Flash Mentoring for Your Organization
In the workplace, there are often daily opportunities for development. Individuals should be exposed to these opportunities as frequently as possible to increase employee retention and improve employee engagement. If you have implemented a mentoring program to as part of your organization's talent development strategy, you are on the right track.
However, not every development need requires a mentorship over several months. A solution that allows your employees access to mentoring resources without the commitment of a mentorship is flash mentoring.
What is Flash Mentoring?
Flash mentoring is a type of modern mentoring that allows an individual to find the information they need to complete a specific task. This type of modern mentoring is focused on the time-efficiency and convenience of knowledge sharing. It is also much less formal than traditional mentoring.
Because flash mentoring is focused mainly on knowledge sharing, it is extremely beneficial to the organization. It takes most individuals 8 or more web searches to find information, so efficient knowledge sharing reduces search time and increases productivity.
Flash mentoring is less about a relationship and more about knowledge sharing within a network of individuals. However, it can still accompany a more formal mentoring program. Your mentees can continue to focus on their long-term mentorship, and use flash mentoring to find information quickly. This will also have the opportunity to interact with individuals outside of their usual network.
When should you use flash mentoring?
Flash mentoring is becoming more popular, especially among millennials. Its popularity has grown as it provides a low-pressure mentoring environment that allows you to achieve a short-term objective. There are specific instances where flash mentoring is extremely beneficial. These include…
- To gain advice and support for a learning a hard skill
- To better understand best practices within the organization and/or a specific role
- Job shadowing for a desired role
- To get an outside point-of-view on a single issue
- To determine whether a mentor and mentee are a good match for a long-term mentoring relationship
- To encourage leadership development
If your organization already has a formal career development plan, flash mentoring would make a great addition. It gives individuals who want to show initiative and learn more about the organization an opportunity to do so. It also expands internal networking within your organization, constructing a better employee experience.
Flash mentoring for career development can stand alone, or it can accompany a leadership development mentoring program. Exposure to new mentors and expanding knowledge are great beginnings to creating new leaders.
4 Best Practices for Flash Mentoring Success
In any of these instances, a similar process is usually used for a successful flash mentoring relationship. Here are some tips to make sure your flash mentoring program is successful.
1. Ask your mentees to come prepared
In most cases, a one-time meeting will take place to accomplish a set goal. This single meeting can be very beneficial for the mentee and mentor. To ensure a successful meeting, a good mentee should make their goal known beforehand. This gives the mentor and mentee an opportunity to be prepared to focus on solely achieving that goal.
However, in flash mentoring there’s more than just goal setting. The mentee should be aware of criteria that make goals attainable in these mentoring sessions. It’s important to use that criterion to define a single goal that is simple and easily achieved.
2. Provide plenty of mentors
The mentee needs to be given a pool of mentors to choose from. You should have mentor profiles readily available within your mentoring software. Once the mentees view mentor profiles, they can choose a mentor to help them achieve their goal. The mentee can choose to contact one of more of the mentors to set up a meeting.
3. Allow relationships to continue
If the mentee discovers that they need additional assistance, they can choose to request an additional meeting with the same mentor. They can also reach out to a different mentor. However, if this occurs many times, urge the mentee to create a more permanent mentorship with a single mentor.
4. Use mentor matching software
Although flash mentoring may seem very simple, it is important to have the tools necessary to make it successful. Just because it’s a one-time session does not mean that mentor matching is not important. Include mentoring software with matching capabilities so that the mentee is able to find a mentor with the knowledge they're looking for who is also is a good fit based on your defined criteria.
For more information on other types of modern mentoring, watch our webinar: 5 Types of Modern Mentoring That Can Benefit Your Organization.
Now that we’ve discussed the question “what is flash mentoring?”, we hope you will consider it as a supplement to your mentoring program. To learn more about how Insala can help you to implement a flash mentoring program, please request a demo today.