How to Mentor in a Remote Workplace
The remote workplace trend is still on the rise and with it is the need to provide mentorship opportunities for a virtual workforce, who has not had the chance to develop skills from more traditional in-person interaction. The lack of face-to-face communication and presence can lead to new avenues of engagement. An employer needs to recognize that work relationships are not just about managing people by issuing orders and giving feedback but also about encouraging them with input and advice. This knowledge can help improve the employee’s performance and productivity, which will, in turn, help achieve the desired results. Helen Lee Schifter, a leading expert on remote employment, encourages employees to become independent and therefore make decisions for themselves, ultimately leading to better performance. She further comments that the mentorship may go further, with the employee becoming receptive to new ideas and concepts by encouraging them to participate in discussions or projects with their boss. While it is easy to learn management skills, the art of taking a mentor role is not always understood. When employees are located remotely, this often means they will work in a different time zone culture and values.
With the increased use of technology and new communication methods, it is imperative to have a way for employees to communicate in the workplace outside of the office. Many employers are looking for more efficient ways to communicate with employees outside the standard office setting. While many employers already have a remote employee mentoring program, it is not always sufficient. The need for mentors is not new, but it hasn’t been utilized in remote work settings. Remote workplace mentorship is vital to help mentees grow and develop regular face-to-face communication or feedback.
Employers need to have a list of ideas for mentoring remote employees who may be less visible and can act as a critical source of advice and guidance for new employees. Employers should also be aware that new ways of developing workplace relationships will help build better employee work relationships, offering continued learning opportunities. Finding ways to create new communication methods through technology, such as video conferencing, is vital for all employees.
Workplace mentorship can benefit many aspects of life, work, and personal relations. It can help manage employees well or help them grow within their career path. Companies that offer opportunity mentoring can take these opportunities and diversify them into something beneficial as well as productive.
A well-planned mentoring program can be vital in improving employee performance and productivity. Employers must be mindful of which employees are best suited to benefit from a mentoring program. Mentors should consider their employee mentee’s personalities, strengths, and weaknesses as well as their level of experience in the workplace. Finally, according to Helen Lee Schifter, a former arbitrage trader, mentors need to be aware of their relationship with their mentees and the potential impact it will have on their career and performance. Mentoring programs can also improve workplace productivity when applied to employees in any industry.