It’s easy to overlook mentoring as a necessary part of remote work engagement. Yet studies show that it is one of the best tools to increase engagement and productivity. It is one of, if not the only way to transfer intangible assets to new employees. It provides emotional support, visions for life, and learning motivation. It is undeniable that companies perform better once the mentorship programs work well.
Remote mentoring is huge for both the mentee and mentor as both individuals benefit from increased interaction and team building.
Yet, partnership formation and psychological participation are huge barriers to the effectiveness of any of these types of programs. With LEAD.bot, you will be better able to match employees and managers, new hires and senior employees well.
After that, you’ll be able to take advantage of the best-in-class program that LEAD is. Plan out the mentorship program ahead of time to avoid potential pitfalls like lack of engagement.
How Do You Mentor Employees Virtually?
While many remote employees prefer working from home over commuting to an office, remote workers do suffer from a lack of social connection. Of course, forming a natural social connection is much easier said than done.
Overcoming those already formidable natural barriers to forming connections, is hard virtually. To facilitate connections with employees, try using a mentor bot like LEAD.bot. LEAD forms connections between employees and mentors, letting you focus more on honing your mentorship skills.
How Do I Become A Good Virtual Mentor?
Forming a connection with remote employees (especially those you’ve never seen in person) can be difficult, to say the least. If you’re new to mentoring entirely, then remote mentoring could seem like a daunting task.
The good news is that bots for Microsoft Teams like LEAD.bot make connecting with remote workers easier than ever, letting you focus on remote mentoring best practices.
5 Best Practices For Mentoring Remote Employees
The potential list of best practices for mentoring remote employees could be nearly infinite as different managers find success using a variety of tactics. However, we’ve found that these five best practices are great for any remote mentors looking to improve their skills.
Set Clear Goals
Whether you’re continuing to mentor an employee you’ve known for a while or just starting out with a new hire, you should begin by setting clear goals. The goals of the mentorship will vary based on:
- The employee’s personality
- The employee’s skill level
- Long-term goals for the organization
- The relationship between you and the employee
The easiest way to approach goal-setting is by asking the employee what their long-term career goals are. There’s a good chance that your company can help the employee learn new skills and guide them down their desired career path. As a mentor, it’s your job to help make this a reality.
Next, consider some short-term goals that:
- Help the employee perform their current role better
- Prepare the employee for career growth
Note that goals change over time, so be sure to regularly check in with your mentee and adjust goals as necessary.
Know How To Start The Conversation
Organic conversations are much harder to come by when you work remotely. As a manager and mentor, you should try to start the conversation with mentees and other employees.
If you don’t know where to start, LEAD.bot can connect you with an employee based on different factors, so there should be no shortage of conversation starters. This also saves you time and energy that might have been spent researching different employees or trying to develop natural conversations that just don’t work.
Every good working relationship requires open communication in a professional manner. As a mentor, you should make it clear from the get-go that the mentee should feel free to voice their opinions, concerns, and ideas freely.
One unfortunate side effect of remote work is that remote employees tend to work more than they did in the office. While this is great for productivity, the added work and blurred work-life balance can become stressful for workers.
Let your mentee know that they should reach out if they feel overworked, overburdened, or stressed with their current workload. Remember, there’s no other way to learn about problems that remote workers are experiencing than through open communication.
Set Regular Check-Ins When Not Scheduled, Too
Employees may prefer fewer meetings each week, but your remote mentorship should entail at least one weekly check-in. These meetings don’t have to have an agenda, and sometimes you and the mentee may not even discuss work — great for increasing employee engagement.
Aside from scheduled meetings, send your mentee messages via email or Teams to check in and see how they’re doing. You don’t want to seem overbearing, so try to reach out sporadically. This varies from person to person, so be sure to rely on your instincts as a manager.
Your mentee may also benefit from quick virtual coffee breaks with other employees. Not only does virtual coffee through LEAD.bot introduce employees to each other, but it can lead to fresh ideas and cross-team synergy.
Hold Each Other Accountable
The mentor-mentee relationship should benefit both workers, so that means holding each other accountable to tasks and requirements.
The mentor should be prepared to:
- Follow-up on tasks assigned to the mentee
- Regularly check-in on the mentee
- Make time to help the mentee when necessary
The remote mentorship program won’t work if the mentor isn’t holding up their end of the bargain. Consider what you would want and expect from a remote mentor if you had one.
Build Better Connections Through LEAD.bot
Creating a thriving virtual mentorship program doesn’t need to be a stressful process. Tools like LEAD.bot make connecting employees easier than ever, facilitating many of the best practices for virtual mentoring.
Of course, LEAD.bot can’t make the mentor-mentee relationship work, and any good virtual mentor needs to step up and do more than what’s normally required.