Why Mentorship Is More Important Than Ever During A PandemicMentoring Best Practices
When the world at large is experiencing an unprecedented event, it’s understandable why a company might choose to alter its strategies and operations to prioritize the well-being of the organization at large. Global economic collapse, natural disasters, and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic are inherently uncertain in terms of their market impact and require that a company reduces any exposure or risk that isn’t imperative for the survival of the business.
Just like the human body will prioritize blood flow to the most vital organs during traumatic events, successful enterprise companies often cut back on non-essential operations during a crisis. Unfortunately, most organizations aren’t quite as adept as biological systems when it comes to differentiating between the essential and non-essential functions.
A mentorship program, for instance, is often seen as a superfluous function for companies that are firmly established and have some extra resources at their disposal. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Mentorship is a key component of individual and company-wide success, offering employees, management, and executives the chance to grow as professionals. Especially in the post-COVID world, where remote work and distributed organizations are becoming increasingly common practices, having a digital solution for applying your mentorship skills allows you to stay connected with employees in a way that builds skills and intracompany bonds.
Why You Can’t Neglect Mentorship in the Pandemic Era
For many people across the globe, the last year and a half has been one of languishing and frustration. Simply completing all the day’s objectives on time seems to require a herculean effort - not to mention the additional burden of maintaining a work-life balance, feeling engaged socially, and leaving time for personal growth. It’s been a period of prolonged stagnation.
But with the proper leadership in place, this period of uncertainty and rapid change can actually be leveraged to foster improvement throughout your company’s ranks. Maintaining a strong, digitally-accessible mentorship program can help turn this pandemic into a crash course in employee development.
Maintain Employee Relationships
Even during the best of times, there are companies that struggle to form productive, healthy relationships between the executive and managerial class, and the rest of the workforce. There are many reasons for this: inaccessible leadership, low priority on no-goal oriented communications, the cultural schism that exists between these groups, and more. Whatever the cause, there are a host of downstream adverse effects that arise when employees are isolated from their workplace superiors.
Experts find that the quality of the relationship between employees on different levels of the company hierarchy is crucial to the business’s success. Stress has long been known to impair one’s cognitive abilities, and a poor relationship between an employee and their subordinate is a leading cause of workplace stress and burnout. Researchers have found that nearly 75% of surveyed employees say that their immediate superior is the most stressful component of their work. This anxiety is compounded by situations like the pandemic, where direct feedback is more difficult to come by.
By investing in a digital mentorship solution, C-suite executives and management have a platform that allows them to provide a blend of live and asynchronous feedback to employees that tech-enabled interactions provide.
Spark Career Growth
With the jarring impact that the pandemic has had across all industries, it’s easy to see why your employees may be experiencing career stagnation. Creativity, innovation, and advancement are difficult to achieve when one is removed from their normal work environment. In addition to weakening their support networks with leadership, this change also makes it difficult for you to help your employees learn, practice, and integrate the skills necessary to reach the next level in their field. Now the lack of mentorship is directly affecting the pipeline of talent within your business.
During mentorship sessions, you will uncover the specific career aspirations of your team, where they currently stand in terms of their development, and exactly how wide the delta between the two is. After taking this high-level approach, it becomes easier to develop a specific set of steps that will allow the employee to reach the next level of their career. Whether they are directly involved in the growth or just facilitate the process, strong mentors are able to push professionals towards their next learning experience while providing guidance and a safe space for growth.
Protecting Trust in Stressful Times
The pandemic has shown us just how difficult it is to maintain society’s trust during trying times. With federal, state, and local public health messaging seeming to change on a day-to-day basis, it’s no wonder that people begin to lose faith in the institutions around them. This is analogous to the constant changes that businesses have to undertake during a rapid digital transformation. When messaging isn’t clear, employees lose trust, and you lose a crucial organizational connection.
By leveraging mentorship goals through a tech-enabled program, you can keep in touch with all your employees in a streamlined manner. The digital and live capabilities deployed during this style of leadership practice allow you to keep a close eye on your highly stressed employees, ensuring they feel supported by both you and the organization. After all, this impactful relationship with your proteges is about much more than just the transfer of knowledge - you are also sharpening your own mentorship skills throughout the process.
As we move forward from the pandemic and into the era of remote-hybrid work, it is increasingly important to consider how you will foster the growth and wellbeing of your employees. MentorCloud provides business leaders like yourself with the ability to provide mentorship and transfer your skills to the next iteration of your company’s leadership group. For more information on our mentorship program, reach out to us today for a demonstration!