E-mentoring is constantly gaining popularity in educational and professional settings. Traditionally formal mentoring programmes, pair-up participants with highly skilled individuals who provide one-on-one interactions, guidance, support and often might result to a stronger bond like friendship.
A mentoring relationship focuses on establishing a mutually beneficial partnership in order to achieve specific goals. A mentor and a mentee are the two particles that form that relationship and the quality of their interaction and transference is the backbone of any mentoring program.
As technology has advanced so greatly past few decades, so has the way workplace mentoring programmes operate nowadays. Traditionally mentorship was conducted in face-to-face interactions, however technology has alter the way we work, communicate, connect and mentor.
Electronic mentoring or “e-mentoring” is the merging of traditional one-on-one mentoring with the digital means and often can be time-saving and convenient especially to individuals with busy schedules and limited time availability. There are many forms of e-mentoring and can be found in group or one-on-one dynamics. E-mentoring potentially can provide with more ease the protégé with several mentor from who they may choose or decide to interact with more than just one.
Organizations and especially multinational corporations with large, international, global presence are utilizing fitting software and communication tools to implement distance mentorship programmes. In the modern workplace there are available many technologies that can be incorporate to achieve an e-mentoring interaction like emails, specialized mentoring software and other communication apps for computer or smartphone use.
Technology gives the professionals the advantage of connecting with highly skilled mentors from anywhere in the world at any time. Moreover, these e-mentorship programmes give the opportunity to new or inexperienced professionals to develop a mentoring relationship with a wider pool of possible mentors that might not be available in their geographic area.
E-mentoring programmes nowadays, often rely on web-based solutions since online software allows both parties (mentors and mentees) to interact in a secure online space whereas they can communicate efficiently. Moreover, for organisations and company settings, e-mentoring is an efficient method to enforce distance training and further personal and professional development. Thus, e-mentoring can easily suit a variety of professionals regardless their role, age or geographical location.
e-Mentoring List of Benefits:
- You can communicate anytime and from any place in the world
- Access to a larger pool of mentors
- Improves matching criteria. Access to a larger variety of people means higher chances to find a more suitable match.
- Exposure and familiarization with new cultures and ideas, further promotes the notions of inclusion and diversity in the workplace, creative and innovative thinking and further development.
- Select from a variety of technology options to facilitate communications (email, phone, video chat).
- Asynchronous communication such as email or text, it gives you time and space to reflect between your video or phone call chats.
- Having the option to communicate with multiple ways, it leads to a greater sense of engagement and connection
Please find below a list of e-mentoring tools that can help you enrich your repertoire with creative, fun and interactive activities:
- List of Online Mentoring Platforms with relevant information and contact details: https://www.growthmentor.com/blog/online-mentoring-platforms-software/
- Online Youth Mentoring Programmes and Support: https://youthassistingyouth.com/activities/virtual-programs/
- Kahoot is a popular platform you can use for interactive games and timed polls for competing with others: https://kahoot.it/
- Dialup is an app that connects people into calls for various subjects (like arts, books, movies, emotional support in particular topics). To use you can download the app, register and choose the type of chat you want to participate in and the chat will connect you with someone.
- Skype together on a video call. Skype also has the function “share screen” so you will be able to show to each other information and discuss on those topics.
- Movie club. Set as your task to watch a specific movie (doesn’t have to be together). Meet at some point during the week after watching that movie and talk about the movie, the characters, what would you have done in their situation? Any valuable information and examples you could apply in your life/work?
- Moodboard. Create a moodboard (what makes you happy, what is important to you, goals, aspirations) and share with each other. This will help you to clarify your goals and aspirations and will give the mentor more insights on how to support you to this journey.
- Virtual Museum Tours. Go together on virtual tours of museums tours which you can find online. Visit famous landmarks and explore new interesting places. Mentors could also assign to the mentees challenges and/or questions to answer.