Mentoring has proved again and again to be a powerful and effective workforce development tool. But the traditional approach to mentoring, where one older mentor meets with a younger mentee in person, is no longer enough.
"Companies today must embrace a new form of mentoring and knowledge sharing that allows workers to find and connect with their colleagues so they can learn while on the job, share best practices throughout all areas of the business, and collaborate with people no matter where they are located," writes Randy Emelo, author of the September Infoline, "Creating a Modern Mentoring Culture." Here are four characteristics of 21st century mentoring:
Open and egalitarian—For uninhibited and meaningful learning to take place, mentoring needs to happen in an open environment where people have equal access to one another.
Diverse—"Diverse" includes people of different genders, races, ages, functions, geographies, and generations who can offer unique perspectives that lead to innovative solutions.
Self-directed and personal—Modern mentoring enables employees to address their own personal real-time learning needs by connecting with and gathering insights from colleagues anywhere in your organization.
Technology-centric—Technology allows organizations to view mentoring as "for the masses" and a scalable practice.
These tips were adapted from the September 2013 Infoline, "Creating a Modern Mentoring Culture." For more information, go to www.astd.org/Infoline.