By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

The threat because of which we retreated in haste, from office buildings to kitchen tables or home offices, at the onset of the pandemic, seems to be abating. Today people are gearing to return to work as the pandemic comes under control. However, the reactive stance that businesses assumed at the onset of the pandemic, no longer remains a valid strategy to design the hybrid workplace. 

As the world of work moves towards a hybrid avatar, seamlessly amalgamating work from home with on-premises, organizations are moving to create transformational strategies to ensure business success in the future. The future of work is now centered on how you work. Not where you do it from.

The hybrid workplace needs a transformational strategy – one that is intentional and purpose-driven. This strategy will remain incomplete if enterprises do not account for the impact of this world of work on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. 

The extraordinary circumstances caused by the pandemic threw greater light on the racial and societal inequities in our society. While enterprises were hiring and were greatly focused on diversity, the move to the hybrid workplace has shifted priorities. 

A recently concluded report on workplace culture and inclusion shows that 

  • Only 53% of employees rate their workplace diversity, equity, and inclusiveness culture as healthy. 
  • 58% feel that their organizations still have undefined diversity and inclusion goals. 
  • More than 67% feel that their organizational leaders need to do more to drive diversity, equity, and inclusion across the organization.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are playing a big role in enterprise transformation. A report from McKinsey highlights how diverse and more inclusive organizations are more profitable than those that are not. While diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are good for business, the time to do more than just pay lip service to these initiatives is now. 

Why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion matter even more now

COVID-19 gave organizations a chance to evaluate and reconsider what workplaces should look like. Ushering in the Future of Work and driving the focus to build a hybrid workplace demands a technological transformation to ease the logistical nightmare. But the hybrid workplace also shows the promise of being a cultural facilitator. This is because the work environment becomes more boundary-less while bringing in geographically distant workers closer. 

Thus, to access a greater talent market and to support geographically dispersed teams, bringing strategic focus on designing relevant diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives becomes paramount. 

From Technological Hybridity to Cultural Hybridity

In the hybrid workplace, employing technological hybridity will be commonplace. New platforms, tools, and technologies will drive better workflows and processes. And just like this technological hybridity, it also demands a more intentional move to enable the coexistence of multiple individual identities. This becomes especially relevant in today’s context where employees desire a greater alignment of individual identities and the value system of the organization.

Organizations need to work intentionally towards creating an environment that fosters and encourages inclusion, and diversity and promotes equity. 

Leveling the playing field is essential

At present, most organizations are focused on managing the day-to-day challenges of managing remote and in-person teams. However, along with this, they must now focus on creating a playing field that is even and fair to all. And we cannot create an even playing field unless we address the unconscious biases that may be at work dividing in-person and remote employees and those coming from marginalized and underserved communities. 

Accounting for the need of all employees is mandatory

Diversity, inclusion, and equity are the key components that ensure that organizations function better and innovate faster. As the workplace becomes hybrid and relies more on technology, organizations need to reskill and adapt to the demands of digital transformation to help employees manage the climate of change. This reskilling and upskilling extend to power skills that drive collaboration and innovation while accounting for the needs of ‘all’ employees. 

Undoing unconscious bias is imperative for engagement 

The hybrid workplace will need to focus heavily on undoing unconscious biases and work towards becoming more inclusive to drive transformational organizational outcomes. A focused effort into diversity and inclusion unlocks new opportunities to accelerate reskilling and simultaneously nurturing a mindset of continuous learning. 

By becoming more intentional about their diversity, inclusion, and equity strategy, organizations ensure that they level the playing field and allow all employees equal opportunities. These moves drive better employee engagement as employees feel that the organization is invested in their growth. This also strengthens the organization’s ability to manage change and foster growth. With time, the organization becomes more inclusive and diverse. 

How Peer Coaching Can Help

Just like how technology is driving the workplace, technology can drive diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives as well. Moving towards a culture focused on continuous learning leveraging peer coaching can be a strategic starting point for the same. After all, with knowledge comes power. 

Peer coaching is an effective medium to change unconscious bias. That is because bias can only be removed by virtue of continuous and contextual interactions to drive behavioral change. Employing a technology-powered peer coaching platform can help employees identify their growth needs and address challenges that impede professional progress. 

The opportunity to access coaches to drive growth makes sure that the people in the D&I umbrella are not struggling to identify growth pathways, can easily navigate the organizational network, and build trust bridges across the organization.

The rules of engagement have to evolve in a hybrid workplace. We can no longer afford to take a cut-and-paste approach to important initiatives such as diversity, inclusion, and equity. Those organizations who take data-backed and technology-powered approaches for their initiatives will be more successful in their efforts simply because their efforts will be more structured, organized, contextual, and relevant to the workforce. 

Connect with us to see how we can supercharge your diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives with our AI-powered coaching platform. 

By Madhukar Govindaraju, Founder & CEO

Peer coaching is a complex and rewarding system that can help everyone in an organization tap into their full potential. It’s an extremely empowering process that helps break down unnecessary elements and enhance the practices that are required to tackle the unique modern work challenges. 

But most organizations have little to no idea how to implement peer coaching. A survey showed that only half of the respondents who filled the survey used peer coaching at the time, and only 32% considered peer coaching to be very or extremely effective. This suggests that organizations are yet to leverage the full potential of peer coaching. 

Let’s take a look at the many benefits of peer coaching. 

Key Benefits of Peer Coaching in the Workplace

Peer Coaching helps set goals

Peer coaching boosts employee engagement at work by coaching people how to focus on the ‘what’, and not the ‘how’. That helps employees assess their relationship with their organization and what they want out of it in the long run. It encourages each employee to innovate, be resilient, agile, and redesign their future.

According to another survey, 80% of people who received coaching report greater self-confidence. More than 70% benefited from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills. 

Read: Inspiring Behavioral Change in Employees Through Peer Coaching

Peer coaching enhances discussions around goals and priorities, helps people plan their schedules, opens up channels of communication, and, most importantly – helps them reinforce these with metrics. 

It also changes the nature of group work. On top of setting personal goals, group goals and company goals are taken into consideration, too. That ensures that the employee’s personal goals align with those of the company. Peer coaching also helps create spaces where competence can be built, and interpersonal trust helps establish the value of group goals. In terms of leadership, peer coaching helps in achieving agility. 

Read: Here is How Peer Coaching Improves Teams’ Effectiveness

Peer Coaching creates a Flatter Organizational Structure

Imagine an office where the people who get promoted are the ones who butter up the manager. Anyone else who prefers to focus on their work rather than spend time in watercooler conversations simply gets overlooked. They get a heavier workload and often go underappreciated. What would happen in such an environment? Most likely, the culture would become negative and toxic. The leaders would elevate and promote just a few members above others. There would be an overreliance on some familiar faces. Other team members would become disillusioned and withdraw.

Now imagine an office where there is an intense amount of competition. The leaders actively pit the employees against each other. That would cause distrust and competition amongst team members. It might even create a lack of trust in peers within their function. This distrust would also transfer onto peers outside of their function. That doesn’t sound very healthy, does it? Such environments foster toxic distractions that would take the focus away from work and onto office politics. 

But peer coaching solves these problems. Open channels of communication are created between all the members. That creates a culture of shared objectives and helps employees work as a team to optimize functional and business unit goals – together. Peer coaching helps put an end to discriminatory behavior as well since it creates a flatter hierarchy. If any is observed, it’s easy for peers to report this behavior. It also creates a better breed of leader – a more empathetic one, hands-on, and accountable.

Peer Coaching enables Better Learning 

We all know the benefit of upskilling, reskilling, and learning more skills throughout our lives as employees. But did you know peer coaching can create better processes to facilitate deeper learning? Modern workplaces distribute knowledge through blended learning methodologies and modern tools /technologies. They also integrate expertise across teams through joint work and peer coaching. It does this in many ways.

First of all, peer coaching helps upskill teams for the next ‘normal’. It does this even when the on-ground facts are incomplete, imprecise, and constantly changing. This style rewires leaders for excellence by teaching them how to navigate through disruptive processes such as the COVID-19 crisis and more. It also helps them transition to a digital world. Today, forward-thinking leaders are already using algorithmic business thinking to hack growth and value. Peer coaching helps spread this knowledge and helps those who are uncomfortable with these new changes.

Peer coaching helps individuals manage themselves better, too. This is especially true when it comes to learning and adapting to newer climates where the situation is ambiguous and complex. A great example is a work-from-home situation brought about by the pandemic. Changing environments like this require a re-designed peer coaching experience. 

Peer coaching also:

  • Helps determine the impact-to-effort ratio of new activities and empowers teams to say NO. 
  • Keeps teams’ focus on outcomes from a customer and stakeholder perspective. 
  • Helps reconfigure, re-optimize pitfalls, strengths, and spikes in the workforce behavior and skill landscape. 
  • Combats hyper-focus on optimizing the outcomes based on the team’s expertise rather than the end need.
  • Defeats the cultural resistance to knowledge sharing.
  • Balances ideals with what’s practical and pragmatic.
  • Helps employees tackle the work from home burnout challenges.

Peer coaching also teaches leaders to be empathetic and reach out to those who may be feeling alienated. That helps the overall learning process as those who are exhausted will not be able to learn or perform to their optimal levels. 

Read: How Peer Coaching Elevates Organizational Knowledge Management

Peer Coaching helps resolving Team Bonding Challenges 

Peer coaching encourages problem-solving behavior and helps in overcoming geographic disconnection within hybrid teams. It creates processes to identify and address misalignments. It combats the lack of norms/policies to guide the new normal of hybrid work. Peer coaching even combats a culture of over-inclusion; both within the team as well as within the larger organization.

Peer coaching solves many problems faced by organizations. It helps teams focus on consensus building, brainstorming/innovation, camaraderie building, and developing trust. It helps balance work, life, and career growth. It helps everyone to get transparent about workloads and competing priorities collectively. 

Peer Coaching generates Opportunities

Finally, peer coaching creates opportunities in many ways – especially for minority groups whose voices have historically been silenced. Companies need to understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion are power skills for any organization. Whether the teams are in-house or distributed across the world – that holds. Sadly, the COVID-19 Pandemic “could” erase six years’ worth of progress towards equality for women of color, and other disenfranchised women, since the onus of child-rearing falls upon them. But they – along with other minorities – are the backbone of any business.

Peer coaching deals with these inequities. It shifts work away from the dominance of a few experts. It creates true diversity and inclusion by growing processes or roles for recognizing and reintegrating the disenfranchised. Since peer coaching involves intimate interactions between employees, it helps make ‘inclusion’ a company-wide group value. 

If the peer coaching programs are crafted with these in mind, it’ll be easier to reap these benefits.

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Organizational resilience is directly linked to employee resilience and resilience is directly linked to the individual’s capacity to be calm and stable during stressful times. 

The last year has caused a tsunami of stress as organizations moved to work from home. The transition continues as we now gear up to embrace the hybrid work. While a lot has been written about employee burnout and what managers and leaders can do to alleviate them, not much discussion is happening on the burnout managers are experiencing.

Why are managers experiencing burnout?

Research from McKinsey shows that nearly half of all employees report burnout. While we do not have an exact number on the statistics for manager burnout, surely the number is not going to be very different. 

Managers have been at the helm of the crisis, steering their teams through extremely challenging times. They have been sounding boards for their team members and the change agents telling organizations how to evolve work processes and collaboration in this new work environment. 

Managers have been placed in a situation that is inordinately stressful where they are at the receiving end of their team’s challenges while facing performance pressures from their higher-ups. If employees have been questioning their paths of career progressions, managers are also in the same boat. Their fears, struggles, and challenges are quite the same as their team members – what should they do to remain visible? How can they meet their teams’ needs better? How can they build trusted networks across the organization? How can they solve challenges that they have never faced before? How can they offer advice when they, themselves, are struggling with the same problems? What skills should they learn to remain relevant in the new world of work? How will they be perceived asking for help? 

Peer coaching can help

Peer coaching is all about creating a network of allies who support an individual’s needs in a non-judgmental and non-evaluative manner. This support helps in driving positive change in the workplace. It addresses the root causes that impede performance in the workplace and lead to anxiety, stress, and ultimately burnout. 

With peer coaching, managers can 

  • Gain new perspectives on the issues plaguing them and the opportunities that they can uncover and leverage to alleviate these challenges
  • Generate feelings of connection, increase trust within the workplace and deliver insights that would otherwise be missing in the work from home environment. 
  • Destigmatize help-seeking behavior and normalize the fact that while we might be operating remotely, our private lives are welcome at work.

Challenges that peer coaching solves

Shifting that isolated feeling 

Managers, just like the other employees in the workplace, have also been experiencing feelings of loneliness and burnout. Any challenge or problem that could easily be discussed by hopping across a desk now needs a meeting invite. Work-life has become infinitely more formal and yet the boundaries dividing work and personal life are blurring fast. 

In this environment, not knowing how others are managing their teams and work can feel overwhelming and managers can find themselves slipping down the rabbit hole of despair that comes from disconnection. This can seem like an insurmountable challenge, but peer coaching can easily alleviate this problem.

With peer coaching, managers can seek help on issues that are leading to feelings of disconnection. It further helps in destigmatizing help-seeking behavior for senior individuals. It further helps in making managers more committed to encouraging their team members to seek help during challenging times. This makes the work environment healthier and ensures that productivity and well-being do not fall at the altar of managing perceptions.

Building connection and driving collaboration 

All managers, across the board, have struggled to manage the complete shift to remote work. With the world of work having shifted into its remote avatar without providing much notice, all connections and familiarity removed from the picture, managers had a tall task looming ahead – to ensure the same levels of productivity and efficiency as the pre-pandemic days. 

Most organizations offered the initial support to help employees settle into this new format. However, almost all, managers included, felt that this cut-and-paste strategy to enable remote work wouldn’t impact productivity and efficiency. In many cases, while these shifts didn’t affect them, what they did impact was mental health and feelings of anxiety.

In this world of work from home, those organizations that enable peer coaching offer a platform to help managers connect with each other and seek answers to their new challenges. The role of a manager extends beyond task management – but how could the managers do the extra bit without the knowledge of how to go about it? 

Peer coaching is the best tool to help managers cope and understand the dynamics of how their roles have evolved.  Old managers are struggling to identify how to keep their teams connected and engaged without the physical connection and new managers are wondering how to build connections with their teammates to drive powerful collaboration.

Managing perceptions and unconscious bias

It is no secret that many managers have, in the past, harbored unconscious biases on what they perceive to be productive and dependable behavior. At one time, those working from home were perceived as less effective workers and were often passed over for promotions. Lack of visibility because one was working from home, often impacted promotions. Spending a disproportionate time ‘at’ work was more welcome and comfortable than accounting for time spent ‘on’ work.

These unconscious biases are now playing out in the manager’s narrative as well. Just like the team members of yesterday, today managers are struggling to become visible. They are also trying to identify how much visibility is too much visibility? How much management is good management, and when do they become micromanagers? What do they need to do to break free from the shackles of unconscious bias so that they can make the workplace more inclusive, freeing, and accepting?

Peer coaching helps managers 

  • Alleviate and manage these feelings and help them remain grounded in facts
  • Identify the best ways to become effective communicators and ensure that they keep their teams highly motivated
  • Uncover and dismantle unconscious biases by virtue of meaningful, contextual, and continuous dialogues that enable change

In Conclusion 

When organizations enable peer coaching, they provide managers the platform they need to seek help, be vulnerable and explore opportunities for improvement. With peer coaching, managers can develop the power skills like that of communication that drive effective collaboration. 

As we enter the new world of work, organizations have the opportunity to grow and become better than they were yesterday. By enabling peer coaching, organizations can effectively build a culture where lowering walls is not seen as a liability, but an asset. 

Better employee performance and elevated manager throughput become the consequence of these actions.

Connect with our team of experts to see how our AI-powered coaching platform can empower your managers and help them with the right tools to lead their teams and themselves to success.

By Madhukar Govindaraju, Founder & CEO

The future of work is hybrid, and it is now. 

As we move steadfastly into the hybrid work model, it becomes abundantly clear that this world of work will need new skills and approaches. In the post-pandemic world, organizations will have to re-evaluate the drivers of employee engagement and employee experience since the older drivers of engagement no longer remain valid. 

With the economy ahead promising to be unquestionably different, organizations have to now focus on upskilling initiatives to thrive in this new world order. New skills, processes, working mechanisms, systems of collaboration, team building, and new ways of thinking are the need of the hour. These cannot be addressed with a day-long training program. Developing these new skills to thrive in today’s complex work environment needs focused and continuous learning. Something that organizations can achieve with peer coaching. 

Read: Peer Coaching – The Critical Pillar to Drive Employee Experience and Engagement in Hybrid Workplaces

But how can organizations create a peer coaching culture?

Develop an army of peer coaches

To create a peer coaching culture an organization needs peer coaches. Looking at the employee base and identifying the natural coaches in their midst is the first step. However, often people themselves are unaware of their coaching capabilities. Helping people identify their inherent coaching capabilities assists in identifying peer coaches who can contribute to the organizational learning environment. 

Apart from the ones who are naturally disposed to coaching, organizations can also look at high-performing employees or those employees who show exceptional technical or power skills and coach them to become peer coaches. 

Managers can identify the potential coaches in their teams according to their skills and make them a part of the peer coaching network. Managers themselves can embark on a learning journey and take coaching to become good peer coaches. 

Read: Help your Leaders Transition to a Digital World – Start Peer Coaching Initiatives

Destigmatize asking for help

It is heartening to see that organizations are now paying close attention to their employee’s mental health. With the pandemic pushing employees towards burnout, the conversation around mental health and seeking help to alleviate stressors has become mainstream.

Seeking help has been stigmatized as a sign of weakness for the longest time and it is time to change that.

There are many who are still not sensitized to the unique challenges of their peers. Setting up a peer coaching culture helps in beating stigmas and creates a healthy work environment by educating people on the importance of mental health and the adverse impacts of poor mental health and burnout. Actively identifying toxic behaviors and addressing them, sends out a strong message, that only healthy habits that are conducive to the workplace shall be encouraged. 

Peer coaching helps people become more self-aware by providing contextual information. Since it is a continuous and non-judgmental process, people are more open to receiving feedback. The continuous nature of the program also makes sure that people can circle back to their coaches when they find themselves falling into unhealthy work patterns or ideologies. Proactive support provided by peer coaching makes sure that the behavioral change needed to destigmatize aging concepts is implemented and internalized. 

Promote continuous learning

To develop a peer coaching culture, organizations have to work towards developing a culture that promotes continuous learning. This ties in with the need of the times, where changing business dynamics, a rapidly evolving technology landscape, and the increasing focus on digital transformation demand new skill sets. What is clear is that the pace of change we are experiencing is only going to accelerate in the post-pandemic world. 

The needs of the hybrid workplace also demand the learning of new power skills and the unlearning of certain old methodologies. Organizations that offer avenues to improve their employee’s skill sets by helping them identify their learning needs using contextual data are more likely to see an invested, engaged, and productive workforce. 

Encouraging continuous learning also drives a peer coaching culture as then the workforce is motivated to lean in towards their coaches to seek guidance on how to best navigate their work environments and ensure that they can remain on a growth path. 

Lead by example

Peer coaching can play a big role in helping leaders develop and evolve their leadership styles to suit the hybrid work environment. Managers now have to evolve and become virtual leaders from remote bosses. It is time for organizational leaders to lead by example and leverage peer coaching and become peer coaches themselves to navigate the challenges of this hybrid workplace.

When employees see people of authority encouraging, seeking, and participating in peer coaching, it also prompts them to follow their example. The goal of peer coaching is to help each other find solutions and unlock an individual’s potential to maximize their performance. When employees across the organization see seniors taking the right steps to enhance their performance and learn new behaviors and skills to thrive in the hybrid workplace, they are also motivated to follow the same. The legitimacy that peer coaching gets from leadership involvement helps in establishing a strong peer coaching culture within the organization. 

In Conclusion

With no playbook telling us how to manage these challenging and inexperienced times, developing a peer coaching culture becomes imperative as we go back to work. The workforce today needs understanding, empathy, and support more than ever before to forge ahead in their career paths. Establishing a peer coaching culture in these times gives employees the support that they need to validate and activate knowledge, reduce work-related stressors, identify growth paths and avenues of improvement, and increase engagement. All of these factors contribute towards a healthy and resilient workforce- one that is completely ready to manage the upheavals and uncertainties that the future holds. 

Connect with us to see how our AI-powered coaching platform can help you deliver a robust and thriving coaching culture across your organization. 

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Uncertainty – the sure-fire way to breed anxiety and destroy mental health. 

With a pandemic that refuses to abate even after a year, the economic fallout, and a constant need to maintain the ‘always on’ mode, mental health has become a very important topic of conversation.

While enterprises have always been talking about mental health, the pandemic has necessitated the need to get even more focused around this topic, as the workforce battles constant changes in the face of new stressors, safety concerns, and economic challenges. In these uncertain times, providing the right and timely support is imperative to ensure that mental health struggles do not translate into depression and other debilitating conditions.

What really is mental health?

Given the challenging work environment we are operating under, and the cessation of familiar operational models with more hybrid models, focusing on mental health is essential to create an enabling workplace that allows employees to reach their true potential.

There is enough evidence that points out that a high level of mental wellbeing is conducive to productivity. Addressing wellbeing at work can increase productivity by almost 12%

But what is good mental health?

Mental health is the way people think, feel, and respond to situations and circumstances. It is the ability to navigate through life and its ups and downs. People with good mental health can navigate these challenges with resilience and are not ‘thrown’ by sudden or unforeseen situations. They generally have a good sense of purpose and direction and can capably deal with life and workplace challenges. 

How to drive good mental health in the workplace?

Having good mental health helps people play a full part in all the roles we undertake – in the workplace, at home, and in the community. 

The thing about mental health is that it doesn’t stay consistent. It fluctuates as people go through life and circumstances. While good experiences have a positive impact, the hard circumstances and situations, when unresolved, can have a very negative impact. This is because stressors impact personal well-being and overall productivity negatively. Since uncertainty is the only certain thing, employees need the tools to increase their distress tolerance and move ahead with certainty. 

Setting up a Peer Coaching culture in the organization can contribute immensely to bring balance into the workplace and promote the mental wellbeing of the employees. 

Here are a few reasons why Peer Coaching is now imperative in the workplace.

  • Promotes team spirit

Peer coaching can be a valuable tool to promote team spirit. Employees who have undergone tremendous change over the past year are again adjusting to a new hybrid work model. Navigating the hybrid workplace can lead to stress as employees wonder how to build trust bridges and connections that will help them succeed in the workplace. They also need to build new skills to thrive in this new world. 

Skills like willing collaboration, collective commitment, assertive communication are becoming imperative. These skills also bring in more efficiency to the workplace and thereby help in promoting morale.

To navigate this new world of work, employees need new skill sets. While the focus is on technical skills, it is the nuanced behavioral shifts that will help the workforce operate productively and with engagement. Helping them identify the skills needed to operate as a team is essential. 

Peer coaching successfully helps in driving these shifts as it is contextual, non-judgmental, continuous, and helps people acquire the skills that help them manage their work better. This consequently impacts mental health productively as it eliminates the worry corridors that we build to deal with lack of knowledge

  • Improves stress management

All employees now need access to the right people who can help them navigate the new and everyday challenges of the workplace. Lines dividing work and life are blurred adding to tremendous stress into an employee’s life. The absence of social workplace interactions can make problem-solving more challenging. The fear of perceptions can impede people from asking for help when they need it as they might fear being labeled ‘inefficient’ or ‘weak’.

 A peer coaching culture makes sure that organizations are sending a strong message out to their employees. It establishes that along with their productivity, the organization is also invested in their well-being. Organizations need to start talking about mental well-being and establish processes to drive that to help employees see that their interest in mental health is not just to pay lip service to a ‘trend’.

Establishing a peer coaching culture in these times help employees realize and destigmatize a few important things:

  • Everyone is struggling and that is okay
  • With knowledge comes the power to change a situation
  • It is okay to not be okay
  • They have the right support to help them manage their challenges 

When participants develop the skills to address challenges those challenges become the reason for confidence. Peer coaching simply makes sure that employees receive timely help before a challenge becomes a distressing stressor

  • Alleviates coping challenges

Mental health gets severely impacted when people are unable to cope. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Poor productivity, missed targets and deadlines, lower output, lesser engagement, etc. are all consequences of feeling overwhelmed. 

Overwhelming also occurs when we do not have the tools to address our challenges or hurdles. The minute we get knowledge, that very minute we begin to feel more confident of ourselves. It gives us the assurance to feel that we can manage the situation.

Access to peer coaches provides employees the avenues to close their skills gaps and address their coping challenges. A peer coach operates as a guide… a person who will always be there to provide support and guidance that will have a positive outcome. Peer coaching affirms that asking for help is not a sign of weakness and thereby organically helps people address their coping challenges.

  • Builds resilience

Establishing peer coaching networks organization-wide can greatly impact employee resilience and push it towards being more positive. Resilience comes from the knowledge that someone has your back, you will get help when you seek it, change and accommodating to change can take time, and change is the only constant.

When people get the tools that deliver enablement at work, it automatically improves their resilience, their capacity to remain resolute, functional, calm, unfazed, and productive during a crisis. While this does not mean that there will be no stress, it can ensure that the stress will not convert into distress and lead to burnout.

In Conclusion 

The good news is that the right support and right working conditions can promote mental wellbeing. When organizations create conducive, supportive, and encouraging work environments, they automatically move towards employee engagement and higher productivity. 

Peer coaching can play a big role in destigmatizing help-seeking and aids in building the right connections that help us navigate this loneliness epidemic that is becoming endemic to our times.

Connect with us to see how our AI-powered coaching platform can help your organization build a strong peer coaching network to drive mental wellbeing in your workplace – remote, on-location, or hybrid.

By Madhukar Govindaraju , Founder & CEO

The pandemic ushered us into the era of the hybrid workplace, one where some employees are co-located in an office while some work remotely. This step-change, in the fundamental dynamics of a work eco-system, is bound to impact organizational operations and their day-to-day workings. It becomes quite clear that the workforce has dealt with a time of incredible change – stories of professional disruption, overwhelming loneliness, and work from home burnout have been pressing concerns over the last year.

The sudden onset of remote work has impacted our professional relationships just as it has impacted our daily tasks. The lack of casual conversations, for example, has been a considerable challenge for new-career employees. How does one succeed when working from home? How does one build professional relationships that ensure career advancements and success? How can one learn the best practices essential to succeed in a career when working from home?

Organizations understand that they cannot use an old map to navigate this new world. They recognize that it is their responsibility to help their workforce prepare for the future so they can achieve their full potential and ensure that career growth and work-life balance are not opposing goals. 

Organizations need to – 

  • Identify how to build a culture that supports diversity and inclusion in a hybrid workplace
  • Ensure that employees remain on the path of growth and develop resilience to build organizational resilience
  • Help employees navigate these challenging times, manage their work and productivity while eliminating work from home burnout
  • Empower their managers to transition to virtual leaders

The need is to address employee concerns and challenges contextually. 

Organizational commitment towards peer coaching can help navigate these issues and organizations prepare their teams for the future by:

Closing the skills gap

Peer coaching can help people ready themselves for the future of work by helping them close the skills gap. Along with technical skills that the workforce needs to accrue to succeed in the new world of work, some critical power skills will rise to prominence. Skills like communication, strategic thinking, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, EQ, resilience, agility, etc. will become essential to navigating the complexities of the new world order. 

Peer Coaching works at closing these skills gaps and helps learners drive behavioral change because it is contextual, non-judgmental, feedback-driven, and continuous. Peer coaching also complements technical training programs and ensures learning implementation through repetition and driving accountability. 

Using advanced peer coaching platforms, organizations can further help their workforce gain more control over their career growth. They can help the workforce identify their critical skill gaps using behavioral assessment tests or personality factor assessments and assist them to move ahead on their career paths by closing these gaps. 

Building trusted networks

Peer coaching emerges as a key tool to help employees build trusted networks across the organizational landscape. Building these networks becomes essential, especially for new employees, to help them assess the rules of engagement, find missing information, and build their social currency. It is also important for career growth and to fuel diversity and inclusion initiatives by making sure that every employee gets access to growth opportunities. 

Peer coaching helps learners identify the channels they need to leverage, the skills they need to succeed in their desired growth area, and the gaps they need to cover to become high-performing employees. 

Since peer coaches come from within the organization, they can help the workforce navigate the organizational maze and connect with the right resources, build the right networks, and leverage the opportunities to help them move ahead in their career paths. 

Maintaining work-life balance

The rise of remote work brought with it work-from-home burnout and challenges in maintaining work-life balance. With boundaries separating work and life blurring, we are slowly looking at work-life integration. However, to prevent burnout, employees need to develop the right boundaries and manage work and life without one overpowering the other.

Achieving this sort of balance demands knowing how to manage workloads, efficiency, and productivity. Peer coaches provide the guidance learners need to address specific challenges and develop the skills and techniques needed to succeed in the workplace without compromising or sacrificing their personal lives. 

Providing a safe space 

Finally, peer coaching helps in establishing the much-needed coaching culture. By establishing a coaching culture, organizations can send out a strong message that tells their employees that they matter. Their struggles and challenges matter. Their successes matter. Their growth matters. 

For the C-Suite, peer coaching provides the guidance to address organizational and leadership challenges. 

For the managers, it offers pathways to manage teams with greater efficiency, help them manage their challenges better, and build trust. 

In this hybrid work environment, executives and leaders need equal support to address workplace challenges and help them adapt to this new normal. Helping them set priorities, become agile in their thinking, gaining more clarity regarding work, their skills, and skill gaps help employees become nimble in the face of inevitable disruptions. 

The reason why peer coaching helps in this time of disruption is that because,

  • It is a feedback-driven and yet, highly confidential, and non-judgmental process.
  • It gives people the safe space they need to admit their challenges and struggles without fear. 
  • As an organic process, it helps in addressing all the challenges that organizations and the workforce are currently navigating. 

Connect with us to know how to use Peer Coaching to establish a coaching culture, develop a growth mindset, and help employees succeed in the truest and the most complete form in the new world of work. Leverage our AI-powered peer coaching platform to help your workforce adjust, accommodate, and find their rhythm in the hybrid workplace.