According to The Wall Street Journal, remote work is here to stay. Tech giants like Twitter and Facebook are leading the way, making plans to enable up to half of their 45,000 employees to work from home over the next decade. According to Darren Murph, head of remote at Gitlab, “the current crisis has accelerated the adoption of remote work by at least 10 years.”
With the world of work going virtual, leaders must adapt their skills and improve their ability to manage remote teams. Now more than ever, a focus on Leadership Development is crucial to the success of companies who hope to thrive in a virtual world.
Despite fears of an economic recession, a study by the Center for Creative Leadership revealed that 69% of organizations would strive to either maintain or increase their leadership development budgets during an economic downturn. If leadership development services hope to stay relevant, they must be delivered effectively in the virtual format.
At Ziksana, we believe the following three things are essential when providing effective virtual Leadership Development programs.
1. Focus On Remote Employee Engagement
With “Zoom Fatigue” hitting hard, virtual Leadership Development programs need to be designed with engagement in mind. Effective virtual team building activities will provide meaningful opportunities for participants to engage with the content and for team bonding. At Ziksana, we design our virtual services with participant engagement as a top priority. Using the science of play, we keep team members engaged virtually by:
- Balancing content delivery with engaging online games and activities.
- Playing applied improv games to highlight important concepts and content.
- Using group discussions and peer coaching to create connections between remote employees.
- Using role-play activities to practice new leadership and problem-solving skills.
2. Offer Group Workshops & 1-on-1 Coaching
We believe that virtual Leadership programs are most effective when participants are given opportunities to learn in both group and 1:1 settings. Virtual group workshops introduce participants to new concepts and give them opportunities to connect, network, and learn from their peers.
In 1:1 coaching, leaders take what they have learned in the workshops and receive personalized support from an expert coach on how to apply those concepts to their current work challenges. Combining these two delivery methods, especially over the course of several months, empowers leaders to grow as both individuals and as members of a remote team.
3. Design Multiple Development Phases
When it comes to virtual leadership development, one workshop is not enough to create a meaningful impact. To be effective, virtual programs should be designed with phases and delivered over an extended period. For example:
- Phase 1: Improving Individual Performance – 3 – 6 months of virtual workshops and 1:1 coaching focused on the development of new skills to improve immediate performance.
- Phase 2: Gaining Organizational Significance – 3 – 6 months of virtual group workshops & coaching to support participants as they take on a strategic and challenging work initiative to benefit the organization while exercising leadership skills.
At Ziksana, we design and deliver virtual Leadership Development programs with the right combination of workshops, coaching, and strategic project support that allow leaders to improve in both the short and long term, all while incorporating innovative and playful approaches. Learn more on how to effectively lead virtual leadership development at our “Thriving in Ambiguity” live online workshop!