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.  

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

The aftereffects of COVID-19 has thrown the global economy off balance and largely continues to impact women in terms of gender equality. Labor market surveys reveal that a whopping 54% of the women workforce is vulnerable to overall job losses – with the risk rate for men being starkly 1.8 times lower in the ‘gender-clustered’ labor spectrum. The market dynamics of the current gender-regressive economy project that, in ten years, unemployment for women is likely to set back the global GDP by a significant 1$ trillion. 

Essentially, the absence of systemic growth and a multitude of other attitudinal barriers can be attributed to the economic fallout and gender-based implications caused by the pandemic. Conventional mindsets about the role of women are reported to reflect in decision-making at the family and organizational levels. Stringent quarantine measures making people home-bound, inequality issues on the home front, unpaid care, overwhelming domestic responsibilities, closed schools, and shutting down of day-care facilities – the ‘brunt’ is borne by women. With the pandemic exacerbating the work-life balance for women, it is not exactly surprising that they are falling off the workforce map due to the deficit of progressive work-life policies in place. 

Compelling data from the pandemic state that the consequences are here to stay, and if left unacknowledged, will have a catastrophic effect on the global economy in the long term. Gender equality – in society and work, are intricately interlinked and known to address mindset bias and economic insecurity caused by the inadequacy of education and income. The call of the hour is to mitigate the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on working women and identify measures to boost social and economic outcomes for millions of women worldwide. Business leaders and policymakers need to recalibrate gender equality and strive to bridge the gender gap in the global workforce. 

Data from the UN Women’s Chief statistician report that a majority of the nations are failing to aggregate data broken down by sex, age, and other vital metrics – such as class, race, location, disability, and migrant status. This acute gap in data has compounded the recovery efforts for comprehensive impact analysis across countries and communities. 

Championing gender equality is the ‘new’ normal and significant efforts in these areas must be made to achieve exemplary outcomes in the economic and social lives of women:

  • Expanding the outreach by investing in direct income for women to advance gender parity.

Introduce policies for economic support packages, tax exemptions, and extended unemployment benefits that deliver tangible income for women.

  • Extending support for women-owned businesses

Implementing subsidies in loans and introduce specific grants and stimulus funding in women-dominated sectors. Supply of essential personal protection equipment and other critical supplies for women-owned micro, small, and medium businesses, and relaxed tax burdens to provide economic relief.

  • Support for the women employee

Bolstering access to more affordable childcare services to augment participation of women in the labor force. Introduce digital inclusion in essential industries and platforms that largely offer gender flexibility and social protection from undervalued services.

  • Recalibrating attitudinal biases

Advocating an equal distribution of domestic responsibilities with accommodative work hours for all essential caregivers, paid leave, and child care service access. Urge governments and stakeholders to roll out public campaigns to combat the negative influence of gender disparity and drive inclusive economic growth. 

On International Women’s Day this year, at the “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” event, the UN will be honoring the untiring contribution made by women and girls around the world toward achieving more equity and driving economic progress. On the backdrop of this significant recognition, Numly Inc. will be celebrating the role of women at work through its women leadership programs available on its Peer Coaching platform – NumlyEngage, that can be leveraged to advocate inclusion and social and economic growth for women.

The spread of the pandemic and social distancing has precipitated the feeling of isolation in women. Notwithstanding, the paradigm shift in work culture where the ‘new’ normal has been embraced as a welcome change has begun to foster a larger female labor-force participation in the workforce. Remote working opportunities have opened up avenues, what with organizations enabling women to reclaim their work-life balance and drive phenomenal business outcomes. 

NumlyEngage is an end-end digital experience that aligns with the post-pandemic world and offers reskilling programs to help combat the backward spiral in the progress of the workforce. Our networking solution model is designed to help create greater cognizance of skill sets and potential. We transform people and resources through peer coaching and self-development programs that are designed to expedite employee skill growth and improve retention. 

With return-to-work programs being introduced in organizations to transcend the aftermath of the pandemic, reskilling the existing workforce is now seen as an imperative to retain their top talent. Our AI-powered coaching platform bridges people and helps track key metrics for measurable employee performance and business growth with exemplary reskilling models. We, at Numly, understand the new dynamic of the reskilling revolution and how our career development innovations can transform the future of work. In the struggle for gender diversity, championing the work-life balancing act and fighting gender-bias to usher in meaningful change is our core focus. 

Numly’s prepackaged programs including the Women Leadership Development and D,E&I programs are focused on helping organizations tackle serious issues that are negatively affecting organizational growth in the post-pandemic world. They drive actionable insight for corporate leaders to reassess their strategy on investments in reskilling and nurture resilience in the workforce. Also, in terms of drastically speeding up the progress on gender diversity – coaching has proved to be a surefire strategy that is significant for women in the context of the fallout of the pandemic, and is a ‘win-win’ situation for the longevity of organizations.