In Finland the associations and foundations have a huge meaning in promoting disease specific individual health and well-being. With new kind of remote coaching processes and courses the professional support can be scaled and brought to the daily life of participants. The positive results indicate that both individual and group based remote coaching with Movendos mCoach increases commitment, motivation and concrete daily changes. A common thing for all the associations is the need to help people to manage their life and well-being with and despite of the disease. Often it’s about finding new personal assets and awareness related to them which can be seen as better life management and experienced quality of life.
In the beginning of September Movendos organized a joint meeting of nine different Finnish associations, varying from cancer to osteoporosis, autistic spectrum, hearing, skin diseases, migren and allergies. The participants focused on sharing experiences and guidelines for the planning process, practical things and communication and marketing aspect of remote courses and coaching. The discussion was lively and in the end Movendos collected good practices, which can now be shared between the associations.
Steps and good practices for remote courses and coaching in associations
- It’s good to decide are the remote courses going to be planned by professionals only or also with help of association members, which requires more resources. It’s good to point out that the courses can be developed continuously also based on feedback and experience that the professionals get from remote coaching.
- Are the participants paying for the remote course or are the remote course costs completely integrated in the association budget, often related to some funding application. In Finland it has been a good statement for the funder, that the benefits and results can be scaled with remote services with very low costs.
- Duration of courses varies from fife weeks to several months at the moment. It’s crucial to have a well agreed duration based on the needs and type of the course.
- Remote or combination: the course can utilize remote coaching partly or completely, meaning secured video meetings and remote support between. It can also be combined to face to face meetings with individual or groups.
- Courses for groups or individuals or both?
- Is peer group support utilized in messaging and discussions? Often this gives huge benefits, but it varies. It’s good to note that the individual data is safe also when peer group discussion is enabled.
- Estimate of the time usage of professionals for remote coaching: feedback and follow up for individuals and groups e.g. on weekly basis or as agreed.
- Agreeing on how to share tasks with multi-professional remote coaching team, also in case of sick leaves or other surprising situations.
- Planning the remote coaching content: planning remote coaching tasks to the task library, possibly creating some videos or other material to be used during the remote course. When planned in advance at least to some extent, the course is easier to start and conduct. It’s good to utilize videos, photos, files, sounds etc. in the tasks. Usually new tasks are activated on the way as the course proceeds.
- What to emphasize or take care of in marketing and communication related to remote courses?
- The remote course is for daily support of individuals and their needs, not because of technology itself. Low threshold for participating, from any location.
- Some technical readiness to use computers or smart devices – or willingness to learn.
- Existing motivation for participating
- Sharing good experiences of other associations what comes to remote courses. When own remote services are proceeding, it’s good to use own members’ experiences in marketing new courses
- It’s good to emphasize that the participant can do tasks in many ways: they can write, draw, attach pictures, videos or just see the tasks, depending on their personality.
Practicalities when a remote course starts
- It’s good to create the user names of participants in advance.
- Some tasks, introduction video or a welcome message should exist in mCoach as the participants log in. Using nice and friendly language helps to commit.
- Setting targets: in the beginning of the remote course the participants should create a target which reflects a positive life change for an individual. There can also be an inspiring picture which reminds the participant why he has come along. It’s good to discuss, what kind of a target is both realistic and to some extent, measurable.
- Messaging: from professionals to individuals, groups or both? As a peer group discussion? In peer group discussion it’s good to state some common rules from the beginning about trust and practices of peer group.