With the shift to remote work no longer reserved for the big, trendy or strictly tech companies, it’s time employers and managers reskill.
With the shift to remote work no longer reserved for the big, trendy or strictly tech companies, it’s time employers and managers reskill. Learning to help young employees succeed remotely requires both the adaptation of your current processes and the implementation of new ones.
Mentorship is important for young employees either new to the workforce entirely or new to your company, who will primarily learn by observing and then participating in experiences. Mentoring employees has obvious value for the employer:
- Developing skills important to the company
- Training employees according to the policies in the workplace
- Skilling the next generation of workers in the company
- Helping to retain talent.
For employees, the importance of mentorship opportunities is significant. As this is the next informal step in their education, it’s reported that as many as two-thirds of surveyed millennials would actually take a pay cut to work at a company with good mentorship programs.
Mentoring young employees to succeed remotely
To attract and retain talent as well as ensure the success of your protégé, you will need to make a few tweaks to your mentorship opportunities to ensure this translates to the realities of remote working.
Here are our tips to help your young employees succeed remotely:
Create a company handbook and mentor program
If this isn’t something you had before you moved to remote working, it is definitely something you need to invest in now. Your employees should feel empowered to troubleshoot issues and access clear instructions if for some reason you are not immediately available. It’s a good idea to include a set session to work through the handbook and program together during onboarding.
Increase your availability
Feeling valued and supported is key to young people thriving in your organisation. A lot of this stems from having access to you to ask questions or to soundboard ideas. Beyond scheduling more time in your weekly diary for one-to-ones and phone calls as needed, it’s a good idea to use a communication platform, such as Slack. At a minimum, create three channels that will give your employees options should you not be available:
- Immediate department (#Admin)
- Wider teams (#TalentSpecialists)
- A whole company (#VP)
Accelerate learning with online short courses
With the plethora of short-course training programs online, why not make use of them and incorporate them into your program? A membership with a site like Skillshare could save you time in place of developing presentations to give to your employees, and are often more interactive.
After the employee has completed the training, ensure they are working across a project where their relevant training will be useful. This will ensure that there is a use case in their day-to-day work and accelerate their mastery of the skill.
Communicate daily updates and accomplishments
Keep communication regular and positive. Your emails, online team meetings or phone calls will be used in place of office chatter, so the more open communication, the better. This will also help to drive employee engagement, on the whole, up. An American survey in April 2020 found that young workers in particular (81 per cent) felt less connected to the office and had less knowledge about what was happening in their company.
- Company initiatives (charities, recycling etc)
- How national or international events affect the company (such as COVID-19 or law changes)
- Policy changes
- Staff announcements (work anniversaries, new staff, maternity leave)
- Staff accomplishments
- Monthly reports