Pandemic Blues: The Role of Virtual Mentoring During the COVID-19 CrisisChange Management
There have been several pandemics throughout history. But few have disrupted our lives like the recent Coronavirus. Consequently, we've witnessed several cascading effects, as the Coronavirus continues to rip through the populace and the global economy.
While we have innovated on measures to combat the virus, it is in stark contrast to the past, where the typical response to pandemics was increased sanitation and hygiene.
You may have seen pictures of European plague doctors of the 17th century, wearing beaked headgear when they worked with patients! In present times, we have added social distancing and lockdowns to the mix, but this has affected the economy inversely.
All Work and no Play
One of the far-reaching effects of the lockdown is the loss of employment. It has also forced others to work from home, and according to NordVPN, a virtual private network provider, people working from home log in more than their stipulated office hours. In the US, this is as much as three hours extra.
Other common grievances are weight gain, higher stress, and privacy loss. All of these are affecting mental health among work from home employees. The boundaries between professional and private lives have been erased.
It is here that virtual mentoring can play a vital role in helping employees get back on track, vis-a-vis organizational and personal goals. We will go as far as to say that the pandemic is an unexpected opportunity for companies to reconnect with their employees. And this is also the time when a mentor's caliber will get tested the most.
This is the Time for Mentors to Shine
Uncertain times such as these allow mentors to put their money where their mouth is. Good mentors who show concern for their mentees' mental and physical health will naturally stand out.
We know that mentors who take an active interest in their mentees development can increase their job satisfaction and help build organizational commitment. And engaged mentees report stronger bonds to their organization, have more job satisfaction, and get more support from their organization.
In many cases, good mentorships are life-changing, bolstering the mentees' self-worth and self-identity, enabling them to focus on what's important. The right mentor will help a mentee dispel self-doubt, overcome feelings of inadequacy, and renew their vision.
During this process, mentees are empowered with tools to overcome their problem and work on their strengths.
Go the Distance with Virtual Mentoring
There is sufficient evidence that virtual mentoring gives the same benefits as in-person mentoring. Organizations are waking up to this reality and signing on for the benefits. It means, if you are worried that social distancing is affecting your organization's mentor-mentee connections, the answer is virtual mentoring.
Virtual mentoring offers a new environment in which new behaviors and skills can be modeled and taught. One MBA mentee at Microsoft had this to say about her mentor.
"My mentor made sure she spoke to us (mentees) regularly, offering guidance and support. She showed us how to enjoy the slower pace and encouraged us to set up new routines to regain control in the pandemic environment. Thanks to her, I also changed my perspective on staying in with my parents."
Mentors are also discovering they can learn a lot from their mentees about the latest technologies and virtual working. The process is further strengthened because virtual meetings enable mentees and mentors to see each other's body language and facial expressions.
Bridge the gap with MentorCloud
Thanks to governmental and organizational advisories, we can't do much about social distancing and lockdowns (for the most part). The next best thing is to make the best of what is, instead of what could have been.
Don't put mentoring on the back burner and lose out on the emotional and professional benefits of good mentoring.
Now is the time to leverage virtual mentoring and show concern and empathy to your employees, develop solutions to mitigate their distress, and build talent. Now is also the time to shepherd your organization out of its safe-zone and explore new frontiers.
MentorCloud has been helping organizations discover the benefits of virtual mentoring and dispel myths around it. We welcome you to discover how virtual mentoring can help you and your organization scale new heights and tide over the current pandemic, with flying colors.