Even with 90% of businesses using or considering eLearning solutions, coaching, and mentoring are still essential to develop employees and close skills gaps. Michael Gullan, CEO of G&G Advocacy, an eLearning consultancy, outlines why coaching and mentoring are effective and how to include them in online training programmes.
A 2023 study by the HR Research Institute shows that 70% of employees believe that coaching is important, while 66% say mentoring is important, and about half reported an increase in the amount of coaching and mentoring in their organisations.
“Coaching and mentoring are excellent tools to prepare employees for new roles or assignments, provide guidance, improve employee engagement and retention, and ignite a positive culture,” said Gullan. “However, it can be counterproductive, as many employees say their mentors are strapped for time, which impacts their ability to build rapport, guide conversations toward positive outcomes, listen effectively, and give insightful feedback.”
For this reason, more organisations are using technology to amplify their coaching and mentoring initiatives. “Video, webinars, and video calls can go a long way to positively impacting an entire organisation,” said Gullan, suggesting the following strategies to integrate coaching into eLearning programmes.
1. Ignite a coaching mindset.
Like a growth mindset, a coaching mindset encourages everyone to grow and expand their skills. Leaders are essential to helping others realise their potential, develop skills, and expand their contributions.
2. Develop a strategy.
Define your leaders’ roles in motivating their managers and staff. Determine how to inject mentorship moments into your eLearning programmes, such as one-on-ones, all hands, team meetings, videos, webinars, and gamification.
3. Develop leaders.
Leaders cannot be effective without the ability to get their egos out the way and master their thoughts, emotions, and words. These skills should form part of your leadership curriculum, including being non-judgmental, active listeners, curious, compassionate, and empathetic.
4. Scale across the organisation.
Give all employees the opportunity to develop their coaching and mentoring skills so they are equipped with the skills to nurture and share knowledge with their colleagues and develop their potential to become a leader. Your entire organisation will feel psychologically safe, more satisfied, and more innovative. Communication will improve, and employees will be less defensive. Best of all, you will reap the rewards of greater knowledge sharing and an empowered workforce.
“Organisations with effective coaches and mentors do things differently,” Gullan concluded. “They are built on the shoulders of giants. Employees ask smarter questions, get to the root of customer concerns quicker, solve problems, and are more accountable and innovative.” There are proven ways to scale coaching and mentorship using your eLearning programmes, so you can enhance employee engagement and productivity, make succession planning more organic, and positively impact the bottom line.