coworkers looking at documents on how to be higher preforming employees in virtual settings and applying it when practicing virtual mentoring

How to Develop High Potentials with Virtual Mentoring 

Most organizations are filled with leadership talent but most struggle to correctly identify it. In fact, one Gallup poll suggests companies fail to choose the right candidate, with the right skills, 82% of the time.

Failure to identify and develop high potential employees can be costly to organizations. This cost effects both the bottom line, and employee engagement. In fact, mangers affect an estimated 70% of employee engagement rates and the majority of those employees are disengaged. This is why it is important to correctly develop your future leaders.

Organizations that invest in developing their high potential employees are investing in their future success. But before you can reap the benefits of well-developed leadership, you will need to train and engage your high potential employees. One of the best ways to do this in a remote work world is with a virtual mentoring program.

Why develop high potential employees with virtual mentoring?

Your high potentials are your most valuable employees. They are passionate and engaged, meaning that they are highly driven to learn. Virtual mentoring takes their passion for growth and develops the leadership skills to be successful in a flexible environment.

This flexibility enables your future leaders to focus on leadership development they need instead of worrying about making mistakes. Whereas in person mentoring relationships were dependent on syncing schedules and meeting spaces, virtual meetings can happen anywhere at any time. This increases the overall participation pool, which means that your high potential employees will get matched with the right mentor.

The additional benefits of virtual mentoring for your high potential employees include:

  • Virtual mentoring enables flexibility. The main benefit for using virtual mentoring is its convenience. This convenience makes it easier for busy mentors and high potentials to commit to the mentoring relationship. The mentor and mentee relationship is supported by the frequency that virtual communication encourages, making meetings more productive.

  • Provides a nurturing environment to mitigate risk. High potential employees need challenging opportunities to allow them to develop problem solving skills. But while they are learning, they need a secure place to experience. Virtual mentoring programs provide a supportive environment to experiment with solutions without risk. With the help of their mentor, they can easily identify their strengths and weaknesses to help them set SMART goals.

  • Promotes diversity – The flexibility of virtual mentoring enables more individuals to participate in your program. A larger participant pool enables a higher variety of employees of diverse backgrounds to engage in the program. This exposes hipo employees to different ideas, increasing their ability to empathize and collaborate effectively.

Steps to create a virtual mentoring program

Creating a successful virtual mentoring program for your high potential employees requires careful planning and implementation. It may be tempting to start matching participants or planning learning activities right away but start with a solid plan first. This will ensure that your program is on track for success from the start.

Here are 7 steps to take to create a virtual mentoring program:

  1. Create a plan. Like every business strategy, you will need to start with a plan for your program. Establish goals that align with your organization’s mission and values. These goals should reflect the expectations you will set for your future leadership.

  2. Identify participants. Assess your high potential employees’ skill sets and determine what they will need to close skill gaps. This makes identifying mentors easier for the matching process so that they are paired with the right one for their needs.

  3. Match mentors and mentees. Once you have identified who will participate in your program you can start matching. Matching mentors and mentees should be based on the needs of the mentee as well as the expertise of the mentor. Use qualifications to make sure both mentors have the knowledge to be mentors. 

  4. Provide Training. It may come as a surprise, but people don’t inherently know how to be a good mentor or mentee (yes, even high potentials). This is why it is important that you offer mentoring training. Participants need clarity on the objectives of your virtual mentoring program. Because your mentoring program is virtual, you will want to utilize online training. This ensures the information mentors and mentees receive is consistent.

  5. Launch your program. After you have trained your mentor and mentees, it’s time to officially launch your program. Make sure that your high potential employees and their mentors are equipped with the right tools to make their mentorship successful.

  6. Engage your mentors and mentees. Don’t let the excitement from the launch die down. Keep your mentors and mentees engaged by providing content that will continue to propel them forward. Host webinars, publish eBooks and online courses that take advantage of the virtual space. This will help your high potential employees develop new skills.
  7. Measure the success of your program. Once your program is off to a good start, you will need to measure how well mentors and mentees are achieving their goals. This is where using mentoring software can really be helpful. The key to measuring the success of your virtual mentoring program is the ability to pull reports and survey participants. This gives you the data as well the thoughts and opinions for your high potential employees.

Insala’s solutions can help create a successful virtual mentoring program to invest in your high potential talent today, to develop the talent you need for tomorrow.

Request a demo to discover how Insala can help you implement a virtual mentoring program to develop your high potential employees. 

Through innovative web-based SaaS technology, Insala partners with organizations to accelerate performance and drive evidence-based decisions for organizations and their people.

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