Digital coaching offers a new way of helping employees become more valuable contributors to your organization. It’s based on the idea that we don’t need a lot of formal training or evaluation in order to learn new skills and achieve our goals—we just need someone who can give us feedback and support as we work through problems on our own.
What is digital coaching?
Digital coaching is a process of providing ongoing feedback and support to help employees develop their skills and maximize their potential. Coaches are experts in the skills they coach on, but they aren’t managers or HR professionals. Rather, digital coaches are typically coaching practitioners who have extensive training in helping and empowering coachees to achieve their goals.
When you integrate digital coaching into your organization’s performance management process, you provide employees with timely guidance about how best to improve their performance—whether it’s setting goals for the coming year or troubleshooting a problem during an important project. For example: an employee who struggles with managing her time might receive coaching on productivity hacks that could help her get more done while feeling less stressed out at work; another employee who needs help improving his interpersonal skills might receive tips on how he can be more effective when interacting with others; or, an employee who wants to learn new software may receive training material from his coach so he can gain proficiency quickly.
Coaching and employee engagement
Eighty-nine percent of workers in a February 2021 global Harvard Business Review study said that their work life was getting worse, 85% said that their well-being declined, and 56% said that their job demands had increased. With digital coaching, you can create an engaging work environment that helps your employees perform better and be happier.
- Encourage teamwork: Digital coaching can help employees understand their roles within a team and how they contribute to the success of the team. This will help them feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves and make it easier for them to collaborate with others on projects.
- Improve communication skills: With digital coaching, you can give your employees feedback on their communication skills so that they know exactly what works well (and what needs improvement). This feedback should also come with suggestions for how they can improve their communication styles in the future.
Bring coaching into the digital workplace
A digital workplace is a workplace where technology is used to improve collaboration, communication and productivity. It is a workplace that’s flexible, agile and responsive to change. It is also collaborative: people are working together in teams or groups across multiple locations to accomplish tasks or projects.
The coach becomes more than someone who gives feedback or advice; they become someone who helps build skills and capabilities so employees can do their own coaching with peers and others outside the organization (like vendors).
In this kind of environment, coaching can take on new dimensions:
- Coaching becomes part of the culture—not just an individualized process for one person at a time but an integral part of how we all work together as a team or group toward shared goals.
How do you build a digital coaching program?
The first step in building a digital coaching program is to determine the problem you want to solve. Is it that your employees aren’t aware of their benefits? Do they feel like they have no career path? Are they struggling with their work/life balance? Whatever the issue is, make sure it’s specific and meaningful so it’s clear what you’re trying to accomplish.
Once you’ve got a good idea of what kind of experience you want employees to have, start thinking about how much time and resources are involved in delivering that experience. You’ll also want to make sure there’s enough buy-in from leadership across departments so that everyone gets behind the goals set by your digital coaching program. Finally, when creating any new initiative within an organization (especially one as large as yours), put together an action plan with concrete steps on how you’ll get everything off the ground successfully and sustainably over time (e.g., who needs training or access?).
Digital coaching and the future of work
The future of work has been discussed and debated since the pandemic first raged. One thing is for certain: it’s moving in the direction of remote employees, who often need guidance and support to ensure they’re doing their best work. If you’re thinking about how to make this happen with your team, digital coaching can help.
Digital coaches provide the same kind of career guidance as traditional coaches (i.e., helping individuals reach their goals), but they do so by using technology instead of one-on-one meetings or phone calls—and that means more flexibility and accessibility than ever before. In fact, thanks to new technologies like video chat technology like Zoom and video messaging apps like WhatsApp Business Chat, digital coaching has become an integral part of how many companies train and develop their employees on an ongoing basis (with some estimates putting coaching as the second fastest growing sector in the world).
By putting digital tools that support learning, collaboration and problem-solving in your employees’ hands, you can help them become more valuable contributors to your organization. Digital coaching is a great way to help your employees grow and improve their skills. It also gives them the ability to work together on projects by leveraging the power of technology. This can make it easier for people who don’t know each other well to collaborate on a project or solve a problem together.