The American Red Cross serves thousands of people across the world every day. Their team of more than 19,000 employees and more than 300,000 volunteers needs capable leaders to help them do their best work. They knew they needed to turn their leaders into coaches.
But with employees and volunteers scattered across the world, they needed a virtual solution that could align their teams without physically bringing them together.
We spoke with Elisabeth Nisley, a Senior Talent Consultant at American Red Cross, about how the Red Cross is empowering leaders in their organization to improve productivity and engagement—all in a virtual environment.
Q: Why did the American Red Cross decide they needed a coaching solution?
A: Coaching is the skill that our people managers need and are looking for in order to manage successfully in today’s work environment. It is paramount for our organization.
Q: Why did you choose to work with InsideOut Development and implement InsideOut Coaching with your teams?
A: What drove our choice of InsideOut Coaching can be summarized in two words: it’s practical. Managers have found it easy to pick up and immediately implement in their 1:1s, team meetings, etc.
Q: What results have you seen?
A: We launched InsideOut Coaching in September of 2019 and have trained 20% of our leadership to date. Out of all the courses that we offer, participants rank it at the top of their list. The content resonates with them. Leaders have shared that implementing the InsideOut Coaching tools have changed how they work with their teams and made them better listeners.
Q: Why did you decide to take a VILT approach to coaching training?
A: Our goal was to reduce our budget toward leadership development training. We try to cut costs where we can and still be effective. We knew from the beginning that in order to reach our leaders across the United States and in other countries, the best way was to offer this virtually.
Q: What obstacles did you encounter as you made the shift to a virtual learning platform? How did you overcome those obstacles?
A: We had to win over the facilitators first. Until a few years ago, our facilitator cadre was not familiar with virtual facilitation. Since we launched InsideOut Coaching last year, both our facilitators and participants have given positive feedback about InsideOut Development’s virtual delivery recommendations and platform. [Their team] provided the guidance needed to implement easily and successfully.
Q: What are the advantages of a virtual platform?
A: We have heard three overarching advantages:
- Our participants have shared that they appreciate being able to complete the class in three parts at the comfort of their desk.
- The virtual InsideOut Coaching delivery allows for more dialogue because you can hear everybody’s voice through the chat in comparison to only one at time in a physical classroom. It’s more collaborative.
- They appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues that they might not interact with only a daily basis.
Q: What does your organization see as the biggest benefit of InsideOut Coaching Virtual Classroom?
A: The breakout sessions reinforce that you don’t have to be an expert in the topic to coach. The most important thing is to ask open ended questions and actively listen.