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Everything you need to know about the #powerofmentoring, powered by MentorCloud. 

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Success Through Balance: Mentoring Your Workforce

It goes without saying that employees are valuable assets to an organization. They are an overwhelmingly significant factor in its overall success. And to be a truly successful company with a progressive culture that draws intelligent and motivated employees, you need to have a diverse workforce—not just diverse in culture, but also in perspective, work habits, social skills, and experiences.

With a diverse workforce of individuals all working together toward a common goal, it is inevitable that some of them will butt heads at some point along the way. It could be a result of behavioral issues, ego clashes, concerns about job security, or top-level employees abusing their power. Even getting employees to collaborate in groups could lead to problems with productivity and levels of contribution.

These are just a few examples, but the truth is, friction could arise due to of any number of reasons, and if left unchecked, it could spiral out of control and topple an organization from the inside out. So while it is important to foster a culture of diversity within you workforce, it is absolutely essential that you also create an environment of balance that encourages employees to work on their differences and find a common ground from which to build from.

It’s not just small organizations that are challenged by workforce imbalance, but large and multinational organizations as well. No matter what the size of your organization is, employing experienced mentors, as well as the HR department, in the job of creating balance in your workforce is key to the success of your company.

How do mentors go about creating balance? Mentors are seasoned and experienced professionals with many years of professional work behind them. They’ve worked in strained or overly competitive environments at some stage in their careers, and they’ve learned, perhaps with the help of a mentor of their own, how to adjust and build the skills necessary to collaborate with individuals who think and work differently from them. They’ve learned the value in putting their differences to work and the advantage of mixing ideas and skills to yield a more robust result.

These are the skills and expertise that mentors have to offer toward creating a balanced workforce. Through the guidance of mentors, employees have the opportunity to learn how to manage conflict, to put aside ego, and to be open to different ways of thinking and working. Employees learn how to collaborate and work toward a common goal.

While it may be true that perfection can never be attained (and probably shouldn’t even be the goal), a workforce that fosters diversity and balance goes a long way toward achieving perfection. A balanced workforce is guaranteed to yield better performance, productivity, and efficiency, not to mention employee retention. Mentors are part of that balance, offering their knowledge and guidance as groundwork to employees who would otherwise have to learn on their own. 

If you'd like to learn more ways in which mentoring can foster a balanced workforce, Contact MentorCloud. We can help you find solutions to finding new and novel ways to improve imbalances in your workplace. 

If this post was valuable to you, please feel free to share it across your social media channels. Also, give us your thoughts on best practices and/or your experiences with mentoring. Thank you for reading, and check back in every Monday and Thursday for original posts on the #powerofmentoring!

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MentorCloud Announces Ver. 2.0 – Next Generation Online Mentoring Platform

Receives funding from strategic investors

Friday, January 16, 2015

San Francisco, Calif. – MentorCloud, the leader in online mentoring, today announced that it has launched its version 2.0 next-generation knowledge sharing and social mentoring platform. The company also announced strategic investment from the Silicon Valley Growth Syndicate fund.

“MentorCloud is by far the best online mentoring platform that we had seen,” said Mr. Will Bunker, Founder of Match.com and recent investor. “Our fund invested in MentorCloud after reviewing the version 2.0 platform and we are excited about new customers that have signed on.”

Designed with the busy user in mind, the Version 2.0 platform has been designed to be tremendously user friendly, highly intuitive and offers exceptional performance in a few clicks.

The new features include: 

  • A library of insights to capture the collective wisdom of mentors and experts in an organization
  • Roundtables for knowledge-sharing and mentoring in groups (1-to-many)
  • Mentorships with ability for mentors and mentees to track tasks, share notes and even schedule meetings.

“We wanted the MentorCloud online platform to be easy to use across all devices including mobile phones, tablets and laptops.” Said Sri Peruvemba, CMO of MentorCloud. “Our redesigned Ver. 2.0 platform is aimed at turning organizations into vibrant network of sharers and learners, boosting productivity, rapid talent development and most importantly, knowledge retention.”

This new product release is timed to celebrate the power of mentorship during January, designated as the National Mentoring Month in the U.S.

Supporting Resources

For more information, check out our website at www.MentorCloud.com, or reach us on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.

About MentorCloud®

MentorCloud is a Global Mentoring Network. Our cloud-based platform connects employees and entrepreneurs with relevant subject-matter experts and mentors anywhere within the organization(s) they belong to. Our vision is 'Mentoring Beyond Borders,' and organizations on our global network include Stanford GSB, TiE, Landolakes IDD, National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), GW Law School, TrepCamp Mexico, Yunus&Youth, University of the Witwatersrand (SA), GSI Accelerator (Portuguese speaking countries) and more. 

Please visit MentorCloud.com for more details. Schedule a conversation and demo with us today or drop us an email if you are looking to unleash the power of your human capital and increase productivity, retention, and engagement in your organization.

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Today (Jan. 15) is Thank Your Mentor Day!

Today is Thank Your Mentor Day. We are eternally grateful to all of the mentors who made us who we are today, and we hope our own mentorship has helped someone accelerate their professional and personal goals as well. 

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Trust and Time: Building Successful Mentorships

There’s a quote that reads, “Love without trust is like a river without water.”

One could alter this quote to read that mentoring without trust is like a river without water. Trust is a fundamental building block in the foundation of any relationship, and a relationship between a mentor and mentee is no exception. Along with trust, time is also a necessary and important factor in building a strong mentoring relationship. Time and trust are two sides of the same equation, since the right amount of time invested in the relationship is what allows trust to build and strengthen.

The goal of mentoring is to provide guidance and support to an aspiring mentee. It takes time to establish a collaborative relationship where both mentor and mentee can learn from each other and devise a strategic plan for reaching desired goals. And it takes trust to work together and tackle the challenges that most aspiring business professionals face, like overcoming fears, building confidence, and taking risks. 

These two themes, time and trust, are repeated again and again in relation to successful mentoring relationships. Their value cannot be overstated. To ensure that you are giving them the right attention, here are some tips on how to incorporate time and trust into your mentoring relationships:

Time: Time is a precious resource that once lost cannot be regained. Respect mentees by respecting their time.

  • Mentors should administer their programs in a systematic manner that makes the best use of their mentees’ time.
  • Allow sufficient time at the start of every mentoring relationship. Give the mentee time to open up and drop their shyness and inhibitions. Allow them time to get to know you and feel comfortable sharing their fears and goals with you.
  • Let mentees know that their time is important to you by being consistent with scheduling meetings and discussions.
  • Convey the message that your time is dedicated to them by focusing on progress and results.

Trust: As a mentor, it’s your fundamental goal to build trust with your mentees. Without trust, the mentor-mentee relationship will go nowhere.

  • Guarantee confidentiality from the get-go. Assure your mentee that your exchanges are secure and confidential, and that nothing will be shared outside the relationship.
  • Be honest and transparent with your mentee. Don’t be afraid to get personal. Share your career story and the personal journey that got you to where you are.
  • Eliminate fear and intimidation by answering their questions and encouraging them to ask more.
  • Be reliable. Show up for each and every scheduled meeting and be available for your mentee when they need you.

Time builds trust, and trust opens doors to honest and transparent communication. Without these important elements, a mentoring relationship is doomed to fail. Giving each the focus they deserve will earn you the results you strive for in a successful mentorship.  

Contact MentorCloud to learn more tips and techniques for strengthening your mentoring relationships, 

If this post was valuable to you, please feel free to share it across your social media channels. Also, give us your thoughts on best practices and/or your experiences with mentoring. Thank you for reading, and check back in every Monday and Thursday for original posts on the #powerofmentoring!

  

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Championing Diversity Through Mentoring

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Championing Diversity Through Mentoring

Today’s business world is a much smaller place than it used to be. Globalization and technology have made it possible to interact with professionals and experts across the world. There are now countless opportunities for individuals from different spheres of life to come forward and obtain employment in mainstream organizations. As a result, there is a high degree of diversity in today’s workforce, with different groups of people from various ethnic and social backgrounds working alongside one another.

This diversity has created a melting pot of knowledge and skills just waiting to be shared and developed through mentoring. As we explained in our previous blog post, “Changing Traditions: The Many Benefits of E-Mentoring,” aspiring professionals are no longer limited by time or geographical constraints. Add to that the benefits of diversity in the workforce, and the opportunities for career development are endless.

Along with the many benefits, there are some inevitable challenges that come with mixing employees from different cultures, backgrounds, and disciplines. Some of these might include subtle racial profiling, favoritism, groupism, and even verbal harassment. These problems, if not addressed thoroughly and early on, will ultimately get out of hand and may lead to employees leaving the company, either due to termination or an unhappy and mistreated employee leaving of his/her own accord. This sends promising individuals away and forces the company to assign valuable resources to the time-consuming process of recruiting and hiring new talent.

A strong mentoring program is not only a valuable tool to facilitate the transferring of knowledge within a diverse workforce, but also a means to helping that workforce to develop cultural and ethnic acceptance. A mentor can break communication barriers and moderate conflicts that arise between individuals. Besides providing professional guidance and assisting in career development, a mentor’s role is also to enhance interpersonal relationships and to meet the needs of employees at a humane level.

One method a mentor might use to bring together a diverse workforce is conducting group meetings. The purpose of these meetings could vary, but some of the more obvious ones would be to:

  • Create harmony among various ethnic groups.
  • Highlight the beauty of different cultures and encourage each other to respect and welcome their differences.
  • Remove communication barriers through group activities.
  • Instill confidence in employees to ask questions, despite language challenges.
  • Build solid professional relationships by encouraging employees to share skills with one another.
  • Address and eliminating any negativity or bias that may arise.
  • Constantly reinforce positive attitudes and a spirit of unity.

If your organization champions diversity and wants to boost the development—both career and personal—of its workforce, then you should consider incorporating mentoring into your business plan. Your employees will be thrilled at the opportunity to access skills and expertise on a global level, and learning from experts who come from different cultures will only serve to further enhance their development.

Creating a mentoring environment within a diverse workforce is an important step towards attaining unity, creating a positive, open atmosphere, building better interpersonal relationships, and retaining employees. Contact MentorCloud learn more about how to get started. 

If this post was valuable to you, please feel free to share it across your social media channels. Also, give us your thoughts on best practices and/or your experiences with mentoring. Thank you for reading, and check back in every Monday and Thursday for original posts on the #powerofmentoring!

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Changing Traditions: The Many Benefits of E-mentoring

One prominent feature of the changing face of mentoring is the method by which a mentorship is conducted. In the past, mentorships were generally conducted face-to-face, through one-on-one meetings and scheduled sessions. That scenario is no longer necessary, or even preferred, in today’s busy and versatile business world. Today’s tech savvy and mobile business professionals don’t have the time to dedicate to regular, on-site meetings that take place in a particular location. Instead, many of these promising individuals go without the guidance and support they need to help them reach their goals and succeed in their careers. E-mentoring is one way (solution) to bridge the gap between need and availability.

E-mentoring offers the convenience and accessibility that traditional mentoring lacks. It’s a sensible alternative when physical presence is not possible, when there is a group of individuals that need mentoring, or to gain access to a cache of expert mentors based outside your physical location. E-mentoring is your conduit to knowledge and expertise around the world. So what is significant about e-mentoring?

First, let’s take a moment to understand exactly what e-mentoring is:

E-mentoring is a method of mentoring that is not based on physical location or face-to-face interactions. Interactions are conducted through an online platform, through email, video conferencing, and/or over the telephone. E-mentoring is a mentoring tool that is frequently used in education, group mentoring, small-scale companies, and for senior management.

The significant benefits of E-mentoring have made it a popular discussion topic in professional groups across the globe. Those benefits include:

  • No restrictions: E-mentoring is about accessibility and flexibility. Designed to be incorporated into a busy schedule, e-mentoring is meant to complement the many responsibilities today’s business professionals take on, and to extend its benefits despite the time-crunch. Physical location does not factor in to e-mentoring, and so does not restrict its functionality.
  • Honesty and clarity: E-mentoring allows mentors and mentees time to think and process new information. Compared to traditional mentoring, which takes place under the pressure of face-to-face meetings, e-mentoring allows room to thoughtfully prepare questions and construct replies. Communication is unhindered by nerves, awkwardness, or social restraints. Interactions are unhurried and flexible. This encourages honest communication and clarity in scope. What’s more, e-mentoring by nature produces a physical record of activity and communications that can be referred to later on. All of these features allow e-mentoring to create an environment of honesty and authenticity.
  • Alternate method: Rather than bypassing the many advantages that mentoring can provide, e-mentoring offers an alternative to the labor-intensive and time consuming process that traditional mentoring can present. It is a way to gain valuable knowledge and skills, despite the distance, place, and time barriers that many business professionals face.
  • Flexibility in scope: E-mentorships move and grow with the participants. Because it is not limited to place and time, e-mentoring allows mentors and mentees to make connections across the world, rather than their own backyard. Participants have access to varying viewpoints, expertise, and skill sets. The mentoring environment is fluid, allowing participants to change the method of communication and mentoring strategy as needed. Interactions take place frequently and easily, at the click of a few buttons.  

With its many benefits, e-mentoring is a natural alternative to traditional mentoring. Even so, individuals are not limited to a strictly e-mentoring or traditional mentorship. There is plenty of grey area waiting to be filled with creative and flexible methods of mentoring. You might conduct communication strictly over the Internet, or you might supplement online interactions with occasional video or phone conferences. You might even combine these e-mentoring methods with traditional mentoring methods, such as occasional face-to-face meetings. The point is that e-mentoring offers alternatives and flexibility. With e-mentoring so readily available and accessible, there is no reason why anyone has to bypass the benefits and career advantages of a successful mentorship.

Are you looking to boost your workforce by incorporating e-mentoring into your organization? Contact MentorCloud to learn more about how it can work for you.   

If this post was valuable to you, please feel free to share it across your social media channels. Also, give us your thoughts on best practices and/or your experiences with mentoring. Thank you for reading, and check back in every Monday and Thursday for original posts on the #powerofmentoring!

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