Onboarding While Out Of The Office Can Be a Challenge. A Good Mentor Can Help.
Mentoring new hires is a critical part of the onboarding process for all top tech companies. A good mentor to a new tech employee will show them the ropes, introduce them to their colleagues, and provide a source of other information that can help them settle into their role. But a mentoring relationship is also a personal one. And if we’ve all learned anything over the course of working remotely over the last two years, it’s that interacting through a laptop screen is no substitute for a real, in-person connection.
When a new hire can’t knock on the door of their mentor’s office, walk through the halls with them, or meet for lunch, it can be difficult for the newbie to establish a relationship with their mentor. Conversely, mentors may find it hard to develop and implement an effective mentoring program for someone they’ve never been in the same room with.
But mentoring new hires in a remote workplace isn’t impossible. It just requires thoughtful planning and the same kind of adjustments and accommodations that we’ve had to make while working with current colleagues who may be thousands of miles away.
Why Is Mentoring New Hires In a Remote Workplace So Important?
The great thing about mentoring new hires is that it provides tangible benefits for the mentor and the company as well as the new tech employee.
For the new hire, a well-designed mentoring program will:
- Immediately make them feel like part of the team
- Increase their self-confidence in their ability to fulfill their new role
- Help them learn needed skills
- Give them insights into the company culture
- Make them feel less isolated from their colleagues and the company
For the IT company, a remote mentoring program can lead to:
- Quicker adoption of company culture
- Improved employee retention
- Increased employee loyalty
- Improved productivity
- Protection of recruiting investments
- Improved employee engagement
Elements of a Successful Remote New Hire Mentoring Program
As you develop your plan for onboarding and mentoring new hires remotely, keep these concepts in mind.
Establish Your Onboarding Objectives
Outline the specific goals of your company’s new hire mentoring program. What do you want to accomplish and what do you want the mentee to come away with? Knowing where you want to end up should determine how you go about getting there.
Identify The Right Mentors In Your Organization
A mentor who has neither the inclination nor skill set to be an effective and engaging mentor will wind up doing more harm than good, giving the new hire a lousy impression and dampening their enthusiasm. Identify the employees who will welcome the opportunity to mentor a new colleague and who either have a natural ability to connect and teach or are willing to develop those qualities.
Be Thoughtful In Mentor Matching
As noted, the best mentor-mentee relationships are personal as well as professional connections. While you don’t need to find pairs that are likely to become BFFs, you should consider the parties’ personalities, job responsibilities, and interests so that they are more likely to develop a productive dynamic.
Provide Structure And Accountability
Just connecting a new hire with a mentor and then leaving them to their own devices is not an effective mentoring program. Rather, establish a specific program with benchmarks, processes, and goals that the pair can track. Have a standardized way for the company to monitor progress and provide support and guidance if a mentoring team seems to be adrift or off-track.
Make Communication Easy, Open, And Honest
Most importantly, mentoring new hires in a remote workplace requires open and honest communication. The foundation of a successful mentoring relationship starts with a mentor who makes themself available or set aside specific, regular times to meet virtually with the new tech hire. Make clear what the preferred method of communication is, whether Zoom, Slack, phone, email, or another channel. New hires should feel comfortable asking their mentors questions that they may be embarrassed to ask other tech employees and be able to speak freely about any concerns they have.
Contact GTN Technical Staffing Today
Of course, a good mentoring program for new hires is only effective when you have quality new hires to mentor. When the top technology companies need top talent who possess the IT skills in demand this year and in the years that follow, they turn to GTN Technical Staffing. Find out for yourself why GTN has proven to be the Go-To Network for Fortune 2000 companies worldwide.