Learning & Development, Recruiting

Flash Mentoring Creates Strong Onboarding

Gallup estimates that employee turnover can cost companies one-and-a-half to two times an employee’s annual salary—a conservative estimate for replacing the employee who leaves. To combat this employee attrition, many organizations try to implement effective onboarding initiatives.


Shockingly, one statistic shows that 22% of staff turnovers occur in the first 45 days of employment. If companies have a strong onboarding experience, they can potentially reduce this number and save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

To start off strong, companies need to think about what matters to a new employee and develop ways to help the person get acclimated to his or her new job quickly. On top of this, organizations must also consider how to accomplish this in a remote work environment, as so many of us are still working from home because of COVID-19.

Typically, new employees want to know:

  • What they need to do each day to perform their job
  • What is expected of them in terms of their daily work outputs
  • What processes and systems the company has in place to help them achieve their tasks
  • Whom they can go to with questions

Given the remote nature of work these days for most people, it is critical that organizations don’t overlook that last point. There is a need for human interaction and support, especially for new hires.

To that end, a new trend is emerging in the workplace that helps new hires get acclimated quickly—particularly in the age of remote working. It is called flash mentoring. This involves a short-term relationship between a new employee and an established one, which is facilitated online through a mentoring platform.

Quick, Personal Connections Create a Lasting Impact

Flash mentoring allows employees to find one another via mentoring software and subsequently use that software to reach out to a colleague for a quick, targeted relationship that focuses on a specific question or skill-building need.

The idea is to create a network of mentors for your new hires so that they build a support group within your organization, know where they can go for help while getting up to speed on their new jobs, and quickly become an integrated part of the whole. Giving them access to assistance via flash mentoring as part of your onboarding process can help mitigate turnover and create an engaged and happy workforce.

To implement flash mentoring as part of your onboarding process, consider emphasizing one of these goals.

Focus on Job Skills

A new employee may have excellent existing job skills, which is why you hired the person in the first place. However, every organization has its own processes for getting things done or particular software it uses to complete daily tasks. Give new employees access to a flash mentoring relationship so they can ask pertinent questions of an internal expert who can guide them as they learn a specific skill needed to perform their job.

Build Personal Connections

Being the new person at work can be daunting under normal circumstances. Add in the fact that people are working from home and may not be physically present in an office together, and you have a recipe for disengagement if you don’t help people feel seen and connected as soon as they join your company.

As part of your onboarding process, pair your new hire with a buddy for a flash mentoring relationship. This quick-hitting relationship can be an immediate boost for the new employee and help him or her begin to build a network of colleagues to whom the person can reach out as needed. Because these relationships are intended to be brief, you can invite your new hires to create several flash mentoring relationships so their network expands even faster.

Develop a Corporate Culture

How do you want your organization to be perceived by your new hire? Are you a company that has given thought to how you will support and develop the employee over the course of his or her career, from initial hire to mid-career to long-term growth? What type of corporate culture do you want to create?

Flash mentoring relationships can offer your new hires the first tangible example of the type of organizational culture you are building or have built. Show them how you immediately support and value new hires by giving them access to mentors who can guide them on their new journey at your company. This can directly impact how your new employees feel about your company and help you keep employee turnover down.

Don’t let remote work situations derail your efforts for building a strong and supportive corporate culture. Virtual mentoring can give your employees a powerful way to connect with one another for impactful learning and meaningful connections—even when we are all still working from home.

Laura Francis is an Enterprise Success Coach for MentorcliQ, a mentoring software company based in Columbus, Ohio. The proud mom of a child with disabilities, she enjoys writing about the connections she sees in her personal life and professional life. Her articles can be found in Training Journal and Chief Learning Officer magazine, as well as on ATD, Training Industry, and other learning and development websites. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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