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LOGO for Workforce Enhancement Program  / Coaching, Evaluating and Delivering Constructive Feedback – Learning Series Remote coaching occurs when an employee and their supervisor do not share the same physical workspace, either permanently or temporarily.  To effectively provide feedback to remote employees, it is important to consider the challenges inherent to the situation.  Use the following remote coaching strategies to mitigate the common barriers to effective remote coaching: 

Use a Combination of Scheduled and Impromptu Coaching Sessions    

It is important to have regularly scheduled coaching sessions with remote employees.  But don't pass up an opportunity to pick up the phone in between sessions when there is something important to discuss.

Use Technology Tools to Keep You on the Same Page

There are many more technology options than just using the telephone.  Use web conferencing tools, Wikis (a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete content via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a rich-text editor), or blogs for shared note taking.  If possible, use video conferencing to allow a more "face-to-face" type interaction.

Start, but don't stop with Results  

You probably have metrics and performance indicators that will make discussing work outputs with your employee feel very natural, but don't stop there.  Use performance results as a jumping off point into a deeper discussion about work activity and resource needs.

Listen Carefully to Your Employee

It is important to stay focused on your employee during remote coaching sessions.  Busy Managers must avoid the temptation to multi-task.  Use active listening strategies such as clarifying, paraphrasing and giving feedback.

Probe Silences

Don't allow silences, hesitations, or unreturned phone calls to go unexplored.  Managers of remote employees don't have the advantage of actually seeing what is going on to compensate for what is not being said.