Do you have a mentoring program in your organization? Have you found that employees naturally integrate technology into their interactions?
Let’s take a look at some of the ways technology can be used in mentoring programs.
Technology Can Create More Communication Options
There are dozens of means of communication today, many of which can be used to enhance a mentoring relationship. For example, those in the mentoring program can talk more frequently with the use of video calls and other forms of online communication like instant messages and email. This can allow the mentor and mentee to talk more frequently, even if they are not often in the same location.
This can also mean that organizations can expand mentoring programs to include more mentors and mentees who are not located geographically close to one another. Even if the communication does not happen face to face (and instead happens over chat, e-mail, or text, for example), it can still happen often. This ability to communicate from different geographic locations or at differing moments in time can mean the mentoring relationship is much more flexible. This flexibility in turn allows more people to participate in the program.
Mentoring Software Can Improve the Process
Employers can use software to assist in creating a mentoring program. Programs exist today to help employers create good mentoring partnerships among employees. These programs are often called “eMentoring” programs. They’re designed to prompt participants to interact and may include materials that assist in making the mentoring relationship effective.
Separate from the eMentoring options, other HR software can be integrated into mentoring programs as well. For example, if the organization utilizes an HRIS, the employee profiles could be shared between those in mentoring relationships. This could give the individuals a head start in getting to know one another. This could also aid the participants in understanding the background and interests of others in the program.
Using software for mentoring, along with using technology to facilitate communication, can mean that mentoring groups can be formed, which may provide even more benefits beyond a 1:1 mentoring relationship. It can lower the barriers to participation.
Technology an Assist with (or Be the Topic of) Employee Knowledge Transfer
Employees with less experience with new technology may be able to benefit from being in a mentoring relationship with employees who have more experience, which can facilitate knowledge transfer. The mentoring relationship can be used as an informal means of technology training.
Separately, online training can be utilized to help employees understand how to best make use of the mentoring partnership. It can help them to understand the mentor and mentee roles and expectations. Online training in soft skills can also be useful to ensure that mentoring relationships are successful.
Conclusion: Technology Makes Mentoring Programs Easier to Implement
Using technology to boost your mentoring program can mean that the program is more easily used by participants. It can mean they’re able to interact more often, which can bolster the success of the program. By involving more types of communications, there is less pressure for 1:1 meetings—which can mean the employees involved are less likely to get frustrated by lack of availability.
Using technology can also make the program cheaper for the employer to implement, because it means less travel for employees who are not in the same location.
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