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 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 Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Enterprises have been talking about VUCA for years. VUCA, an acronym for the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous world of today, seems to be on steroids now with disruption and a rapidly evolving business environment. The pandemic has contributed further to this VUCA environment, leading us into the future of work, where the lines dividing the digital and the physical are blurred. 

As the workforce and the workplace digitally transform, leadership models have to evolve as well, to remain effective and relevant in this new world. In today’s complex and challenging environment, leaders not only have to make sound business decisions that increase profitability, but also focus deeply on how their leadership is experienced, and how they can make their key stakeholders that include the employees, customers, and investors, feel more valued.

The transition to this digital world is to drive organizational agility, adaptability and enable customer-centricity. Along with these benefits, digital transformation can deliver unforeseen risks and unanticipated costs if organizational leaders do not alter how they exert influence, power, and control. 

Successful organizational digital transformation is only complete when leaders can transform themselves, measurably. In this digitally transformed world, the new bottom line demands the leadership’s own affective digital transformation – one that places equal importance on engagement, purpose, empathy, and fairness as other parameters of data-driven agility or efficiency and productivity.

The leadership transition challenge

Given the changing times, organizations need to revamp their leadership development initiatives and make them more suited to fit this ever-evolving world. The leader’s action or inaction can significantly influence the course of a business. Yet, despite high stakes, leaders are underprepared and under-supported during the transition.

The move towards becoming impactful virtual leaders is a significant transition point for leaders of today. Navigating this transition successfully with the right tools, to lead the digital workforce can influence organizational fortunes significantly.

Research shows that while leadership transitions are important, they are hardly easy. 

Even in the good old days, leaders ranked organizational politics as a big hurdle that impacted successful transitions. 68% flounder on issues related to politics, culture, and people, while 67% of leaders wish they had moved faster to change the culture.  

The rules of engagement have changed dramatically, as has the pace of change, client and employee expectations coupled with digital progress. So much so that it makes sense to follow Marshall Goldsmith’s advice, “What got you here, won’t get you there”.

As we move deeper into VUCA and a digital world, the need for leadership transition from being a remote boss to a virtual leader is only going to increase. According to research, most leadership development programs fail, as leaders do not feel appropriately supported as new leaders. Almost 74% of leaders in the US and 83% globally feel that they are underprepared for their roles. As such, organizations need to revamp their leadership development programs to become relevant for this shape-shifting world of work.  

Managing the leadership transition to lead successfully in a digital world needs organizations to provide greater support to their leaders and move their development programs away from the usually followed ‘hands-off’ approach.

Leadership development for the digital world needs an almost complete rewiring of traditional approaches of the directive and authoritative leadership styles and has to account for the individual development needs of the leaders.

Why Peer Coaching leads the way?

Cervantes once said that “to be prepared is half the battle won”.  

Successful leadership transitions in this digital age are a marriage of both.

Digital work has different demands from leaders. To be an effective leader in this dynamic world, along with technical knowledge, leaders need to be more mindful, empathetic, resilient, impactful, and agile.

With traditional models of leadership failing to hold water to today’s relevance, developing leaders require helping them cultivate new perspectives on leadership. 

  • Organizations need to create the right channels and provide the right tools that assist leaders in identifying effective leadership styles and the blind spots in their leadership. 
  • Leaders need to adapt to the challenges that organizations face in a digital environment and go on a journey of learning to lead themselves and then translating that knowledge to lead others and forming effective collaborations.
  • Leaders need the insights and the skills to overcome the challenges of the existing leadership culture and develop the right perspectives to design the appropriate strategies that translate into impactful outcomes in a digital world.

Peer Coaching becomes the antidote to leadership inertia – an essential to thrive in a digital landscape across an organization that is no longer siloed and bureaucratic and no longer responds to the and command-and-control models. 

Peer Coaching assists in leadership transitions as it:

  • Helps leaders develop the power skills like empathy, emotional intelligence, communication, critical and strategic thinking, and self-awareness, etc.
  • Assists leaders identify and develop the traits to become adaptive leaders. 
  • Develops autonomy to be innovative while providing the guardrails to prevent chaos.
  • Identifies authentic leadership styles and develops the language to communicate their styles with impact, emphasis, and authenticity. 
  • Helps leaders become ‘complete’ leaders. Most leaders are ‘incomplete leaders’ who excel at one thing and struggle with another. Navigating through these gaps along with developing the capability to understand and communicate their unique way of leading based on experience, values, strengths, and personality; is critical to adapt in the digital world. 
  • Improves ‘sensemaking’, an essential quality for a rapidly evolving and digital work environment. Satya Nadella of Microsoft has been a sense-maker throughout his Microsoft stint. He learned this skill by frequently changing jobs. Organizations can leverage peer coaching to help their leaders develop the skills to improve sensemaking. It helps them identify and assess what additional sensemaking they need to do to stay in step with the changing market conditions, business models, workforces, and technologies.   
  • Helps digital leaders identify ways to inspire their team members for engagement and to secure buy-in. While technology connects teams, the screens can create barriers that inhibit connection. Peer coaching helps digital leaders build transparency, integrity, and empathy to evaluate strategies to overcome technological barriers and to connect with team members with authenticity.
  • Provides leaders with the support to navigate the ‘Age of Accelerations’ where change is inevitable and invariably faster. In this age, emerging as a transformational leader who inspires the workforce to enact organizational transformation needs to develop specific power skills. Peer coaching can make this transition easier and more effective by influencing behavioral shifts necessary to drive change.

Leadership development is imperative to align with the ever-evolving leadership fundamentals in the digital age.

Leadership development programs now provide crucial leadership support by providing clarity, support, and direction to help them communicate with purpose, create a compelling vision, decipher complexity with ease and energize, and inspire everyone with an inclusive vision. 

With Peer Coaching, organizations can help leaders make the necessary behavioral shifts needed to become more adaptable, handle higher pressures with ease and act with agility.

Connect with us to see how our AI-powered peer coaching platform can revamp your leadership development initiatives and help you build leaders who will help your organization thrive.

By Madhukar Govindaraju , Founder & CEO

Organizations that adopt a growth mindset are better prepared to deal with disruptions with agility and are more resilient than organizations that don’t. 

This is because a growth mindset sets attitudes and behaviors that push for constant improvement. It encourages individuals to embrace change and imbibe a belief that all people are capable of learning, developing, and ultimately, growing.

A growth mindset almost seems like the magic bullet – one that promises to make the enterprise highly functional, forward-thinking, solution-driven, and progressive. But a growth mindset is an organizational value that has to permeate across the length and breadth of the organization. It has to be distilled into the very DNA of the organization. For that, it has to be seamlessly integrated into the organizational value system. This can only be achieved with Peer Coaching.

The need for a growth mindset 

People with a growth mindset are more adaptable and work through obstacles and challenges without losing enthusiasm. They bounce back from failures, and are more resilient when it comes to facing setbacks and difficult situations. They respond better to feedback and even view criticism as a learning opportunity. 

Overall, people with growth mindsets have overall higher achievements since their achievements are fueled by their desire to learn and improve. A fixed mindset culture, the antithesis of a growth mindset culture, is based on the belief that native ability and personal traits are fixed and cannot be changed. 

A growth mindset, on the other hand, believes that everything such as talent, intelligence, and ability, can be developed through curiosity, learning, and discipline.

Research shows, Employees with a growth mindset are:

  • 47% more likely to see their colleagues as trustworthy 
  • 65% more likely to say their companies support risk-taking
  • 49% more likely to say their companies foster innovation; and 
  • 34% more likely to feel a strong sense of ownership and commitment to their companies 

All of these parameters coincide with higher returns. More engaged employees with an elevated employee experience and a culture of informed risk-taking and innovation, become the by-products of this approach as well. 

Peer Coaching and Growth Mindset – a holy matrimony 

As organizations move away from the reactive annual performance review, creating the right feedback mechanisms becomes essential to drive continuous improvement. Constructive feedback is a catalyst for growth. However, this feedback needs to be timely, contextual, and highly relevant for it to drive behavioral change. Organizations also realize that today’s high-performance and hybrid workplace needs a different set of skill sets and operating mechanisms to drive productivity, efficiency, and innovation.

The Future of Work is here, and it demands change

The changing workplace needs organizations and employees to become more creative and agile in their thoughts and approaches. This could demand an unlearning of preconceived mindsets and learned behaviors. It could require a shift in the way an employee processes situations and events, or demand a greater understanding of behaviors and traits, to promote teamwork and fuel inclusion & diversity initiatives.  

In this competitive environment, Peer Coaching helps in driving growth mindsets in employees. This is because it is an informal and yet, structurally organized learning program that provides timely information and delivers enablement at work. 

Peer Coaching leads to more meaningful conversations between the coach and the learner and helps switch the negative perception associated with feedback. 

Traditionally, feedback is a term shrouded with negativity. Peer Coaching to develop growth mindsets addresses this very barrier to growth, and creates the appropriate channels that make seeking help and direction more acceptable. 

It helps in rewiring old mindsets to progress towards one that is more open to learning by being more accepting of challenges and shortcomings and becoming more action-driven in enabling change. 

Peer Coaching works in developing a growth mindset primarily because it doesn’t concentrate only on dumping feedback or information on a learner. Unlike a traditional training program on growth mindset, where an employee will be a passive receiver on the tenets of ‘how to develop a growth mindset’, Peer Coaching asks the question, “what is keeping you from adopting a growth mindset”?

Peer Coaching helps take the learner from exploration comes discovery. It works in developing growth mindsets because it is:

  • Exploratory: Peer coaching is a process of exploration. It is about the discovery of positive traits and avenues of improvement. Peer coaching allows employees to discover the exact pain points in their resume of attitudes and helps them contextually understand how these skill shortfalls impede their career and growth paths. 
  • Reflective: Peer coaching is also reflective and, hence, contributes more impactfully towards developing growth mindsets. Well-designed peer coaching programs integrate feedback into learning mechanisms and increase their intrinsic motivation to learn and perform. 
  • Contextual: Peer coaching is a highly contextual learning and development program and targets the exact learning/development needs of employees. The context can be discovered from data generated from behavioral analysis tests or 16 personality factor assessment tests instead of good old guesswork. This data-backed peer coaching approach makes coaching plans relevant for the learner. They also adopt a more open method towards learning, making it more impactful. 
  • Continuous and informal: The informal and continuous nature of peer coaching also makes it perfect to drive a growth mindset amongst employees. Peer coaching encourages the learner to seek feedback and helps them own their learning. Feedback is also timely, regular, and data-backed to help it drive behavioral change by developing intellect and situational understanding of circumstances. Further, concerns such as fear of criticism or perceived feedback that impede learning (because it makes an individual feel threatened and creates mind blocks that block the ability to listen and learn) are also laid to rest with peer coaching.

In Conclusion

Change takes time. It cannot come overnight when people have been operating with fixed mindsets. Neither can a growth mindset be entrenched rapidly and immediately. Developing a growth mindset is a process that demands a paradigm change, one that needs a complete realignment of limiting thoughts and thinking patterns. 

Developing a growth mindset is hard. It is harder when you want to distill it across the organization and integrate it into the value system. It is not unusual to backslide into fixed mindset actions even after attending growth mindset training. Peer coaching becomes the antidote to this by putting the correct checks and balances in place and ensuring timely intervention, continuous dialogue, and appropriate support when the learner wants it, where she wants it. 

Are you interested in discovering the power of peer coaching to develop a growth mindset across your organization? See how Numly’s™ AI-powered peer coaching platform can power up your initiatives. 

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

In today’s fast-moving and increasingly competitive world, standing still is equivalent to moving back. Competitive advantage can never be guaranteed, and disruption is a constant. Digital technologies bring in organizational stability and become the cause of increased competition and employee turnover, especially as employment doesn’t remain limited by physical proximity. Then there is the world of work that has moved, somewhat prematurely, into the Future of Work leading to the rise of remote work and hybrid workplaces as a response to the pandemic. 

Organizations are looking for ways to manage constant change and disruption while keeping employees engaged in this hybrid work model. One of the best ways to achieve this is to ensure equitable distribution of knowledge seamlessly across the organization. 

For this, organizations have robust learning and development plans and training initiatives to help their employees. However, along with these initiatives, organizations need to focus on creating a learning culture that is steeped in knowledge sharing. 

The importance of knowledge sharing and what impedes it

In these digital workplaces, the concept of knowledge sharing becomes critical to develop a more unified, connected, and engaged workforce. Knowledge sharing is an activity through which knowledge and expertise are exchanged amongst colleagues and teammates. However, there is a certain cultural resistance when it comes to knowledge sharing. 

This is usually because knowledge is not relegated to information consumption alone. It is also about the “how” and “why” and the complete experience behind something. Knowledge sharing is more than information exchange. It is about ensuring that employees become experts armed with the knowledge that goes beyond basic information. 

Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. Creating channels that remove silos and enable smooth knowledge sharing ensures greater innovation capabilities, a more productive workforce, faster problem solving, higher levels of collaboration, and more individual experts. 

Knowledge sharing, given its impact, should ideally be a part of the organizational knowledge management strategy. However, most organizations look at knowledge sharing linearly…one that is limited to simple documenting and creating some knowledge-sharing articles. 

However, the environment of constant disruption, rising competitiveness, and the consequent need for increased resilience demand that organizations take calibrated steps to create and preserve knowledge across evolving workforces. The objective is to create a workforce that can link knowledge with action to drive value. This can only happen with peer coaching.

Peer coaching eliminates the barrier to action 

To effectively implement a culture of knowledge sharing it is essential to embed it into the organizational culture, spanning from the junior-most to the senior-most individual. 

This can only be achieved when there is a systematic shift in perceptions and learned behaviors. 

Driving such a shift of behaviors can only happen with contextual learning, consistent reinforcement of new learnings, and timely feedback. It requires knowledge sharing to become an integral part of the knowledge management process. This can happen organically within an organization by building a culture of peer coaching.

Peer coaching is a non-judgmental process where two people of equal status actively help each other to solve specific tasks or issues using simple, straightforward advice and a mutual desire to be helpful.

Peer coaching works in driving organizational knowledge management because, – 

It is data-driven and contextual

Organizations can drive highly contextual and relevant peer coaching programs to help employees navigate the skills gap or performance challenges they experience. Using tests such as behavioral analysis tests or 16 personality factor tests, organizations can adopt a data-driven approach to drive peer coaching across the organization. 

People are more responsive to contextual information because of which peer coaching becomes more compelling in overcoming resistance to change. 

It reaffirms learning and drives behavioral shifts

Peer coaching is an informal process that occurs cyclically. It can be an effective tool to reaffirm learning and share knowledge in an organized and systematic manner. Since peer coaching can become a part of a larger learning setup, it can be easily leveraged to drive better learning outcomes with repetition. 

Peer coaches are also change-enablers since they are a part of the organization and are employees themselves with the relevant experience. Because of this, their suggestions become more relevant, help in building greater understanding, become more welcome and are easily put into practice.

Peer coaching breaks down the resistance to change and helps in driving behavioral shift by reaffirming learning, builds accountability, and automatically improves outcomes. 

Peer coaching promotes knowledge sharing and continuous learning 

By establishing a strong peer coaching network, an organization sets the tone for learning and establishes it as a part of its core philosophy. Creating the network and providing a platform to confidently and confidentially reach out to seek help to close learning gaps automatically encourages people to take charge of their learning. Building such a network promotes a culture of sharing and encourages those with elevated skills to upskill those in need. 

Providing a platform to connect with coaches according to skill not only closes the skills gap but also encourages employees to ‘pay it forward.’ With peer coaching, organizations can build the peer mindset and make learning endemic to the organization. It builds learning and coaching into the very fabric of the organizational culture and ensures that tribal knowledge does not filter out of the organization but flows through it seamlessly. Since it promotes organic exchange, it reduces the resistance towards change. 

Finally, peer coaching establishes the network that ensures knowledge is distributed evenly and equitably across the organization and delivers enablement and empowerment when work happens. 

Connect with us to see how our AI-powered peer coaching platform can help your organization elevate knowledge management and make it a part of the company culture.