Straight Talk with HR.com
Excerpts from the Interview:
Q.With pandemic-related budget
limitations and workforce reductions,
it would be easy to put coaching and
mentoring on the backburner. How have
you changed your approach to mentoring
during the pandemic?
Alexandra: Supporting employees is more
important now than ever. Many businesses are
thriving (including ours) and we continue to
invest in our people, our most valuable asset as a
company. Costs for things like rent and in person
benefits have gone down, so we see many
organizations re-purposing budget towards coaching
rather than eliminating it.
Q.Who does the coaching and
mentoring in your organization?
Alexandra: All Pluma employees are offered a
coach through the Pluma coaching platform.
Q.What challenges currently hinder
coaching/mentoring in your
Alexandra: Finding the time to focus on one's
own development is always a challenge, and it's up
to organizations to respect employee’s time towards
Q. What do you think are the critical
future skills that leaders/managers
Alexandra: Fostering Innovation, Strategic
Thinking, and Communicating Effectively are
three major skills we see coming up again and
again amongst our users. Change is the only constant
and being nimble and resilient as a business and as
a leader is crucial. Communication is key for bringing
people along with your plans.
Q.Can you share some best practices
on how to conduct virtual mentoring/
Alexandra: Make sure you have a private, quiet
place to take your call. Prepare an agenda in advance
so you know what you want to focus on. Take a
moment to celebrate wins since last time.
Q.With havoc, the pandemic still wreaking
mental health is a critical
focus for employers. How do you use
virtual coaching and mentoring programs
to combat the mental health issues of
Alexandra: Coaching can help with stress
management, but it's important for organizations
to have boundaries between mental health
resources (therapy) and development resources
(coaching). We strongly advise against taking a 'life
coaching' approach to mental health which confuses
boundaries ethically and legally.
Q.Do advice you have any virtual mentoring
Alexandra: Make time for yourself. Energy
management is as important if not more important
than time management. The day has plenty of hours,
but that doesn't mean you have gas in the tank to run
at full speed all day every day. Find the practices that
help you recharge and stick with them.
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