Mentoring relationships are integral to comprehensive employee development programs. The abrupt shift to the virtual environment has caused many organizations to put professional development aside in light of more pressing business concerns. However, now that many organizations are successfully moving forward in this new environment, employee development is more important than ever.
By encouraging mentorships, whether formal or informal, insurers can reap many benefits, such as advancing the effectiveness of their workforces and increasing employee satisfaction. Mentees, their managers, mentors and the overall organization have much to gain.
While mentoring relationships may have previously been built in person, they can easily translate to the remote environment. In a recent article published in Insurance Journal, Phokham O’Connor, talent delivery manager at The Jacobson Group, shared insight on building an effective mentorship program. Her piece, “The Role of Mentorships in Building a Strong Workforce,” discusses the benefits for all involved parties and how to create successful partnerships, as well as how organizations can get started.
A few of her tips for creating effective mentoring programs and relationships include the following:
- Ensure both parties are committed to the process and prioritize regular meetings.
- Set clear expectations around what the mentee aims to gain from the experience.
- Pair mentees with mentors who will provide the most value; for instance, if an individual wants to hone their leadership skills, an effective leader who understands how to build relationships and motivate teams may be an ideal match.
- Determine clear parameters for the relationship including meeting frequency, accountability and timeframes.
- Leverage video as much as possible; set up coffee dates or lunch meetings over video conferencing platforms to recreate the face-to-face experience.
For additional details and best practices for leveraging mentorship programs within your own organization, view the full article. For more insight on virtual leadership development, read our recent white paper, “Reinvigorating Leadership Development Plans for the Virtual Age.”