Benefits and Compensation, Learning & Development

Coaching is Key: 3 Tips to Benefit Hybrid/Remote Employees

The last few years have shaken up the way people work. Remote-capable companies recognize that employees prefer the hybrid work model and embrace shifting workforce tides. With over half of companies expecting to maintain a hybrid model beyond 2022, work culture will continue changing.

But how will your organization address those changes? The most forward-thinking companies will use digital coaching as an important tool in their cultural shifts. Digital coaching can help remote employees and their managers develop necessary skills to succeed in a hybrid environment, which will ultimately lead to higher-performing team members who are an advantage to the entire organization.

Consider these three tips for implementing a digital coaching strategy to benefit your remote employees and your organization as a whole:

Cultivate a Culture of Coaching for Learning and Development

Investing in L&D creates opportunities to upskill employees, leading to improved employee retention, productivity, motivation, and morale. In fact, 71% of employees said upskilling increased their job satisfaction, and 61% said development opportunities were a reason to remain at their jobs, according to a Gallup survey.

Tools like digital coaching will enhance L&D and maximize the transfer and application of new skills. After completing virtual learning, employees are 1.5 times more likely to apply a skill if they receive coaching afterward than those who do not. Coaching helps contextualize skills that may feel general otherwise. For example, if employees complete training on unconscious bias in the workplace, they’re more likely to identify and self-reflect on their biases if they work with a coach after.

Additionally, digital coaching ensures remote employees can access the same level of ongoing education as their in-office counterparts, which is important to ensure equity and prevent potential proximity bias. No matter where coachees may be, they can reach their coach through the digital platform. Beyond its inherent flexibility, a coaching app also allows employees to track their progress toward their goals, helping them digitally monitor their milestones. Artificial intelligence (AI) can then anonymize and compile this data into a dashboard for HR teams to measure the success of the coaching platform overall.

Improve Mental Health and Well-Being Through Coaching

Some remote workers experience negative mental health side effects when working from home, including loneliness, isolation, and difficulty separating work and home lives.  Allowing your workforce to languish is linked to higher turnover, decreased productivity, and burnout; therefore, improving employees’ well-being should be a top priority for HR professionals.

Digital coaching can help your organization work toward improving remote employees’ mental health and well-being. It can also support employees’ emotional well-being by giving them a safe space to discuss their stressors and an opportunity to work on emotional regulation, resilience, and character strengths.

Coaching has been connected to a wide array of positive effects on employees’ well-being, from improved stress management to refined coping skills. For example, if a remote employee is feeling the effects of work stress, coaching can arm the employee with skills for time management, delegation, and communication. A coach may help coachees identify their personal strengths and how to actively apply those strengths at work to deal with stressors. Focusing on these strengths can help avoid the further progression of stress and improve coachees’ overall well-being. This leads to a happier, more productive workforce that is less likely to churn.

Managers Make the Difference

Digital coaching also empowers a company’s leaders to further develop their leadership and management skills through training. Managers participating in individualized, one-on-one coaching sessions will better learn how to lead by example, demonstrate their organization’s values, and encourage employee behaviors that show those same values.

Coaching is especially valuable during times of transition, such as during the shift to a hybrid work model. Through one-on-one conversations, goal-setting, and intentional self-reflection, coaches can help managers innovate creative and meaningful ways to better connect with and lead their remote teams. Digital coaching can help managers determine how to build trust with their remote employees, which will lead to better virtual relationships. This is crucial because 45% of remote employees report feeling that a lack of in-person face time compromises their professional performance. Coached managers will be equipped with tools that ensure remote employees remain just as engaged as their in-office peers.

Working from home is the new normal, and coaching is well on its way to being part of that. Coaching addresses the changes in work culture and tackles challenges head-on, leading to measurable personal and professional growth. From upskilling to preventing isolation to empowering managers, coaching will help your remote employees thrive.

Laurel McKenzie is Behavioral Scientist at CoachHub, a digital platform for professional coaching. She has 7+ years of specialized experience in cognitive performance, coaching, and applications of psychological principles that enhance employee performance and leadership development. She also holds an MA in clinical and counseling psychology from William Paterson University and is currently a PhD student in industrial/organizational psychology at Liberty University. McKenzie excels at discovering ways to use her knowledge and experience to improve human performance and contribute to high-level business goals by producing human-centric insights for stakeholders and their employee population.

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