Employee Coaching and Development for the Hybrid/Remote Workforce

As the calendar inches towards 2024, the working world continues its rapid evolution. Most HR leaders agree that the dust has settled on the abrupt transition to remote work caused by the global pandemic. Now, while full-time remote work may be receding, the hybrid work model is here to stay. 

This shift has placed Employee Experience (EX)—and therefore employee coaching and development—at the forefront of organizational priorities. However, for HR leaders there still seems to be a disconnect between acknowledging the importance of employee coaching and development and actually implementing an effective strategy to address it. 

In this article, we explore the nuances of this shift and provide actionable insights for navigating the hybrid and remote workforce landscape, ensuring that your employees feel supported and valued, no matter their physical location.

Hybrid Work: The New Reality Beyond Remote Work

Forbes points out that over a quarter of the workforce is now hybrid. This is a serious challenge for HR leaders. 

According to a recent Gartner study, 42% of HR leaders believe that remote and hybrid workforces are a key component of the future of work. Yet, 43% of those same leaders admit to not having an explicit future of work strategy. When 1 out of 2 employees in the United States are looking for new work, that’s a huge overlooked gap. 

Embracing hybrid work is no longer a trend. It’s a long-term commitment that requires a serious approach to employee coaching and development. Organizations must recalibrate their strategies to ensure that they are not just surviving, but thriving. 

But how? Talent leaders can start here:

  1. Assess Your Current Workforce Capabilities: Conduct a thorough analysis of your employee skills and engagement levels across your remote, hybrid, and in-office workforce. While you’re likely already using surveys, make sure that you include remote or hybrid-specific questions in them.

  2. Identify Skill Gaps: Recognize areas where there might be a shortage of necessary skills. Are your workers prioritizing tasks, improving their time management, and communicating while working remotely or in a hybrid schedule?

  3. Consider Targeted Training Programs: Develop virtual training programs that are tailored to address these skill gaps and empower your employees. Communicate how these programs can impact your EX to leadership.

The Harsh Cost of a Failing Remote & Hybrid Employee Experience

The primary question that HR leaders need to ask themselves is if they’re providing enough employee support. This goes beyond traditional HR needs such as administration or compliance. Instead, leaders need to think about the overall employee experience—specifically in a hybrid world.

HR leaders already know how important it is to constantly evaluate their organizations. What are your employees’ expectations? Do they feel like there is potential for growth? Are they developing their skills? Are they disengaged? 

"Perceived Influence of HR Investments on EX" - Employee coaching and development data.

Employee coaching and development is a huge component of EX.


When development stalls, employees often perceive a diminishing value in their role, leading to a decline in engagement and satisfaction. This perception acts as a catalyst for turnover. As employees seek growth opportunities elsewhere, organizations risk a rise in attrition rates, directly connecting the effectiveness of EX to your retention.

If organizations don’t foster a positive environment that emphasizes training and development, EX can plummet. We’re beyond a world of quiet quitting—these days, the effects of disgruntled employees are more like loud quitting. Solvable and preventable issues can quickly turn into active employee disengagement. 

Your organization is not alone in navigating these obstacles. Gallup suggests employee disengagement is a global issue, and it’s costing the world $8.8 trillion

So the challenge is here—and it’s real. Do you have a plan for it? Don’t let a lack of strategy cost you. Focus on two key pillars:

  • Create a New EX Strategy: Outline a comprehensive Employee Experience strategy that caters to both in-office, hybrid, and remote employees. 

  • Measure and Optimize: Continuously measure the effectiveness of your current EX initiatives and make necessary adjustments to enhance their impact. 

Check out our eBook on better leveraging data from employees: The Missing Ingredient in Employee Development

Consider Virtual Group Coaching: A Strategic and Real Solution

In a hybrid or remote world where employees don’t see each other or their managers outside of their screens, can genuine employee coaching and development happen?

Virtual group coaching offers an organizational solution. Location-agnostic and easily schedulable, it provides a flexible and inclusive approach to employee development. It ensures that no matter where an employee is, they have access to the support and resources they need to thrive. 

Further, an employee-owned philosophy helps members of your organization take hold of their own work life in a way they haven’t ever before.

“By offering continuous learning and development programs that are part of employees’ work-based learning, employers will empower employees while creating an environment that encourages continued growth.” 

The Pursuit of Effective Workplace Training

This approach not only caters to the logistical challenges of a dispersed workforce, but also fosters a sense of community and shared learning. By integrating virtual group coaching into your employee coaching and development strategy, organizations can create a support system that empowers employees to reach their full potential. 

Data backs it up. Sounding Board’s 2021 Leadership Coaching Report reports that 67% of HR leaders surveyed said leadership coaching increased employee engagement and satisfaction while 60% said it improved employees’ perceptions of the quality of leadership. 

Coaching is important. And, with the workforce continuing to be a combination of remote, hybrid, and in-office environments, virtual group coaching is a critical component of any employee development program.

But it’s not just virtual coaching that impacts EX—it is also affected by your organization’s tools.

Utilize The Tools You Have To Create Your Future of Work Plan

Despite the plethora of tools you likely have collected to support hybrid and remote work, there is a noticeable gap in how employees are using them. It is not enough to simply provide access and hope that adoption follows—organizations must also ensure that their workforce is trained on how to use them. This means moving away from complicated Learning Management Systems and towards more user-friendly and accessible solutions. By doing so, the gap is bridged between having access to tools and actually seeing their value. 

Additionally, it’s crucial to encourage a culture of continuous learning and curiosity, ensuring that employees are not just aware of the tools at their disposal, but are also motivated to use them to their full potential.

But tools don’t make the employee experience—it’s the people who do. 

Humanity Over More Systems: Building Trust and Addressing Concerns

At the end of the day, we’re all still humans. In a business world built upon efficiency and bottom lines, it’s easy to forget that employees aren’t just simply cogs in a machine, particularly when they appear in a box on a screen rather than in a cubicle in an office.

While your tools play a critical role in supporting hybrid and remote work, they should not replace the human element of the workplace. Organizations must strive to create a work environment that values genuine connections and provides ample support for its employees, ensuring that they feel connected—regardless of their physical work location. 

Overall, it’s still important to build an environment where colleagues can chat about what movies were watched over the weekend.

It’s Time to Prepare for 2024’s Future of Work

The remote and hybrid working world is still a frontier for HR leaders. But the challenges remain the same. At the end of the day, workers value the same things they always have: They want to feel heard, have more actionable 1v1s during their employee coaching and development, and feel like they can reach their potential. 

Does your organization have a plan to recognize that in a hybrid setting?

At PILOT, we embrace the exciting opportunity brought by the new future of work.

Want to learn more about how our virtual group coaching program helps solve the challenges of tomorrow’s workplace? Book a demo today!


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