Here are a few of my thoughts I talked about in regards to implementing an eMentoring program at work for staff support and development.
What is eMentoring?
We know support in the workplace increases staff recrutiment and retension. We also know mentoring is an effective support mechanism which increases staff job satisfaction and reduces workplace stress and burn out. However, geographical and professional isolation can make it difficult to access a mentor, let alone an appropriate mentor.
This is where eMentoring comes into its own. eMentoring is mentoring using online communication tools ranging from email, text messaging, web conferencing and web cam.
What are the advantages of eMentoring?
eMentoring allows you to access a wider range of people to be a mentor, making it easier for a mentor to meet the specific needs of a mentee. It is especially useful for people who are isolated and cannot access traditional face-to-face ementoring or professional development activitieis.
What are the issues you need to address in an eMentoring program?
- Staff training - use of technology, how to conduct themselves in a mentoring relationship, how to communicate in a non face-to-face environment.
- Confidentiality in the online environment and professional use of online resources.
- Support of eMentoring program by employers and the rest of the staff.
- Support of the participants in the program.
- Support of technology by IT staff eg sorting firewalls so that staff can access technologies such as Skype.
A poorly designed and implemented eMentoring programme is worse than having no eMentoring program at all.
Have you had any experience of eMentoring, in a formal program or informal relationship? What were the highlights of the relationship and what didn't work so well?