. Only 25% of U.S. workers are engaged in any meaningful way. Disengaged employees cost companies an overall U.S. $483 billion to $605 billion per year in lost productivity. Reasons for this are plenty – missed shifts, chronic tardiness, and disrupting others with negative workplace behavior. Leaders and coaching provide the “juice” needed to engage workers. Coaching can boost individual and organizational engagement and performance in today’s challenging times.

How do Employees and Managers Benefit from Coaching?

Here are three ways that employees and managers feels empowered in a Coaching Culture

1.Get expert advice

Employees and managers work hard, share smart ideas, drive multiple initiatives, yet more often than not, they don’t see growth commensurate with their efforts. Be it skill training, or the right tools to thrive in their jobs, employees are looking for help each and every day to get their jobs done. In a coaching culture, the first people they seek expert advice from are from their coaches. They are their sounding board. Be it a manager turned coach, a Subject Matter Expert (SME) turned coach or a friend/colleague turned coach, each one of them becomes an employee’s go-to person. It becomes a relationship that is built on trust. A timely advice from one’s “trusted advisors” goes a long way in improving our team’s performance levels. Now, the question is How do Managers and Leaders Develop Effective Coaching Skills and Competencies? Successful organizations like Microsoft, Google, HP, IBM, SAP and others have recognized that managers must be able to coach their employees and each other, and have included coaching in their management/leadership development.

2.Get or give help

Let’s face it our days at work is always full of challenges, conflicts, fear of losing a job and some really tough people to work with. Employees can feel lost, not know what to do or where to go and often succumb, feel stressed and give up. Individuals seek mentorship which is either not available (company too small) or senior team members are too busy to invest the time. Organizations with a robust coaching culture will find their employees are feel more safe and understood. They look to their coaches as their first line of defense.

3.Online Remote Work and WFH

The COVID-19 pandemic era has brought radical shift in working, learning and interaction models for employees and managers. Gartner’s HR Survey reveals that 88% of Organizations Have Encouraged or Required Employees to Work From Home Due to Coronavirus. The practice of traditional heavy lifting on commute, classroom training and meeting people over coffee or in conference rooms is moving away. So, what are we missing? – It’s the people and their physical presence, and yet we need to engage even more to work effectively. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of fully digitized approaches to re-create the best of in-person learning, coaching through live video and social sharing. It’s now virtual coffee chats and online training and continuous digital presence to get work done.

Conclusion – How do Enterprises and Leaders ultimately benefit?

A coaching culture builds resilience and it is a force multiplier for any organization; resilient people strengthen teams when times are hard, and strong teams grow a lasting company. They also help people thru’ change in the post-pandemic world. Often times HR departments spend a lot of money on training their resources. However, employees and managers need support too and in varied unique ways as stated above. A strong Coaching Culture breeds teamwork and productivity. In its absence, employees feel susceptible to toxic stress, and negativity, leading to disengagement. The solution – Democratize Coaching. Team and organization members have an inherent set of strengths that they can coach others on while learning skills from others that they need to improve upon. This mutual exchange of feedback and skill growth sparks and facilitates engagement. Ultimately, effective Coaching, between and amongst employees builds teams of Trust, and YES, High Performance.

By Madhukar Govindaraju , Founder & CEO

As rapid change and disruption become the norm, what succeeded in the past can no longer serve as a guide to what will lead to success in the future. 

In the recent past, a successful career trajectory started with acquiring and developing expertise in a technical or functional domain. Having the right answers qualified as a barometer of a job well done and would be enough to rise up the ladder. 

‘Command and control’ were the mantra to lead.

However, with the business landscape becoming more competitive, complex, and disruptive, managers and leaders cannot have all the right answers at all times. The new reality demands a shift away from the traditional command-and-control practice to one that is nurturing and provides guidance and consequently helps employees adapt to changing environments with vigor, energy, and commitment.

With the pandemic upending the world of work, bringing in further disruption and new work models, organizations have to accelerate their coaching initiatives to keep employees engaged, prevent work-from-home burnout, and manage change capably while remaining productive. 

Given that the pandemic has canceled all face-to-face meetings and team off-sites, navigating competing priorities demands organizations to increase their coaching capabilities especially as Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA) become an indelible part of our new reality. If we look closely, the role of leaders and managers is becoming that of a coach.

Read: Want to Create A Pipeline of Leaders? Train Managers to Become Better Coaches

As volatility and change become our new constants, organizations have to help their workforce (both managers and employees) navigate their challenges and provide them the right support proactively. Coaching becomes a venerable tool to provide the guidance needed to navigate the new normal and battle change. Coaching is also an effective tool to drive competencies since it is a collaborative and continuous process and focuses on providing guidance by helping others experience their situation from a different and, often, a new perspective. 

While organizations do realize the importance of coaching, what can they do to create better coaches? The answer lies in coaching itself.

One size does not fit all

Coaching conversations have to be individualized and contextual. For coaching to be effective, it has to be compelling to drive change. To enable this, organizations have to identify where employees, managers, and leaders need coaching. 

For employees who have become managers in the pandemic, for example, coaching can be immensely helpful by giving them guidance on how to manage a remote team effectively. By leveraging data-driven assessments, organizations can identify performance gaps – both technical or behavioral, and create contextual coaching plans that give results.

Read: The Why and How of Coaching for your Newly-Remote Team

Coach the coaches

Given the rising importance of coaching, many organizations have internal coaching teams. However, with the changing dynamics in the workplace, these coaches need to hone their coaching skills further to capably guide the workforce. 

Good coaches drive positive learning experiences. But good coaching demands authenticity, and authenticity comes from knowledge. It is imperative to ensure that coaches keep improving and increasing their coaching repertoire by upgrading their knowledge base, for which they need coaching as well.

Develop your coaching pipeline

Just like how organizations are focused on developing a healthy leadership pipeline, it is equally important to develop a healthy pipeline of coaches as well. This is so because managers leading teams also have to lead engagement, performance, productivity, and engagement of their team members. Managers, hence, are coaches in their own right. 

Read: Want to Create A Pipeline of Leaders? Train Managers to Become Better Coaches

Managers are change agents. Identifying those who can build intentional relationships that drive team confidence and competence can be immensely beneficial for organizations.

Some managers are natural coaches. Despite this, coaching them to become more empathetic, improving problem-solving skills, developing better communication and guidance skills, etc., only helps them become better coaches and ultimately better leaders.

Research shows that among the critical skills that employers look for, coaching is the hardest to recruit. 

By identifying managers who have the potential to become good coaches, helping them develop a coaching approach to leadership, and helping them develop or improve the coaching effectiveness enhances the overall coaching effectiveness of the organization. 

Create the right coaching conversations

Facts have to replace feelings when it comes to driving better coaching conversations. 

When organizations want to develop effective coaches, the feedback has to be rooted in data. Whether it is soft (power skills) or hardcore technical skills, coaching conversations have to be driven by rich analytics.

Leveraging coaching platforms driven by AI and Machine Learning can not only connect the right coach to the right mentee but also provide intelligent, contextual and personalized, and impartial feedback as well as timely notifications and alerts and improve learning interactions. This approach also helps in enhancing coaching effectiveness by providing coaches with the feedback they need to reframe thinking or their guidance pattern to make coaching more effective.

In today’s day of VUCA, coaching has to become a culture within the organization rather than remain as a ‘self-help’ strategy that senior-level executives adopt to improve themselves. When coaching becomes an integral part of professional development at all corporate levels, it becomes an indispensable part of the organizational strategy and business philosophy. Effective leaders, productive and engaged teams, and positive business outcomes then become organic consequences of these efforts.

You can improve employee performance and employee engagement through people connections, internal coaching, and skills development. Connect with us to know more.

 

By Madhukar Govindaraju , Founder & CEO

It’s been almost a year since the COVID-19 pandemic made its announcement and completely upended business operations and working patterns. The grand scale of the global Work-From-Home transition, and the subsequent onus on digital transformation to navigate this new world of work, has led most organizations to accelerate their upskilling initiatives. 

Upskilling, incidentally, has been a major topic of conversation from the pre-pandemic days. Organizations are being compelled to re-evaluate upskilling strategies to make sure that these initiatives can help them traverse the COVID-induced uncertainty. They need to ensure that their employees remain relevant and can productively and positively contribute to the bottom line.

While upskilling is about increasing competency, it is more about improving resilience to face a competitive and volatile market. The pandemic has further emphasized the need for digital transformation, especially as resilient futures become directly proportional to the acquisition of new and more relevant skills.

Upskilling initiatives need coaching

“Upskilling”, simplistically, is defined as the act of teaching (an employee) additional skills. In today’s business narrative this means ensuring that the employees learn new skills as technology offers new opportunities that need new skill sets. 

Upskilling initiatives are thus more than efforts to merely keep your employees up-to-date on the latest technology. For upskilling to deliver the desired outcomes, organizations have to make sure that they are designed to not only increase know-how but also improve overall performance and business outcomes.

When coaching meets upskilling

Upskilling has to deliver impactful and sustainable change. And for that, coaching becomes imperative as it delivers the following:

Better employee outcomes

Upskilling efforts are directed towards making employees more knowledgeable and improving their technical dexterity as we move into the future of work. However, along with know-how, the employees also need to manage the change these new skills will bring into their lives. 

Coaching not only improves knowledge levels but also helps employees understand how this change is relevant and important for their careers. Coaching brings clarity of thought and understanding to employees and helps them apply the knowledge to their job roles more easily and comprehensively.

Improved retention

Millennials and Gen Z are now the dominant part of the workforce. Motivated by growth and opportunities, these generations want organizations to be invested in their growth story. Making upskilling initiatives coaching-focused helps organizations demonstrate their investment in employee growth and helps in driving better employee engagement. 

This type of investment makes the employee feel valued and helps them become better prepared to successfully fulfill their job roles. This effort, in turn, drives employee investment in the organization and helps prevent attrition as employees do not scour around for ‘better opportunities.’

More contextual

In today’s day, ‘context is king’, especially as we work with the millennials. By leveraging new-age technologies such as AI, organizations can leverage coaching platforms that help them drive context and make their programs more relevant for their employees. Using data-driven assessments, organizations can identify learning and knowledge gaps and help employees embark on their learning journeys. AI-powered coaching platforms can pair the right coach with the right employee, to drive impactful coaching conversations.

Upskilling employees also demands them to understand how their job roles will change and provides the direction to help them become more collaborative. This is essential since technology expertise has to be complemented with essential power skills like collaboration, communication, out-of-the-box thinking, and other essential traits that drive productivity, innovation, and ultimately, business outcomes. Such behavioral skill development that drives lasting change can only be achieved by building powering up upskilling initiatives with coaching.

Continuous and ongoing

Unlike traditional (one-time) training programs, coaching is a continuous and ongoing process, and hence, it becomes more impactful in driving and implementing change. Coaching is information-driven but is not just instructional and passive. It is more comprehensive and helps employees become future-ready by helping them understand and adapt to the new ways of work.

The ongoing nature of coaching becomes all the more beneficial as employees receive the right guidance at the right time and thereby capably manage the challenges that keep them from reaching their optimum potential. It is because coaching is continuous and ongoing that employees can rewire and reprogram themselves to navigate challenges and align their job roles with organizational goals with greater clarity.

Powering up coaching programs with coaching is almost like that silver bullet to help traverse this new world of work. By connecting the right coach with the right learner, organizations can capably build a bridge of trust with the employee to show their investment in employee growth.

Coaching also allows for clear, actionable, and proactive feedback that points out areas of improvement. AI-powered coaching platforms like NumlyEngage™ can provide timely nudges based on skill-level data. All of these factors help impact upskilling outcomes positively and ensure that that the workforce is future-ready in the truest sense of the term.

Connect with our team of experts to create fool-proof, outcome-driven upskilling initiatives by diving into the coaching universe and consequently keeping your workforce engaged and skilled at the same time.

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

COVID-19 has successfully upended the world of work and has delivered us to the era where Working from Home (WFH) and remote work has become our new reality. 

As digital workplaces become an integral and everyday part of our work culture, organizations have to evaluate effective strategies to coach new hires for the remote world of work. Since every organization has its own rhythm, they need to help new hires acclimate to the professional and social expectations of their work environment. 

While most organizations have jumped on the Microsoft Teams or Zoom or Learning Management Platforms bandwagon to onboard and engage their remote hires,, these mediums do not always meet the needs of the organizations to the tee. 

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, has admitted that one of the significant pitfalls of remote work is that it can often feel like ‘sleeping at work’. He states that while organizations need to help employees transition between work and private life in this remote setting, it is even more essential to onboard the new hires successfully and focus on their reskilling and upskilling initiatives as per the business needs.

Work from home might not be a new phenomenon, but the scale at which it has been implemented has been experienced before. As it settles as our normal, organizations have to discover new ways of building engagement with their new hires and help them thrive in their workplace. 

The challenge with onboarding new hires

The objective of onboarding is more than just introducing the new employee into the workplace. The right onboarding experience helps employees organically integrate into the company processes and culture, its attitudes, rituals, tools, and methods. The onboarding program helps the employee get used to their new environment and understand their roles and responsibilities in great detail.

In remote work, the absence of physical interactions is driving less-than-optimal experiences for new hires. More often than not, the onboarding exercise is summed up in a video interaction, first with HR and then with their managers and team members. 

But in the absence of physical, face-to-face everyday interactions, such one-time sessions do not fulfill the objectives of onboarding and end up resembling an orientation session, a one-time session aimed at just welcoming new hires. 

Orientation is about creating the space for the new hires to acquaint them with the company vision and mission, understand company benefits, codes of conduct, and other organizational benefits.

Onboarding has to include orientation, but it cannot stop at that. Onboarding continues to remain a series of events and exchanges that happens over a period of time. Since onboarding is tailored for a specific role, it contributes significantly to driving employee engagement. 

However, the world of remote work has to account for the challenges that new hires are experiencing and drive onboarding experiences accordingly. 

  • New hires are not aware of the culture of the organization. In a remote work environment, internalizing the same through a day-long session or a video demo is not effective
  • The absence of physical interactions with team members and managers can make it hard for the new hires to establish and cement work relationships and build strong connections
  • It can be overwhelming to identify growth plans for them and assess how to leverage them
  • It can be confusing for new employees to identify the ideal pathways to demonstrate value in a remote set up
  • Evaluating how to build the professional network within the organization can also seem challenging

Coaching leads the way 

With ambiguity ruling the roost, organizations need a fool-proof strategy to drive employee experiences and help their new hires gain ground in the new environment. 

Coaching can be the most effective way to build a bridge between expectations and outcomes and provide new employees with the direction they need to navigate their careers. 

Here is a look at how coaching can help new hires to find their ground in the organization. 

  • Coaching complements onboarding in a remote set up

Complementing virtual onboarding with coaching drives greater clarity for new employees and ensures that the initial message is clear. Since new hires are not physically engaging with their team members and managers, it can be intimidating to ask questions and gain clarifications they need to get healthy working relationships going. Coaching can help new employees learn the ropes on how to navigate everyday challenges at work, be it technical or soft skills related. 

  • Coaching helps in establishing trust bridges

Establishing a coaching culture on Day 1 helps new employees realize that the organization is invested in their personal development and career growth. Providing access to skills coaching and development to every new employee helps organizations in building trust bridges with the employee. This also helps in driving employee engagement. 

This becomes especially relevant for the millennials since they are the primary demographic in the workplace and these initiatives are of great value and a big motivator for them. 

  • Coaching helps new hires find their feet 

Coaching is also an effective strategy to help new hires build connections and develop their network in the workplace. Coaching provides new hires the guidance they need to find their ground and helps them bridge the gaps that can come in their career path. 

Coaching helps new hires power through the initial days to establish themselves within the organization by helping them discover how to communicate and collaborate effectively in the remote work environment. It also helps them identify the skill gaps (power skills or technical) and also find ways to build networks.

  • Coaching provides support to new employees 

Modern-day, AI-enabled coaching platforms are the perfect support system that organizations need to evaluate where new hires need help and direction. 

By connecting the new employee to the right coach by using powerful AI algorithms, organizations can help new employees gain and increase expertise through systematic coaching interactions. 

  • Coaching drives inclusiveness 

In this world of remote work, coaching also helps organizations establish a positive and inclusive work culture. 

It helps organizations continue along the path of their diversity and inclusion initiatives and helps the new hires see that the organization is invested in their growth story. This can be a powerful motivator and can help significantly in driving employee engagement. 

  • Coaching provides direction to new hires

With the help of their coaches, new employees can also take charge of their career development and growth. Coaching platforms that take the data route and employ tests such as 16- Personality Factor self-assessments or Behavioral Skill assessments and help the new employees capably identify the gaps they need to fill to move along an upward growth trajectory. 

Coaching also helps them identify opportunities faster and discover the tricks on how to become more visible at work and drive an impact. This thereby helps new employees settle in and move along their career paths, irrespective of the remote set up.

In conclusion

Organizations have to also pay close attention to the needs of new hires who are in leadership roles. This demographic has to identify ways to not only remain engaged and productive but help those reporting into them to stay the same as well. Coaching can prepare them to lead by example and help them build the right leadership styles that are appropriate for this remote era so that they can confidently lead their teams and the organization to success. 

Connect with our team of experts to identify how our AI-enabled coaching platform can help your organization develop effective coaching strategies for your new hires and drive peer-to-peer coaching to build an inclusive and positive work culture in a location-agnostic manner. 

By Madhukar Govindaraju, Founder & CEO

Women belong in all places where decisions are being made” – Ruth Bader Ginsberg aka, Notorious RBG.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s crusade for equal rights is known to everyone. Throughout her career, she focused on making those in positions of power become aware of the challenges that were unique to the women workforce. It was her strategy to help men in power see the differences in opportunity and treatment meted out to women, just because they were, well, women.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was an outcome of her fierce dissent amongst many other such path-breaking acts that paved the way for equality for women. It is now the responsibility of corporate organizations to take this movement a step further and provide women the support they need to become prolific leaders like Ginsberg. 

If we look at the leadership gender gap, it shows us that while it still might be a man’s world, forward-thinking organizations now know that we need both men and women to succeed. 

There are several reasons for this gender gap – reasons such as inexperience, family responsibilities, or . But given that we are now in the 21st century, companies need to find a way to deal with these obstacles. 

Without delving into the controversy of the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles, let’s instead look at how to fix this gender imbalance. 

There is enough evidence to show that women not only do well in leadership roles but thrive in them. A report from Associated Press and Equilar, among the 25 highest-paid CEOs, five of them were women. 

Some of the largest and most successful enterprises have had women steering the ship – from IBM’s Virginia Rometty to PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi to Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg to Mary Barra of General Motors, you just have to cast a cursory glance at the Forbes world’s most powerful women list to see that the ‘so-called’ reasons to keep deserving female candidates  away from the C-suite are quite honestly, baseless. 

Now that cracks in the glass ceiling are getting deeper, it is about time for organizations to realize that fixing the gender imbalance is not only the right thing to do, it is also important for organizational success.

The business case for promoting gender diversity

Yes, there is a business case for leaning in towards gender diversity. 

Research from McKinsey discovered that promoting gender diversity leads to better business results and that gender-diverse companies perform better financially. 

Organizations with women in 30% of leadership roles are 12 times more likely to be top-performing companies. 

 

Joanna Barsh, co-chair of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership’s Leadership Working Group and author of ‘How Remarkable Women Lead’ further shows that it is now becoming important for an organization’s leadership to match its customer base. Given that women make up a substantial chunk of the customer base in almost every industry, having more women representation is just good old common sense.

Barsha goes on to state that gender diverse teams also come up with better solutions especially for “non-linear, complex problems”. Solving these problems need diversity of thought, backgrounds, skillset, and experience.

Business case aside, women leaders can be a huge benefit since they bring a growth mindset, are hugely participative in getting more thoughts and ideas, and in bringing positive emotions to the workplace.

The silver bullet to fix the gender imbalance

It is apparent that gender diversity efforts are not a zero-sum game but end up benefiting all employees. It is about time that we move away from ‘second-generation gender bias’.

While there are many solutions to fix the gender diversity gap, focusing on learning and development initiatives is an important step in the right direction. 

Women leadership development programs have to now become bolder and more tailored to help women navigate the corporate landscape and equip them with the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to create an impact and have greater influence across the organization. 

What should these innovative programs include?

Firstly, women leadership development programs have to be a continuous process. These programs have to be designed to drive a shift in behaviors. 

Hence, coaching becomes a critical tool for enablement.

  • Leadership programs have to now move away from its myopic worldview and understand that just like women bring specific skill sets to the table, they also have certain specific challenges to navigate. The objective of coaching, hence, cannot be to make women leaders more like their male counterparts. Instead, it has to focus on how women can leverage their unique skills such as empathy to develop their own leadership style and implement a personal leadership strategy.
  • Organizations also have to open up networking opportunities for women leaders as this helps them advance their careers. Coaching can help women build this network and develop connections to create opportunities for broader exposure and authentic engagement by eliminating self-imposed restrictions.
  • Organizations have to assume the responsibility of identifying their high-potential women employees and then employ data-backed guidance to help them overcome leadership challenges. Leveraging tests such as Behavioral Assessment tests or 16 Personality Factor self-evaluation to identify strengths and weaknesses can help in closing the skills gap and assist in building authentic leadership.
  • Coaching programs also need the technology push to connect high performing women employees with the right mentors who will help them navigate women-specific challenges. For example, some women might need greater help in managing organizational complexities than their male counterparts owing to the years of social conditioning. This very conditioning might prohibit them from asking questions for the fear of being perceived as weak. A good coach will help such women employees with the right tools to manage perceptions while establishing credibility and their individual leadership styles without sacrificing their inherent femininity.
  • Women leadership development programs have to also become hyper-focused on monitoring and measuring coaching progress and ensure that they have the right tools to provide timely nudges. An AI-enabled coaching platform can come to the rescue and help to deliver personalized, contextual, and relevant nudges to address skill gaps and unique learning abilities.
  • Leadership programs for women also need to become analytics-driven and should employ actionable insights from rich analytics on skills development, performance, engagement, and more. These engagement insights can be used to further fine-tune women leadership programs and make them contextual, relevant, and consequently more impactful for the women workforce. This also helps in building women leaders who are better prepared for their current and future responsibilities.
  • Social conditioning helped men remain unaware of the plight of women in the workforce. It was people like Ruth Bader Ginsberg who helped them see that inequality and discrimination existed. In the same way, social conditioning can also influence many women leaders. It is important to get the guidance and coaching to see which of these influencers are self-serving and which need to go to thrive in the corporate world. Coaching is the most effective way to help women make more intentional choices about their leadership careers. This includes taking the agency to control their careers, building authenticity to discover their leadership styles, strengthening professional connections to grow professional relationships, and increasing self-awareness and clarity. 

Most importantly these programs have to help women leaders develop a sense of wholeness that many women struggle with – the battle to seek roles beyond work or to unite different life roles into a single integrated whole. 

Coaching can help women realize and internalize that it is justified to value multiple roles and accept a broader definition of success – one that helps them let go of the idea that work and success come from equitable distribution of time between work and their other roles. Instead, wholeness helps women set priorities and value all their commitments while letting go of roles, obligations, thoughts, and mindsets that no longer serve them.

While it might be a man’s world as sung by James Brown in 1966, today we concur more and sing along loudly with Beyonce when she says, “Who run the world? Girls”.

Connect with us to see how an AI-enabled coaching platform can help your organization fix gender imbalance and give your women leadership program the makeover it needs.

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Ready or not, organizations worldwide have had to adopt remote working at a scale never experienced before. 

As organizations and employees navigate this new world, finding their rhythm can be challenging for many. Undoubtedly, there are tremendous benefits to remote work. However, in an environment plagued with uncertainty and fear owing to the pandemic, it can be hard for employees to be completely productive and engaged. Settling into remote work can especially be daunting for those who thrive on the routine and the social interactions of an office or a worksite, making it significantly hard for them to focus on work. 

While adjusting to remote work for employees is hard, it can be harder to manage remote workers. Managers now need to have very high empathy levels to motivate and guide their teams and need to support their teams through this transition while supporting themselves. 

Given these shifts, organizations have to empower their employees to navigate this new normal. Coaching can play a big role in helping employees manage this change while helping them move along their career paths. 

Let’s accept it. Things have changed 

Given the current version of working remotely is unlike the remote working we did previously, making this shift is not easy for many. 

  • Families are juggling full-time work while facilitating online learning for kids who are out of school for an indefinite time. 
  • Most have their spouses working remotely as well. Adjusting to this new scenario is quite different from any other time. 
  • Organizations need to take cognizance of the fact that their employees are now adapting to a unique set of circumstances where they are experiencing a broad range of emotions, most of which are unpleasant. Worries about how to showcase work, how they will grow within the organization, and how their career will progress are growing concerns for employees. 
  • Many, especially the high-potential employees, might be finding it hard to figure out avenues to contribute more and show an impact. The absence of face time with managers and leaders can lead to feelings of isolation and insecurity, and general disconnect. 
  • While managers might just be checking in more frequently than usual, it can also often be misconstrued as micromanaging. This could lead employees further down the disengagement path unless the rules of engagement are redefined. 

How can coaching help?

Coaching the remote team can help alleviate most of these problems by giving them the guidance and clarity they need to traverse this challenging environment. 

Coaching gives them access to individuals who will guide them along their career path while being empathetic towards their problems without holding any judgment. 

Coaching a newly-remote team is also essential to help them understand how to navigate this new normal and make the right moves to become more visible across the organization. Unlike a one-time training session, coaching is a constant process and helps employees develop the power skills to complement the technical abilities needed to thrive in challenging environments. 

Today, and in the days to come, skills like critical and strategic thinking, growth mindset, empathy, EQ, communication, collaboration, and the like will be essential to enhance business outcomes. 

Organizations have no option but to help their employees improve their behavioral and power skills and upgrade their technical skills if they want to move along the path to profitability. And the path to this is through coaching.

How to coach your newly-remo

te team?

Before organizations begin coaching their employees, they have to first refocus and redesign their leadership coaching strategies. 

Read: Want to Create A Pipeline of Leaders? Train Managers to Become Better Coaches

Leadership coaching in the COVID era will demand a makeover as leadership has now become more virtual than ever before. 

Since leaders have to be the positive agents of change, it is imperative to build authentic leadership models that will inspire employees to follow the leader and remain engaged in the workplace. 

Coaching strategies for remote teams need to be driven by data. 

Gone are the times when employees could be brought into a room and made to go through any training program. Relevance, context, and personalization are now extremely important – especially when organizations need employees to be self-motivated and highly engaged. 

Coaching strategies for a newly-remote workforce have to therefore focus on:

  • Becoming more contextual and relevant to the employee. Using data-backed Behavioral Analysis or 16 Personality Factor Assessments help in identifying gaps and areas of improvement and help in making coaching contextual for the employee
  • Establishing the right coach and employee pairing to drive better connections and better outcomes. Organizations can easily achieve this by using an AI-powered platform that can connect the right coach with the right employee to help them address their skill gaps.
  • Building emotional intelligence of employees and their managers to help them collaborate better by being more empathetic and understanding towards each other’s challenges.
  • Empowering employees to discover their strengths and weaknesses and nurture their talents to grow leadership skills, improve productivity, reduce job-related stress, and improve interpersonal relationships in a remote environment. 
  • Providing powerful, personalized, easy to use, and private coaching interactions. Provide AI-driven contextual nurture touch points to make coaching more effective and impactful.

This is a time when organizations have to utilize their emotional intelligence to understand the plight of their employees. 

The United Nations has issued warnings and has emphasized the concerns of mounting stress owing to this pandemic. Never before have employees experienced such ambiguous times where fear of jobs and career trajectories are at loggerheads with a crumbling economy and personal health worries. Organizations that give employees the support they need to steer the rudder will be rewarded with loyalty, commitment, and the benefits that come from having highly engaged employees. 

Connect with us to identify ways to leverage the AI-driven coaching platform to coach your newly remote workforce and their managers for success.