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Enhance mentoring in the workplace with powerful e-learning tools

4 min reading time

Among the many L&D strategies deployed within organisations across various sectors, mentoring in the workplace remains a firm favourite. Workplace mentoring produces a number of benefits for both employers and employees. In fact, 87% of those undergoing workplace mentoring feel empowered and have greater confidence, while 67% of businesses saw a productivity increase from mentorship programmes. So how can L&D teams take advantage of this key L&D practice? Keep reading to find out as we explore four popular mentoring methods along with how to enhance them with powerful e-learning tools.

What is mentoring in the workplace?

Workplace mentoring refers to the long-term relationships between employees where a more experienced employee shares their skills and knowledge with, typically, less experienced colleagues, offering guidance and support to help them grow and develop in their career.


What are the benefits of mentoring in the workplace?

  • Cost-effective skills development
  • Improved interpersonal relationships in the workplace
  • Increased job satisfaction and retention
  • Better employee performance
  • Mentors develop new soft skills when performing their role


What are some popular mentoring methods and how can they be enhanced with e-learning tools?


Traditional one-to-one mentoring

The method that most people associate with the practice of mentoring is the traditional one-to-one relationship between an experienced employee and a less experienced employee where mentorship is carried out over an ongoing period in the workplace.

With this method, the mentor shares the skills and knowledge they have acquired throughout their career or employment within an organisation with a less experienced mentee. This process may follow a set structure as set out by the mentor or team leaders/managers or may be built into the flow of work, with mentors simply sharing knowledge and demonstrating tasks as they are performed in the workplace.

Traditional one-to-one mentoring

To give mentees the best L&D opportunities and to provide some guidance for mentors, it may be beneficial for mentors to ask a mentee what they want to get out of the programme and identify any skills gaps, along with creating some goals or objectives they should be collectively working towards.

How can this be achieved? The solution: LMS assessments

When organisations are using an e-learning platform such as a learning management system (LMS) to support and enhance mentoring in the workplace, there is a diverse range of e-learning tools and features that will maximise the effectiveness of mentoring activities. In this case, LMS assessments can be used to support traditional one-to-one mentoring activities by outlining what L&D opportunities mentees would benefit from.

When designing a mentoring programme, L&D teams can create LMS assessments that will test an employee’s current skills and knowledge base, identifying any skills gaps and training opportunities. Once completed, L&D teams can gather the results automatically using LMS reporting tools and use this data to map out a mentoring programme. For example, if an employee has demonstrated a lack of proficiency in using a piece of software, they can be paired with a mentor with years of experience using that software.

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Group mentoring

Another popular mentorship method is group mentoring. Rather than building a one-on-one relationship between one mentee and one mentor, this method requires one or more mentors and multiple mentees. When compared to the previous method, group mentoring is more time and cost-effective as just one mentor is required to provide L&D opportunities to multiple mentees all at once.

With this method, mentors deliver L&D opportunities in a face-to-face setting either by demonstrating how they perform a task or engaging in discussions with mentees. Whilst effective in delivering information, this method may reduce the quality of the long-term learning experience, with employees having fewer opportunities to ask questions or voice ideas. To enhance the group mentoring process, L&D teams can deploy e-learning tools found in a learning experience platform (LXP).

Using social and collaborative tools in an LXP

An LXP is a user-centric e-learning platform that encourages learners to play an active role in the learning experience by creating their own content, engaging in discussions, curating their own learning experiences and sharing resources with colleagues.

Using social tools in an LXP, such as forums, Wikis, polls and discussion boards, both mentees and mentors can engage in discussions with one another, easily asking questions and sharing ideas without the limitations of face-to-face learning. With an LXP such as Totara Engage, L&D teams can create multiple private workspaces, limited to selected mentors and mentees. Within this workspace, mentors can share resources and documents that will enhance any face-to-face learning initiatives, allowing mentees to view them when it best suits them.

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Virtual mentoring

For some organisations, traditional mentoring in the workplace primarily involves face-to-face demonstrations and conversations. However, this approach can limit the effectiveness of a mentoring programme in several ways. To overcome this, many L&D teams have taken advantage of the virtual mentoring method which relies on e-learning platforms and virtual tools. This allows businesses working remotely to deliver mentoring programmes, along with connecting mentors working in a different location or office to a mentee – meaning global companies can connect their employees regardless of location.

How to achieve this with virtual classroom technology

Using an LMS, L&D teams can create a highly impactful VLE (virtual learning environment) with personalised learning plans, real-time reporting and interactive lessons and content. Additionally, when an LMS such as Moodle or Totara Learn is compatible with a variety of powerful integrations, L&D teams can use virtual classroom technology to enhance mentoring programmes.

Virtual mentoring with e-learning tools

Using these virtual classroom tools, mentors can deliver live synchronous learning methods via video, audio and screen sharing, chat functions, collaborative whiteboards, and engagement tools. These tools allow mentors to deliver effective virtual learning opportunities to mentees regardless of location.


Onboarding mentoring

The onboarding experience can be an overwhelming time for new starters as they attempt to get up to speed with new systems, processes, regulations, tasks, and much more. To help new starters seamlessly integrate into a new role, L&D teams may look to use the onboarding mentoring method and assign new starters a mentor right from the beginning of their employment.

Mentors can guide new starters through their onboarding experience, sharing their insights, tips and knowledge. When coupled with other onboarding processes, such as learning plans or competency frameworks, this can dramatically decrease the time spent on onboarding – boosting the ROI of a new employee as a result. To ensure that new starters are getting the most out of the onboarding experience, employers need to create effective opportunities for feedback – including feedback to and from a mentor.

Onboarding mentoring

Creating a feedback cycle with a performance management system

Using a performance management system, mentors can engage with new starters using feedback tools such as one-to-one performance activities and feedback activities where mentees can ask questions or voice any concerns. Using these tools, mentors can assess the progress of mentees in an evidence-based manner, creating an activity log for any mentoring processes. Mentors and mentees can discuss what they have done, along with future goals and objectives and how they will achieve them. Using a performance management system allows managers or L&D teams to easily monitor the progress of a new starter and measure the effectiveness of mentoring in the workplace.


Ready to deliver enhanced mentoring in the workplace with e-learning?

Mentoring opportunities can elevate your L&D strategy, allowing you to take advantage of the many associated benefits and maximising the potential of your entire workforce. If you’re ready to enhance mentoring in the workplace using some of the powerful e-learning tools discussed above, visit our product pages to see what a Hubken solution can do for your mentoring programmes or get in touch with one of our e-learning experts today.

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