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Peer mentoring: Post COVID-19 approach

Peer mentoring needs the attention of the organizational strategic level employees to focus upon and foster the same, for the collective good for its people as well as for the organizational success in today’s turbulent times when there is ...

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As people are working from home – remotely - therefore the communication meet-up gap has been widened than ever before amid global pandemic, necessitating the situation to cooperate and coordinate the jobs on one platform to avoid an increase in descending trend of employee wellbeing impacting individual performance resulting in declining organizational success. A peer mentoring relationship is a connection resumed between the people working together.  

Peer mentoring is the communication between the same level employees that is a one-to-one intended talk for the purposes of:

  • Sharing professional knowledge and experience
  • Job related problem solving
  • Gaining psychosocial support 

By peer mentor(s), the employees get to the positive impact of the situations facing both professional as well as personal lives.

What are the benefits of Peer Mentoring?

Following are the benefits of peer mentoring:

  • Peer mentoring enhances communication skills among employees to encode and decode the challenges facing professional and personal lives
  • It creates a positive impact through sharing tasks related knowledge and skillsets
  • Empowerment of mentor and mentee relationship
  • One-to-one communication on the same level (it is also known as horizontal communication) makes it easier to be open to facts and figures of life to discuss and get advised, rather than the boss mentorship makes it harder for employees to be open with for performance evaluation fears.
  • Employees’ well-being can be boosted through peer mentoring through disclosure of challenges and finding possible workable and experienced solutions
  • Same level communication is better understood as a friendly conversation instead of the bossy mentorship with vertical communication channel (grade level higher or lower)
  • Employee branding can be done better as your organization having peer mentor program(s) may attract talented workforce to join you
  • Employee growth and retention rate may be improvised through peer mentoring sessions as the knowledge sharing at exit interview can be received well before and avoid employee turnover
  • Onboarding can be made easier through peer mentoring for the socialization process
  • The common say of “not-being-listened-to” can be eliminated to a possible limit.
  • Employee engagement, personal development, and job satisfaction may be improved through such programs: as employees are listened to and given solutions to their problems avoiding for them to leave

What are the qualities of Peer Mentor?

An employee having following qualities can be a good peer mentor:

  • Taking initiative: not to wait for the mentee to approach rather you approach before
  • Transferring positive energy
  • Showing excitement to problem-solving for the mentee
  • Flexible in attitude
  • Creative in aptitude
  • Personal interest mentioning into mentee to get to know the situation well
  • Emotionally intelligent employee at the workplace
  • Humble in attitude
  • Down to earth personality
  • In possession of good listening capabilities
  • Good leadership skills
  • Experienced in job-related tasks
  • Well versed with organizational mission and vision
  • Having good team membership enthusiasm
  • Owing an overall positive behavior

What is important for starting a peer mentoring program?  

Now, it is a question of key concern that what is important for starting a peer mentoring program. The following tactics should be taken care of before starting a peer mentoring program:

  • Make clear goals so as to what do you expect or want to achieve through peer mentoring program(s)
  • Strong future strategic viewpoint
  • Make pairs of people who are compatible and comfortable with each other
  • Make expectations clear and realistic among people that wonders are not going to happen but a possible elimination of the bottlenecks would be handled better through such programs
  • Formatting of such programs be made beforehand: like topics for discussion avoiding politics etc., length of meetings and how often these meetings would take place, be decided prior
  • Make assessments as per set goals for peer mentoring programs
  • Make peers the mentors who are seniors or been on supervisory or leadership position as others would benefit from their experiences

Cambridge research about peer mentoring amid COVID-19

Moreover, the Cambridge research of 2021 in the Journal of clinical and translational science uncovered the pragmatic fact that peer mentoring in virtual format is feasible and novelty-based in academic success during the COVID-19 pandemic. This programmatic approach needs to be highlighted for more peer-to-peer care in academia.     

Final Thoughts

Moreover, it is mandatory not to mix up the concept with coaching, as that may be between the groups of people and that is performance oriented in nature. While mentoring is one-to-one intentional communication by a senior employee to junior one (but working in same grade level) and this is purposefully developmental in nature.

However, it is the viewpoint of the experienced scholars in HR Psychology that Peer mentoring in post COVID-19 pandemic is much needed than ever because people are in a lessened degree of wellbeing due to being remote and away from the workplace working online. The office work environment is deprived and the sleeping patterns have been disturbed so far! This all has consequently produced the anxiety picture on the board. Therefore, peer mentoring programs can be much helpful for people to people contacts resulting in, individual, societal, and organizational development worldwide in any situation, say pandemic, post-COVID-19 or normal healthy situations.