Over the last few years, technology has been crucial in allowing businesses to remain operational and productive during the shift toward hybrid and remote working. Even business cards these days are digital. And employees can now partake in coaching online. This can allow your colleagues to learn new skills from the comfort of their home offices.
With virtual coaching, employees and mentors can meet from anywhere. In fact, when virtual coaching is done well, it can be more effective than traditional ways of training. Let’s discuss how you can implement virtual coaching in your organization.
What is Virtual Coaching?
Virtual coaching refers to training with a coach online rather than in person. Coaches can use video conferencing solutions and cloud-based collaboration tools to connect with learners. This is especially useful in remote work environments where coaches and learners may never meet in person. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of virtual coaching.
Virtual Coaching Benefits
Virtual coaching brings many benefits to both learners and coaches alike. These include:
Virtual sessions can be just as effective as traditional ones, if not more so, if the right digital tools and a good coaching strategy are used. With screen sharing, you can walk employees step-by-step through documents while giving them help from afar.
Coach from anywhere.
Because virtual coaching takes place online, it doesn’t matter where your employees are based. As long as they have a stable internet connection and a laptop, they should have no problem participating in a session from anywhere in the world.
This is much easier and more practical than making all employees travel to a central location for coaching. Executive coaching can help improve business results, and virtual sessions are a great way to bring together high-level people from across your organization.
Enlist subject-matter experts.
If you switch to virtual coaching, you may be able to use subject matter experts (SMEs) and other experienced employees from within the company. Virtual coaching allows SMEs to meet their employees online and instruct them virtually to boost performance.
Learn in a relaxed environment.
It may benefit employees to meet with a coach from the comfort of their homes. Learning from home can be less stressful than having to take time out of the day to train. With fewer distractions, employees can zone in and focus on their learning and development (L&D).
Learn at your own speed.
Live coaching sessions can sometimes be daunting for employees. If an instructor is going through content too quickly, employees can fall behind and feel uncomfortable interrupting the group.
Video conferencing tools can make it easier for coaches to share screens and files to help learners follow along. Sessions can also be recorded so that learners can rewatch them if they don't understand everything the first time.
Learners get the most out of coaching because they can take in the information at a pace that works best for them. They can go back to coaching sessions and look over shared documents.
Moreover, with in-meeting messages, coaches can easily answer questions during the session. In breakout rooms, learners will also be able to talk with other participants about what they've learned. This assistance helps to keep employees motivated and can help to maintain company culture in remote work models.
How to Make Virtual Coaching Work in Your Organization
As the saying goes, fail to prepare and prepare to fail. Virtual coaching can work for you and your business with a good plan. Here are three tips coaches should consider:
1. Set objectives and stick to them.
What do you wish to achieve in each virtual coaching session? Setting goals can help keep sessions focused and ensure employees are hitting targets. For example, do you need customer support to learn how to operate a new ticketing system? Learners should be asked to show what they've learned at the end of the session so that their progress and skills can be evaluated.
For example, maybe you want to host more upskilling sessions to make employees make use of the new email finder software to improve the team’s email prospecting strategy. Whatever the topics of your coaching programs, define your objectives and stick to them.
2. Select the right software.
Choose a unified communications platform that combines video conferencing with tools for working together to make it as easy to use as possible. Make sure to think about the security of your video conference and get a solution that puts privacy and the safety of participant information first.
3. Monitor employee progress.
Once your virtual coaching program is up and running, you should keep an eye on how your employees are doing to make sure they can use their new skills. You should also ask for employee feedback. This will give you insight into the efficiency of your program. You can also reward employee progress by making it part of your employee recognition program for them to use their new skills well. This could lead to a promotion or further career advancement.
Online coaching and training are quickly becoming the norm. With access to new technologies in the digital age, businesses that are looking to the future are putting a higher priority on employee learning for remote teams. Remember, workplace productivity depends on training and development, so now’s the time to implement virtual coaching into your learning initiatives.
Iverson Carl Velasco – Senior Partnerships Manager, ContactOut
Iverson Carl Velasco is the Senior Partnerships Manager at ContactOut. ContactOut is a recruitment intelligence tool that includes personal emails for 75% of people in the Western world, allowing users to easily find email addresses and phone numbers.