Virtual coaching represents one of the most effective tools used by organizations to take care of their employees and achieve cultural transformations. In this post, we will cover some of the reasons why virtual coaching has gained popularity in recent years, and why it will continue to be a go-to professional and personal development resource for years to come.
What is Virtual Coaching?
Virtual coaching, or online coaching, is a form of personal and professional coaching used by organizations to elevate the well-being and performance of their employees. Virtual coaching occurs through a digital medium, such as an app-based platform wherein employees can regularly engage with coaches via text, audio, and video check-ins.
Through a)plan’s virtual coaching approach, users benefit from shorter, frequent increments of coaching over longer periods of time. This differs from many traditional in-person coaching methods that involve less frequent, longer “deep dive” sessions (which are often limited to one or a few sessions).
This changing approach is largely supported by the latest trends in behavioral psychology and neuroscience. That is, for coaching to be most effective and for lasting growth to occur, small, frequent check-ins work best. Virtual coaching makes this more possible than ever.
Virtual Coaching Is Not Executive Coaching
It’s important to note that virtual coaching – a)plan coaching in particular – is not just a form of executive coaching. Whereas executive coaching traditionally focuses on professional performance and can often be corrective in nature, a)plan’s approach focuses on the individual through a holistic lens. We coach the whole person; not just one aspect, because all areas of one’s life are interconnected.
When we talk about transforming organizations, this holistic approach plays a key role. A true cultural transformation within an organization cannot be achieved if coaching only focuses on one thing, like work performance or the development of a single skill. What matters to the organization on a deeper level? What do the employees stand for? Whether it’s developing core values, creating new commitments around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging, or restoring the wellbeing of employees, virtual coaching is a critical tool in identifying the steps to building a better organization.
Why Virtual Coaching Works So Well
There exist a handful of reasons virtual coaching works so well, and there’s little reason to believe these reasons will lose relevancy any time soon. Let’s look at a few of the most important trends.
While face-to-face interaction is always great, it shouldn’t be a bottleneck for those hoping to reap the benefits of coaching. To that end, the process and logistics involved in virtual coaching are highly efficient. Clients can connect with coaches from all around the globe at any moment, whether it be for a standard check in, advice, or a quick pep talk.
At a)plan, our mission is to unlock Coaching for Everyone™. The scalability of our virtual coaching solution is one of the main reasons we can make great strides in actualizing this vision. We built our entire company around a consistent coaching method, making scalability effortless with just a smartphone and the a)plan app.
Virtual coaching is widely accessible from a cost standpoint as well. Thanks to the logistics of a virtual model, a)plan can cut costs for the customer, making our service evermore accessible for companies of all shapes, sizes, and funding stages.
End Results of Virtual Coaching
So what does a cultural transformation look like at the end of a successful coaching engagement? The truth is it entirely depends on the organization and the goals set forth at the beginning of the engagement. But in most success stories, we can identify some patterns.
Coaching creates alignment between the values of an organization and the behaviors of everyone within – from the leaders, to the managers, to the employees and individual contributors. Aligning around core values and setting personal and professional goals to support those values is a process that takes lots of reflection, planning, and execution.
Coaching also empowers the individuals of an organization to be intentional in their behavior as it relates to work-life balance. With our holistic coaching approach, individuals learn to set healthy boundaries around work and life so they don’t get burnt out. At the same time, they discover how they can more effectively apply themselves in their role.
More often than not, we see how coaching leads to fulfilled, productive employees who report an improved sense of purpose. This phenomenon elevates the morale and performance of the entire organization.
Final Thoughts on Virtual Coaching
While we see some common patterns throughout our coaching engagements, note that coaching can act as a vessel towards any goal or end result you want. Getting from point A to point B requires alignment, planning, and commitment. Coaching is the powerful guiding force that can lead that journey – and eventual transformation.
For a detailed look at how virtual coaching transformed the culture of one of our recent clients, please check out our case study on San Francisco-based non-profit, Tides.