If finding a mentee is your first problem, MentorCruise can help you find the perfect match. Once you’ve found a remote mentee you can share your expertise and insights with, it’s time to work out a program that will benefit you both.
Use the tips below to make the most of your mentorship.
Tips to Mentor Remote Workers
While some of the principles between in-person mentorship and remote mentorship are the same, there are a few differences you’ll need to tune into for the best experience.
The first step is to build trust with your mentee. For them to feel comfortable opening up to you and sharing their challenges, they need to know you’re a trustworthy person.
Make sure you keep all of your promises, show up on time for video calls or chats, and be respectful of their time and energy. It’s also important to be transparent about your own experiences and expertise so they can get the truth. An employee handbook can be a valuable communication resource.
Since you’re not in the same room as your mentee, it might take a little longer for them to process what you’re saying and digest the information. Be patient with them and try to break down complex concepts into smaller, more manageable chunks, called microlearning.
Define Your Purpose
As a mentor, you should have a clear purpose. Is it to help them be better at project management or corporate communication? Maybe the goal is to help them grow into another role.
Whatever it is, define this purpose in one of your first mentor meetings so you can stay on track.
Clarify Communication Standards
Since you won’t be communicating face to face, set standards of communication you can both follow. Decide the best communication channels – is it Slack with weekly Zoom calls, Friday phone meetings, or email?
Find what is easiest for both of you and try not to deviate from the plan too much to avoid overstepping boundaries.
Set Expectations Early On
As early on as possible, set expectations for the level of involvement and time commitment you can give. For example, if you only have an hour a week to mentor, make sure your mentee knows this from the beginning.
You should also set expectations for what they need to do to get the most out of the experience.
Create a Supportive Environment
Make sure your mentee knows they can come to you with any problems or challenges they’re facing. Whether it’s work-related or personal, create an environment where they feel comfortable confiding in you.
Be Available, But Not Overbearing
It’s important to be available for your mentee when they need you, but you don’t want to be overbearing. Check-in with them regularly to see how they’re doing but give them space to grow and learn on their own.
Mentoring is a two-way street, so it’s important to set boundaries from the beginning. You should mentor someone only if you have the time and energy to commit to it – remember, this is a voluntary arrangement and not a job.
That being said, you also need to be careful not to overstep your boundaries. Remember that you’re not their boss, friend, or therapist. You’re there to mentor them, so make sure your interactions stay focused on work-related topics.
Be Open to Feedback
Finally, be open to feedback from your mentee. They might have suggestions on how you can improve the mentorship program, or they might be able to tell you the specific ways you’ve helped them grow.
Collaboration is key, even virtually. Work with your mentee to come up with goals, objectives, and action items that you can work on together using collaboration tools. This will help them feel like they’re a part of the process and not just a passive observer.
Provide Additional Resources
Since you won’t be readily available to your mentor in person, provide them with additional resources they can supplement as needed. Past guides you’ve written, online tutorials, helpful articles, or tools can let your mentee help themselves.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to being a great mentor for remote teams and workers. You might even find that you enjoy it more than mentoring in person! If so, Mentorcruise makes it easy to continue mentoring virtually all within one platform.
Find in this section answers to the most common questions.
What are the main differences between mentoring in-office workers and remote workers?
The biggest difference is the lack of physical proximity. You can’t just pop by your mentee’s desk for a quick chat or impromptu mentor session, so you have to be more intentional about setting up times to talk.
Another big difference is that you might not have as much knowledge about their day-to-day work life since you’re not in the office with them. This is why it’s important to set up regular check-ins and have an open line of communication.
Lastly, you’ll need to provide more resources for remote mentees since they can’t just ask you for help whenever they need it. Consider creating a mentoring toolkit with helpful resources that they can reference at any time.
How long should a mentorship program last?
It’s up to you. Most last for at least a year to ensure enough time for growth and development, but some may end sooner or continue for longer. This is something you can arrange with your mentee.
How often should you check in on a remote mentee?
Your check-in frequency will depend on the projects you’re working on, but keeping in touch at least every other week is recommended so nothing major slips through the cracks in-between mentor sessions.
Find Your First Remote Mentee With MentorCruise
Mentoring remote workers can be a great way to give back to the community and help someone grow in their career. Use these tips to mentor remote workers and help them gain valuable insights and knowledge, regardless of the virtual distance between you.
For more helpful tips and guides on mentorship, check out the blogs and resources on MentorCruise.
About the Author
Romy Catauta works in the marketing field and is passionate about writing on web design, business, interior design and psychology.