Mentoring is a vital tool for employers to maximise and nourish their talent in an increasingly digital world. But it can be tricky to get right, and programmes often fail. Here we share four key elements for success in virtual mentoring from our team of behavioural science experts, that allow mentoring programmes to support talent of all backgrounds to thrive.
Why is virtual mentoring important?
Mentoring both nurtures talent and enables employers to effectively onboard and retain talent.
And it’s important to employees too. By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce, and 79% of them see mentoring as crucial to career success.
With remote working here to stay, it’s also vital to create a sense of belonging for employees in the absence of everyday contact. Virtual mentoring can do just that.
Why do mentoring programmes fail?
There are three main factors that lead to failed mentoring programmes:
- Lack of organisational commitment
- Lack of resource to manually deliver the programme
- Lack of clarity around expectations, for both mentors and mentees.
But get mentoring right, and the results are invaluable. Nearly 90% of employees who have been mentored go on to mentor others, creating a self-reinforcing culture of talent development.
Four keys to virtual mentoring success
Behavioural science, combined with our team’s expertise in running digital mentoring programmes, demonstrates there are four key elements in order to deliver a successful mentoring programme:
- Matching. If employees identify with others in their organisation, they feel included, which supports their progression. This is particularly true for underrepresented talent. Matching employees with peer mentors based on personality, interests and demographics helps to promote this sense of belonging. Whilst this matching is important, providing mentees to also interact with their mentors of choice is also a key predictor in mentoring success.
- Preparation. It’s important to start with a clear, well-communicated plan. When mentees and mentors understand expectations and roles within their programme, relationships are much more successful.
- Interaction. Setting goals is vital. It allows both parties to outline what a successful outcome looks like, and empowers employees to drive their own development. This goal setting will also be key in assessing the overall success of the programme, for example of the progression of employees.
- Evaluation. To deliver success, it’s essential to measure performance. Employees should be given plenty of chances to feedback throughout the programme, plus tracking engagement trends of mentees is also key. Employers can assess this against the goals set: how is the programme positively impacting employees’ career progression and skills?
Connectr revolutionises mentoring
Our digital employee engagement platform helps organisations deliver success in all of these areas. It revolutionises mentoring programmes to ensure talent from all backgrounds are able to thrive at work, feel like they belong, and drive their own progression and development.
Find out more about how Connectr can transform your virtual mentoring strategy.