Modern day mentorship
How it can grow your business and maintain longevity with employees
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly altered how companies are conducting business, training new employees, and forming remote and hybrid offices. Many companies are reconsidering their training and mentorship programs as a result of this shift, including implementing new opportunities to create a workplace where employees are able to grow and stay at their organization long-term.
Companies are turning to modern mentorship in order to grow in their organizations, maintain longevity with their employees, and provide effecting training and guidance.
How is Mentoring Evolving?
Today’s workforce is vastly different than previous generations. Millennials, and now Generation Z, do not learn the same way nor do they expect the same standards from their organizations as prior generations do. Millennials thrive in environments where they are growing, learning new things, and continue developing leadership skills. Unfortunately, many millennials are unhappy with their work environments, causing 63% of millennials to say their skills are not being fully developed at their current employer.
The COVID pandemic, and even in years prior, showed a significant increase in “job-hopping” in the younger generations. In fact, research shows that over 50% of younger workers do not plan to stay with their current employer for more than 12 months. However, companies have found that offering their younger employees modern mentorship and the ability to grow within their organization has prevented job-hopping. For example, research has shown that employees who have a mentor are twice as likely to stay with their organization for more than five years.
Many companies have operated under “traditional mentoring” styles and have seen success in retaining employees and growing their potential within the organization. However, as Millennials and Generation Z continue to enter and grow in the workforce, it is important to recognize the shift in necessary programs and evolving workplaces to build ongoing mentorship programs.
What is Modern Mentoring?
Modern Mentoring is an advancement of standard traditional mentoring with a focus on virtual/distance mentoring, micro-mentoring, and reverse mentoring. Modern mentoring allows for millennials and younger generations to obtain more knowledge on a wider range of topics, allows mentorship in specialized areas, and creates an overall increase in leadership and happiness within the organization and amongst younger employees.
1. Virtual/Distance Mentoring
Especially in light of the COVID pandemic and increased remote/hybrid working, many firms and companies have switched to virtual mentoring through web platforms like Zoom, WebEx, Google Meet, and Skype. This type of mentorship allows for face-to-face training with employees and allows for screen-sharing (often a vital part of raining).
Interestingly enough, in group trainings, the turnout is often higher when the training is offered on a remote platform. It takes less time out of the day to log in and participate than traditional in-person training sessions. Platforms such as Facebook “Workplace” and Microsoft “Teams” enable the free flow of information outside of e-mail and help connect employees as if they were sitting in the office together.
Micro-mentoring is common in larger organizations where different departments or individuals specialize in certain fields. However, micro-mentoring can be extremely successful in smaller companies where an individual can benefit from the experience and knowledge of various people throughout the company.
Under a micro-mentoring concept, an individual receives individualized, short-term mentoring often focused on a certain concept or task. This results in employees having multiple mentors, such as a mentor in task management, a mentor for networking, and a mentor for leadership and growth within the company. This type of mentoring is very useful, as employees in various roles with specialized skillset can train and mentor other employees.
3. Reverse Mentoring
Reverse mentoring is a newer style of mentoring where newer and often younger employees mentor experienced and often older employees on new technologies, social media, and change in the workforce as more Millennials and Generation Z enter the workforce. This may be especially helpful as companies shift to remote or hybrid workforces and technology is increasing. Many platforms are also moving to cloud based software, and younger generations may have increased knowledge on these types of platforms to assist older generations in evolving.
What Type of Mentoring is Best for My Business?
Not all types of mentoring work for every business, and it is important to think about your specific organization, the types of employees who make up your organization, and the unique quirks your organization may be facing.
Sending out surveys to employees to see what types of mentoring they are looking for, where they want more support from their company, and what the company can do to provide leadership and educational trainings in-house is a great way to start developing your approach to modern day mentoring.
Eliza Steinberg is a Shareholder at Griffiths Law. Her practice is focused exclusively on family law related matters including divorce, allocation of parental rights, post-decree disputes, and child support matters.