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

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing
Is-Remote-Working-The-Solution-For-Adapting-To-COVID-19

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. 

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