9 Best Practices Of Peer-Based Coaching In Online Training

9 Best Practices Of Peer-Based Coaching In Online Training
Summary: Co-workers, managers, and other team members are a valuable source of support for remote employees. This article features the best practices for using peer-based coaching in your online training program.

Peer-Based Coaching In Online Training: 9 Best Practices For eLearning Professionals

Peer-based coaching gives employees the opportunity to exchange information, feedback, and advice. They can use their unique expertise to help co-workers broaden their horizons and build skills. However, your organization must have a plan in place to facilitate this process. Here are 9 best practices for using peer-based coaching in your online training course.

1. Create Clear Communication Guidelines

How are peers going to keep in touch? Which tools will they use to share eLearning feedback and assign tasks? How often are the expected to meet in order to discuss areas for improvement and goals? Your peer-based coaching teams need effective communication guidelines to avoid confusion and track their progress. For example, they must check in on a weekly basis to offer suggestions or recommendations.

2. Find An Effective Online Collaboration Tool

Employees need a way to communicate and collaborate remotely. This usually comes in the form of a Project Management online tool where they can keep a group calendar and assign tasks. For example, upload documents and post resource links. These Project Management online platforms also allow them to work on group online projects from anywhere in the world. You might also consider video conferencing tools that allow them to hold face-to-face meetings. If you don't already have a favorite Project Management online tool, look for free trials and demos to try before you buy.

3. Provide Personalized Support Resources

The knowledge and skills that employees already have is a valuable asset. However, you must also provide them with additional resources to achieve the desired outcome. Specifically, support tools that help them bridge skill and performance gaps, such as online training activities, online training tutorials, and courses that pertain to their needs. You can also include mentoring resources. For example, simulations or guides that center on interpersonal skills. Additionally, offer employees a microlearning online training library that features bite-sized online training materials. This enables them to get the "just in time" support they need to overcome common challenges.

4. Encourage Employees To Self-Assess Strengths And Weaknesses

Employees should know where to focus their efforts during the online coaching sessions. As such, it's wise to incorporate self-assessments to determine personal strengths and areas for improvement. Encourage employees to periodically re-evaluate their skills and knowledge so that they can get more from peer-based coaching. For instance, ask for tips or techniques on how to improve their task performance, or brush up on their compliance knowledge. In addition, employees are able to look back on past assessment results to gauge their progress, and then adjust their strategy accordingly.

5. Define The Desired Outcomes

Everyone needs a destination before they embark on the path. Employees must have goals, learning objectives, and desired outcomes to aim on. Ideally, these should center on individual skills, topics, and tasks that require their attention. Such as work-related processes they need to master in order to boost productivity. Encourage peer-based coaching teams to identify their objectives in advance. Then, break long-term goals into manageable steps. This gives employees the chance to concentrate on each milestone. Thereby, increasing their motivation and drive.

6. Invite Peer-Coaching Teams To Set A Realistic Schedule

Time management, organization, and planning are all essential for the success of peer-based coaching. As such, you should encourage peer teams to set realistic schedules based on their work responsibilities and training needs. For instance, they'll meet once a week using a video conferencing online platform to focus on urgent performance issues. Then they'll switch to bi-weekly sessions to reinforce and refresh their knowledge and skills. This is yet another reason why employees should use a Project Management online tool equipped with a calendar feature.

7. Get Organization Leaders On Board

Managers, supervisors, and department heads shouldn't be left out. In fact, they are an important part of your peer-based coaching program. These leaders tend to have more experience and professional know-how, which makes them ideal mentors for employees who require one-on-one support, such as those who are struggling to complete their job duties, or they are new to the industry. Managers also have the power to share their knowledge in a more public forum. For instance, host corporate eLearning blogs or live events that involve their area of expertise.

8. Use Social Media To Unlock New Coaching Opportunities

Social media groups give peers the ability to stay in touch and share helpful resource links. However, you can also use social media sites to expand peer-coaching networks. Employees are able to communicate with industry experts, team leaders, and remote co-workers at a moment's notice. You can also use online discussions, corporate eLearning blogs, and other social learning tools to unlock new coaching opportunities. Just make sure that you create specific guidelines for these platforms. For instance, encourage employees to respect the opinions of others and offer suggestions on how to resolve conflicts.

9. Gather Feedback To Fine Tune Your Coaching Program

Employees are your go-to source for eLearning feedback. They can help you improve your peer-based coaching program in order to maximize the benefits. Conduct surveys and polls to identify problem areas, and invite them to attend focus groups where they can openly discuss their concerns. You might even consider a monthly webinar that allows employees to voice their opinions. This gives you the opportunity to address issues in real-time and even ask follow up questions. Another way to gather their input is to start an online forum. Ask employees to post questions and comments, or answer queries that their co-workers leave on the board.

Peer-to-peer coaching calls for effective online resources and clear guidelines. Thus, allow every member of your team to give and receive support to their peers, even if they are scattered all over the globe. Read the article 7 Tips To Track Peer-Based Feedback In eLearning to discover 7 tips for tracking peer-based feedback in your eLearning course.