The way we work has been flipped on its head in recent years. Following the pandemic, hybrid working models have become the predominant way of managing offices.
In fact, some have predicted that 39% of workers will undertake hybrid roles by the end of 2023. It has its advantages and disadvantages, but as employers, it’s important that to make the effort to make sure your mentoring program is accessible to your people, wherever they are working.
In this article, we’ll address 5 ways that mentoring can work for hybrid workers so you can make the most out of mentoring.
What is a hybrid job?
A hybrid role is a job where an employee is able to work both from home and in person. The ratio of in-person to remote days is often subject to the preferences of the employee, and the needs of the organisation, but a hybrid model normally follows a 2-3 split between office and home working.
Like many organisation-based decisions, hybrid working is a mixed bag for business leaders. Whether it works for your business is down to the nature of the work and whether you need to meet in-person to work effectively. As well as how well you’ve been able to pivot your working model to support remote working.
What are the advantages of hybrid work?
There are many advantages to hybrid working, including:
- More autonomy and flexibility
- Better work-life balance
- Leading to better retention and productivity
- Increased morale in the workplace
- Reduced travel costs and better financial wellbeing
For the right person, hybrid working can be a great thing. It allows people that live further away from your office to work for you and can be a fantastic way to support employees that have caring responsibilities or other needs.
For many, the switch to remote working in 2020 has changed the way they view work completely – making hybrid working a must-have for forward-thinking businesses. In fact, it’s now something that Gen-Z expect from employers.
📖 Find out more about attracting and retaining Gen Z employees here 📖
What are the disadvantages of hybrid work?
OK, so there are always downsides. While many people love working hybrid – there are always some people or organisations that it won’t work for.
If leaders don’t make the mental switch to embracing hybrid working, there can be issues. For example, a culture of presenteeism may present itself. Meaning people that are able to be in the office more are seen more favourably.
On top of this, more channels are needed to keep workers aligned, communicating and collaborating when working remotely. This requires more effort and processes in place to ensure people working from home still feel included in workplace culture.
How can mentoring support people in hybrid jobs?
We know the benefits of mentoring for career development, supporting mental health and breaking down company siloes – but did you know that hybrid and remote teams can still enjoy these benefits?
Mentoring is useful for people in hybrid jobs because it maintains that level of communication and connection to employees, increases motivation and opens up networks, even from home.
Also, mentoring provides a consistent, structured framework that will improve the employee’s ability to hit important milestones. Not to mention the levels of personal development and professional enhancement that mentoring builds in and of itself, hybrid, remote, or in-house which can lead to higher employee retention rates.
📖 Find out more about using virtual mentoring to support remote teams here 📖
5 tips for making mentoring work for a hybrid role
1. Invest in mentoring software
Mentoring software makes virtual mentoring programmes a whole lot easier to manage. In one intuitive platform you can match and meet with people in-person and virtually.
And with software like Guider, it’s simple to switch between the 2 without losing momentum. Our in-built video meeting tech means you don’t need to leave the platform to benefit from mentoring.
📖 Find out more about how Guider works for hybrid working 📖
2. Make virtual introductions
It’s important to make sure mentoring in a hybrid environment doesn’t become siloed. A great benefit of mentoring is that mentors can introduce their mentees to their networks and make connections that otherwise wouldn’t happen.
To make sure this keeps happening in hybrid mentoring, makes sure your mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet in person, at networking events or to make introductions virtually to relevant people.
3. Be flexible
As the hybrid role is a flexible one, so too should hybrid mentoring. To be clear, just because hybrid working involves remote work, that doesn’t mean the entire experience should be.
It is important to meet up in person when possible, which is important for establishing a deeper relationship that is ultimately more fruitful for the mentee. Why not meet for coffee once a month to break up the number of virtual sessions?
4. Stay focused
The prime intention of mentoring is to support, help and gain an advantage for the mentee in one way or another. Make sure that whether your mentoring sessions are in person or virtual, you’re keeping track of your goals and progress. This way, the mentee will benefit greatly from the experience, and more so than in an office-based environment.
5. Be inclusive and enjoy the process!
Mentoring is a great opportunity for companies to promote inclusivity, as it is a way to encourage previously unheard employees to advance in new directions and solve business issues in an innovative way. Also, as a mentor, it’s important to enjoy the process as much as possible, as this will make the experience more impactful for the mentees.
Hybrid mentoring is an effective, practical development tool that helps hybrid employees to excel professionally. Plus, it can become even greater if you remain focused, build a rich relationship with mentees, and even introduce them to other industry professionals who can assist their development even further.
If you want to know more about making mentoring work for hybrid team, speak with our expert team today.