By Madhukar Govindaraju , Founder & CEO

The pandemic ushered us into the era of the hybrid workplace, one where some employees are co-located in an office while some work remotely. This step-change, in the fundamental dynamics of a work eco-system, is bound to impact organizational operations and their day-to-day workings. It becomes quite clear that the workforce has dealt with a time of incredible change – stories of professional disruption, overwhelming loneliness, and work from home burnout have been pressing concerns over the last year.

The sudden onset of remote work has impacted our professional relationships just as it has impacted our daily tasks. The lack of casual conversations, for example, has been a considerable challenge for new-career employees. How does one succeed when working from home? How does one build professional relationships that ensure career advancements and success? How can one learn the best practices essential to succeed in a career when working from home?

Organizations understand that they cannot use an old map to navigate this new world. They recognize that it is their responsibility to help their workforce prepare for the future so they can achieve their full potential and ensure that career growth and work-life balance are not opposing goals. 

Organizations need to – 

  • Identify how to build a culture that supports diversity and inclusion in a hybrid workplace
  • Ensure that employees remain on the path of growth and develop resilience to build organizational resilience
  • Help employees navigate these challenging times, manage their work and productivity while eliminating work from home burnout
  • Empower their managers to transition to virtual leaders

The need is to address employee concerns and challenges contextually. 

Organizational commitment towards peer coaching can help navigate these issues and organizations prepare their teams for the future by:

Closing the skills gap

Peer coaching can help people ready themselves for the future of work by helping them close the skills gap. Along with technical skills that the workforce needs to accrue to succeed in the new world of work, some critical power skills will rise to prominence. Skills like communication, strategic thinking, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, EQ, resilience, agility, etc. will become essential to navigating the complexities of the new world order. 

Peer Coaching works at closing these skills gaps and helps learners drive behavioral change because it is contextual, non-judgmental, feedback-driven, and continuous. Peer coaching also complements technical training programs and ensures learning implementation through repetition and driving accountability. 

Using advanced peer coaching platforms, organizations can further help their workforce gain more control over their career growth. They can help the workforce identify their critical skill gaps using behavioral assessment tests or personality factor assessments and assist them to move ahead on their career paths by closing these gaps. 

Building trusted networks

Peer coaching emerges as a key tool to help employees build trusted networks across the organizational landscape. Building these networks becomes essential, especially for new employees, to help them assess the rules of engagement, find missing information, and build their social currency. It is also important for career growth and to fuel diversity and inclusion initiatives by making sure that every employee gets access to growth opportunities. 

Peer coaching helps learners identify the channels they need to leverage, the skills they need to succeed in their desired growth area, and the gaps they need to cover to become high-performing employees. 

Since peer coaches come from within the organization, they can help the workforce navigate the organizational maze and connect with the right resources, build the right networks, and leverage the opportunities to help them move ahead in their career paths. 

Maintaining work-life balance

The rise of remote work brought with it work-from-home burnout and challenges in maintaining work-life balance. With boundaries separating work and life blurring, we are slowly looking at work-life integration. However, to prevent burnout, employees need to develop the right boundaries and manage work and life without one overpowering the other.

Achieving this sort of balance demands knowing how to manage workloads, efficiency, and productivity. Peer coaches provide the guidance learners need to address specific challenges and develop the skills and techniques needed to succeed in the workplace without compromising or sacrificing their personal lives. 

Providing a safe space 

Finally, peer coaching helps in establishing the much-needed coaching culture. By establishing a coaching culture, organizations can send out a strong message that tells their employees that they matter. Their struggles and challenges matter. Their successes matter. Their growth matters. 

For the C-Suite, peer coaching provides the guidance to address organizational and leadership challenges. 

For the managers, it offers pathways to manage teams with greater efficiency, help them manage their challenges better, and build trust. 

In this hybrid work environment, executives and leaders need equal support to address workplace challenges and help them adapt to this new normal. Helping them set priorities, become agile in their thinking, gaining more clarity regarding work, their skills, and skill gaps help employees become nimble in the face of inevitable disruptions. 

The reason why peer coaching helps in this time of disruption is that because,

  • It is a feedback-driven and yet, highly confidential, and non-judgmental process.
  • It gives people the safe space they need to admit their challenges and struggles without fear. 
  • As an organic process, it helps in addressing all the challenges that organizations and the workforce are currently navigating. 

Connect with us to know how to use Peer Coaching to establish a coaching culture, develop a growth mindset, and help employees succeed in the truest and the most complete form in the new world of work. Leverage our AI-powered peer coaching platform to help your workforce adjust, accommodate, and find their rhythm in the hybrid workplace.