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15 Feb, 2021

Keeping Employees Engaged and Developing Them in Times of Crisis

With the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, individuals are thrown into a state of confusion and anxiety. Many individuals have to work from home (WFH) due to the restricted movement orders or lockdowns imposed in different parts of the world. After the initial joys of avoiding the stress of commuting and new-found personal freedom, these individuals may start to experience the stress of self-isolation and other WFH hazards.

No matter the circumstances, organisations need to find ways to keep their employees engaged. One proven approach is coaching. It helps organisations increase productivity, create a positive culture of wellbeing and provides valuable support to employees during times of crisis. Besides encouraging the employees to embrace the inevitable change and start changing their mindset, coaching is also a popular catalyst for talent development.

Many would question if coaching is still possible at this point in time, with limited physical interaction allowed. Virtual mediums such as video conferencing, instant messaging and other virtual communication apps break down the barriers associated with traditional coaching, and make virtual coaching possible. Delivered effectively, coaching helps the individual to remain purposeful and cope better with challenges in life.

Here are some tips on having a successful virtual coaching session:

  • Prepare the logistics ahead – ensure that details of timing, broadband availability and virtual medium are sorted beforehand
  • Get to know the functions within the selected virtual medium such as screen sharing, recording
  • Prepare the coachee and brief him/her about the agenda, virtual medium and assure them of confidentiality
  • Always be mindful of the energy levels of yourself as the coach and the coachee
  • Document the discussion points and areas that need to be followed up in the next session
  • Have a proper wrap-up by summarizing the points discussed and the action plan for the coachee
  • Allocate adequate intervals before the next coaching session so that the coachee has enough time to carry out the action plan

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