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How to Mentor in a Remote Workplace: A Brief Guide

The debate about whether remote work is a net good or net bad is, at this point, moot. Remote work is here to stay and as a result, many of the practices found in traditional in-person workplaces are having to adapt to this new normal.

The stats are all there:

  • 45 percent of US employees are either working fully or partially remote

  • Ninety-one percent of these employees are planning to continue with increased remote work in the post-pandemic era.

  • 58 percent of these employees would leave their jobs if their organizations relinquished access to remote arrangements.

  • Gallup reveals that remote workers are far more productive than their in-office counterparts

These findings demonstrate the growing prominence of remote work, which is set to increase in years to come. Bearing in mind this paradigm shift for employees around the world, there is a growing need for effective remote mentoring.

Executives tend to presume that physical proximity is sufficient for developing healthy relationships. However, the medium through which mentorship is accomplished is less important than the outcomes achieved.

Quality relationships are built upon trust, commitment, and mentor competence much more than physical proximity in a successful mentorship program.

Mentorship’s Role in Workplace Culture

Mentoring is an integral part of organizational culture; when implemented properly, there is increased self-confidence among employees and retention of talented new employees. Mentorship demonstrates that an organization is actively involved and investing in their careers.

When employees feel more supported by their company in meeting their career goals, they are likely to stay in the company and be more engaged in their work. In fact, a study by Emerging workforce revealed that employee engagement and retention increased by 50 percent when companies offered mentorship programs.

The Challenge of Remote Mentoring

As of now, it's no secret that remote employees are more efficient and productive than their office counterparts. However, there are challenges to working remotely, and the most common one is feeling isolated, detached, and unsupported.

Gallup's "State of American Workplace Report" revealed that employees working remotely are likely to miss meaningful social and collaborative opportunities integral to their professional development. Mentorship is one such opportunity.

There are various drawbacks faced in enforcing remote mentoring: lack of face-to-face communication or interaction, difficulty keeping track of work progress, and knowing what to discuss.

Top Three Best Remote Mentoring Practices

Establishing a remote mentoring program for your organization does not mean you have to put in overtime. Instead, it involves building healthy relationships, communicating effectively, building trust, and performing regular check-ins.

Just like in-person mentoring programs, the key to remote mentoring success is early preparation and establishing multiple pathways for finding support for the mentee.

Here are the top three best practices for remote mentoring that your organization needs to adopt in order to give your mentorship program the best chance of success.

Creating Mentorship Pairing Based On Interests

Effective matching of mentors and mentees is one of the most crucial processes of a mentorship program for an organization. There are different ways of pairing mentors and mentees for your remote mentoring program depending on the goals and objectives of your company. To ensure the success of your remote mentoring program, ensure that you pair your mentors and mentees based on interests, values, and identity rather than simply demographics. This is crucial to increasing the program's likelihood of success in building healthy relationships, increasing mentees' engagement and retention, and boosting their confidence.

Tailor Your Mentoring Structure

Most mentorship relationships fail because they cannot land between the excellent spot of overly-engineered and overly-casual. Thus, it's crucial to find out from your mentees what is the right level of check-ins; doing too much might feel like you don't trust them and doing too little might feel like you are doing it just for the sake of it. After figuring out how much you will be in touch with your program participants, you need to develop a plan on how to make these meetings work. It is helpful to also be flexible to the changes in schedule needed by either participant.

Make It Easy to Stay Aligned

To ensure the effectiveness and eventual success of your program, it’s essential for mentors to be on the same page with their mentee. To make this as streamlined as possible, seek out tools that make it easy to stay visible and aligned. Methods such as calendar sharing can help participants understand each other’s schedule and make it easier to arrange times that work for everyone involved.

Final Thoughts

Remote mentoring is the new normal. To get started with mentoring in the workplace, reliable mentorship software will help you get started quickly.

Schedule a demo and help realign your teams today.


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