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Develop Employees Through Digital Coaching
Coaching is a popular and effective development strategy. 70% of people who have been coaching report improved work performance and communication skills and 86% of companies report that they recouped their coaching investment (ICF).
The introduction of coaching technology takes coaching to the next level by maintaining and improving the quality of coaching for individuals and significantly improving the administrative side.
What is digital coaching?
Digital coaching, or virtual coaching, leverages the best parts of traditional coaching and automation and AI capabilities of technology. This modern approach to coaching provides coachees with an immersive and highly effective coaching experience.
Coachees are paired with qualified coaches who assess growth priorities against the needs of the organization to create a learning plan and set goals. The coach selects resources to support the coachee’s development, uses 1:1 sessions to provide individualized support, and sends automated prompts and tips that keep the learning goals front of mind for the coachee.
Digital coaching vs traditional coaching
At the core, the goal is the same - provide development that results in behavior change within an individual. However, the differences go deeper than video calls instead of face-to-face meetings. Below are some elements of coaching and how they look in the two methods.
- Matching. In traditional coaching programs, matches are made manually. In virtual coaching, AI within the coaching platform creates best possible matches based on the criteria set by the organization.
- Learning plan and goal setting. In traditional coaching, the coach will use their own assessment tools and information from their coachee and their organization to develop the learning plan and set goals. In digital coaching, all coaching engagements follow the same process, using the same assessments and deliverables. Going digital allows organizations to standardize the assessments and goals so they align with their development framework.
- Coaching sessions. In traditional coaching programs 1:1 sessions happen in person while in virtual coaching they take place online. In both models the focus is on the objectives from the learning plan. This is where the power of the coach becomes visible and the real work begins.
- Between sessions. Coaches give assignments to coachees. In traditional coaching, these are usually reviewed in each session.
Virtual coaching generally consists of more touch points. Between coaching sessions, coaches can recommend resources and enable automated messages to prompt their coachee keeping them engaged with their learning plan. Participants are more likely to reach out to their coach between the formal sessions to get support when they need it rather than only during formal sessions. This is where digital coaching helps participants get the most out of the coaching engagement.
- Reporting. In traditional coaching, program managers put in significant time and analysis to manage, track, and report on coaching progress and outcomes. Digital coaching streamlines the administrative tasks by aligning and standardizing processes. Program administrators are able to put more focus on program development and improvement instead of just managing and tracking.
8 Benefits of digital coaching
While virtual coaching options have been seen as a backup plan in the past, people are now embracing them. Transitioning a traditional coaching program to virtual unlocks several benefits for both organizations and the individuals participating in the coaching program.
- Flexibility. Digital coaching incorporates the use of additional resources and email prompts that can be consumed or acted upon at the convenience of the coachee, offering flexibility and greater development opportunities.
In addition, organizations aren’t limited by geography when matching coaches and coachees. Virtual coaching frees the organization to make best possible matches – not just the most convenient. Scheduling frustrations are reduced by the scheduling flexibility that comes with virtual 1:1 sessions.
- Lower resource burden and financial investment. In person coaching can be costly in both time and resources for organizations to implement. Virtual coaching alleviates some of availability challenges for talented coaches and cuts down on fringe costs like entertainment or travel.
- Effectiveness. The “best possible” matches enabled by flexibility and AI matching features ensure better overall outcomes. These real matches generate trust and rapport, the two cornerstones of coaching relationships, more naturally.
- Responsiveness. Virtual coaching technologies provide more freedom to meet quickly – which enables more just-in-time coaching when participants really need it.
- Frequent communication. When the relationships are virtual, participants are more likely to reach out with a quick thought between formal sessions. This is because virtual communication is already part of the practice. Tip: using a coaching platform with communication tools removes barriers to communication and allows tracking on all participant interactions.
- Increased employee engagement. Employees want career development. When organizations invest in their employees’ careers they see higher rates of employee engagement and employee retention in addition to increased productivity. It’s a win-win.
- Evaluation. Measuring the success of coaching engagements can be difficult and depending on the size of the coaching program, a major headache. An all-in-one digital coaching platform tracks activities and results of each individual engagement and the coaching program as a whole.
- Scalability. Digital coaching is an opportunity for coaching firms and coaching program administrators to streamline processes that enable program growth. Firms only offering executive coaching see time and cost savings that enable program expansion to managers and individuals newly placed in leadership positions.
Implement Coaching Software to Facilitate Digital Coaching
A virtual coaching program is more than asking employees to schedule meetings via video conference vs face to face. By implementing coaching software, your organization can better match coachees and coaches and elevate the coaching program overall.
The right software platform should provide tools that can be used for virtual coaching, including:
- Automated matching
- Virtual meeting scheduling and calendar integration
- Coaching relationship and goal tracking
- Automated communications and messaging
- Admin reporting
Insala’s all-in-one coaching platform enables organizations to maximize the ROI of their coaching program. Our solution boosts the effectiveness of their program by enabling good fit coaching matches and the features needed to maximize the effectiveness of the coaching engagement, . Coaching software reduces administrative time and cost by up to 93% annually.
We’ve helped many organizations launch and transform their coaching programs in our more than 25 years of experience. Book a demo and discover how Insala can help you implement technology into your coaching program.
Matt Adams is a founding partner of Insala and subject matter expert in career development, coaching and mentoring methodology and technology. He specializes in technology processes that enable career development solutions for organizations of all sizes as well as end to end coaching and mentoring process design. Matt facilitates and shares human capital consulting techniques and communication strategies with career services professionals globally and is a key component in Insala's service delivery process for hundreds of consulting firms and global corporations. Recognized by the American Forensic Association as one of the nation's top speakers, Matt was the first inductee into the Communication Hall of Fame at West Texas A&M University.
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