In 2005, YouTube went live and instantly changed the way the world learns. In just a few minutes, anyone can watch and learn how to properly install a car seat, tie a complex knot, fix a line of code, solve a math problem, or almost anything else they need to know.
Videos have been used as part of the corporate training playbook for decades, but the bite-sized format and ease of content sharing that the internet brought are a far cry from the cheesy, grainy video tapes of the past. Technology has rapidly evolved, and video learning continues to change right along with it.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit—driving billions of workers into a remote-work situation and forever changing the way we collaborate—video technology was already evolving to become more interactive than ever. Visual content has officially moved beyond a passive medium to an active tool.
Enter video coaching. Back-and-forth videos uploaded through a common platform allow individuals to receive remote, tailored feedback on important soft skills such as pitching a sale, explaining the company vision statement, responding to a complaint, giving a presentation, and more. Video coaching has been adopted by hundreds of top brands to engage their workforce in a new kind of skills practice.
The value of mentoring is well established. According to the Mentor Coach Foundation, 87 percent of mentors and mentees feel empowered by the mentoring relationship, and workers in both roles are significantly more likely to be promoted and go on to mentor others. Remote coaching is just as rewarding for organizations if it is implemented effectively.
Businesses that tackle video-based coaching with these best practices will find the experience beneficial and rewarding to the individual participants and the organization as a whole:
Have a plan.A coaching program runs more smoothly when everyone knows what to expect and how to succeed. To that end, it is vital to set specific goals or outcomes and communicate these clearly to all the participants.
Coaching is not only about the learners. Never assume that mentors know instinctively how to guide their workers toward success. Just as learners need to know the steps they should take and the specific skills they are working towards, mentors need to know how to give feedback, how often they should check in, and the kind of comments and constructive criticism that is most helpful.
Involve senior leaders.Video coaching takes time away from other things, so the best way to get widespread buy-in is to start at the top. With the support and participation of executives, workers will see that learning through coaching is a valued part of their workday.
Leaders can help by introducing the start of the program, reviewing and rewarding top submissions, and even popping into individual coaching sessions occasionally. This engagement sets the tone for the entire coaching initiative. Besides, involved leaders get a front row seat as learners find greater success through mentorship.
Designate ownership.Any project needs a primary owner, so there is no confusion over who is responsible for what needs to happen. However, delegating specific tasks is just as important to the success of corporation-wide coaching.
Specialists in learning design should be involved in putting together scenarios and solid assessment rubrics, and different departments should weigh in on what types of hypothetical situations their workers might be in.
Additionally, video prompts should be recorded by a variety of people, including top performers and managers, so learners get a variety of good examples to learn from.
Focus on people.In the end, a coaching program is all about the people involved. Every decision made about video coaching in your organization should reflect the well-being of the end users.
Think about the role each employee will take on, and equip everyone with the information and tools they need to have a good experience. For learners, the skills they acquire and relationships they form are the end reward. Mentors have the opportunity to hone their leadership skills and identify strengths and weaknesses in their teams.
A focus on the people involved helps create a coaching experience that is an opportunity instead of another task on everyone’s to-do list.
A well-thought-out coaching program that keeps the learners and mentors in mind will have clear goals and support from the entire organization. Following these best practices gives your team the best chance to create a solid foundation from which everyone can learn and grow.
Done right, video coaching can give workers the same ability to learn new things that they enjoy from Wikipedia, YouTube, and other informational websites. However, instead of relying on strangers on the internet, they will be turning to experts within their profession who have a vested interest in their career path. The accessibility of video learning and the proven effectiveness of coaching come together so that everyone wins. It’s a change to the learning model that we can all look forward to.