Embracing coaching in a hybrid, virtual world

Embracing coaching in a hybrid, virtual world.
Embracing coaching in a hybrid, virtual world.

Unlocking the Full Potential of Your Workforce – Three experts at 21st Century explain how…

“The world of work has undergone massive changes in recent years, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of hybrid working conditions, and the rapid adoption of technology in the workplace. These changes have created new challenges for businesses and employees alike, and as the metaverse expands, the virtual world is set to play an even greater role in our lives. One way to navigate this evolving landscape is through coaching, which has numerous benefits in the areas of workplace performance, health and well-being, lifestyle, and relationships. This article will explore these benefits, offer relevant statistics, and provide suggestions for managing the transition to a more virtual workplace.

“The Benefits of Coaching

  1. Workplace Performance

Coaching can significantly improve workplace performance, especially in hybrid and remote environments. According to a study by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), 86% of companies that used professional coaching reported a positive return on investment, with 70% recouping their investment several times over. Coaching can help employees to develop essential skills like time management, goal setting, communication, and problem-solving, which are crucial for success in a virtual or hybrid workplace.

  1. Health and Well-being

Employee well-being is a critical concern, especially since the onset of the pandemic. A survey by the American Psychological Association found that 69% of employees experienced work-related stress during the pandemic. Coaching can help address this issue by providing employees with tools and techniques to manage stress, achieve work-life balance, and prioritize self-care. The importance of mental health in the workplace cannot be overstated, as it significantly impacts productivity, engagement, and employee satisfaction. Since the pandemic, mental health issues have been on the rise, with a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealing that 41% of adults reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression. Coaching can play a vital role in addressing mental health concerns by offering personalized support, guidance, and coping strategies.

By providing employees with a safe and confidential space to discuss their mental health, coaching can help identify stressors, establish healthy boundaries, and develop resilience. Additionally, coaching can empower employees to seek professional help when needed, creating a more supportive and mentally healthy work environment.

  1. Lifestyle

As work and life continue to blend in the virtual world, coaching can support employees in making healthy lifestyle choices. Research by the ICF found that individuals who received coaching experienced increased life satisfaction and improved work-life balance. By providing guidance on setting and achieving personal boundaries and goals, coaching empowers employees to create a more fulfilling and balanced life. Each generation in the workforce brings its unique set of values, aspirations, and lifestyle preferences, and coaching can be instrumental in addressing these differences. For instance, Baby Boomers may prioritize stability and financial security, while Millennials and Gen Z seek purpose and work-life balance. Understanding these generational differences is crucial for businesses aiming to attract, engage, and retain talent.

Coaching can help employees from different generations to navigate their unique lifestyle challenges while fostering a sense of understanding and collaboration among colleagues. By addressing the specific needs and desires of each generation, coaching can enhance employee satisfaction, motivation, integration and overall well-being.

  1. Relationships

“Working remotely can create feelings of isolation and impact interpersonal relationships at work. According to a study by Buffer, 20% of remote workers reported feeling lonely as their biggest struggle. Coaching can help employees to develop stronger communication and relationship-building skills, fostering a more connected and supportive work environment. In a hybrid or remote work environment, nurturing relationships both at work and home becomes even more important. Strong workplace relationships can promote teamwork, collaboration, and a positive company culture. Coaching can assist employees in developing effective communication, empathy, and conflict resolution skills, contributing to a more connected and supportive work environment.

“Additionally, coaching can help employees strike the right balance between their professional and personal lives, ensuring that relationships at home remain healthy and strong. By offering guidance on time management, setting boundaries, and communication, coaching can help employees maintain fulfilling relationships with their partners, children, and friends, ultimately contributing to overall well-being and happiness.

“In the increasingly virtual world, generational differences in the workforce are more apparent than ever. With Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z all working together, businesses must adapt to the unique needs and expectations of each generation. Coaching can help bridge these gaps by creating a more inclusive, empathetic, and agile workplace culture.

(The) Employee value proposition

“Employee value propositions are also evolving, with more emphasis placed on flexibility, well-being, and professional growth. By offering coaching services, companies can demonstrate their commitment to employee development and well-being, making them more attractive to top talent.

“To ensure that employees remain productive, happy, and emotionally agile, businesses should consider implementing the following coaching strategies:

  • Offer coaching services to all employees, regardless of their role or seniority.
  • Ensure that coaching is conveyed to staff as a REWARD provided by their company, as their personal development is important to their employer
  • Develop in-house coaching programs or partner with external coaching providers.
  • Provide regular training to managers and leaders on coaching techniques and best practices.
  • Foster a coaching culture that encourages open communication, feedback, and continuous learning.
  • Use digital tools and platforms to facilitate coaching sessions and track progress.

“Investing in coaching not only benefits individual employees but also provides companies with a significant competitive advantage. A healthy, balanced, and satisfied workforce can lead to:

  1. Improved talent retention: Companies that prioritize employee well-being, development, and work-life balance are more likely to retain top talent, reducing turnover costs and ensuring a stable workforce.
  2. Enhanced productivity: Employees who are mentally and emotionally agile are more likely to be engaged, creative, and productive in their work, driving better business outcomes.
  3. Attracting superior talent

“In the rapidly changing world of work, coaching has emerged as a powerful tool for unlocking the full potential of employees, improving performance, well-being, lifestyle, and relationships. By embracing coaching and adapting to the evolving needs of a diverse, virtual workforce, businesses can ensure that their employees remain positive, productive, happy, and emotionally agile, driving success in the new era of work.”

Written by:

Chris Blair, B.Sc. Chem. Eng., MBA – Leadership & Sustainability, CEO of 21st Century, Email: [email protected]

Otto Remke, B.Com Ind. Psychology – CEO of HelloCoach®, Email: [email protected]

Linda Remke, Master and Supervisor Coach – Founder of HelloCoach®, Email: [email protected]

About 21st Century:

21st Century, a level 2 BBBEE company, is one of the largest Remuneration, Reward, HR, Organisation Development and Change Management consultancies in Africa, specialising in sustainable business solutions, with a team of more than 60 skilled specialists, servicing over 1700 clients – including non-profit organisations, unlisted companies, government, parastatals and over two-thirds of the companies listed on the JSE. 21st Century offers bespoke business and strategy planning services, operating model and organisational design, creative reward practice modelling, change, stakeholder and culture management, training courses and comprehensive human capital and talent plans. These are all underpinned by our analytic and survey capability tailored to the African environment. 21st Century continues to offer solutions via a combination of virtual channels and on-site presence.

21st Century has expanded its services to offer a full turnkey sustainable business and remuneration service. Beyond remuneration and reward consulting, 21st Century offers local analytics for business advantage; remuneration and HR training; change management services; talent and people solutions; and end-to-end organisational design and development.

21st Century is the Africa representative for the GECN group of companies, specialists in global executive remuneration and governance.