The Future of Mentorship: Expert Advice for Professionals in 2024

Get ready to dive into the future of mentorship and grab the best practices in mentoring shared by professionals.

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SOS, we need a mentor!

This may be a signal coming from your employees (or students). Although 76% of people see the significance of mentorship, merely 37% currently have mentors. No wonder mentorships rank #1 among the top ten priority areas in the future of L&D. But what is the prospective landscape of mentoring? What tectonic shifts should you anticipate in the upcoming years?

Spoiler: There are some revolutionary changes that are super-important for mentors and mentees to accept and follow.

Discover how to improve your mentorship results in 2024 and beyond, looking far ahead with the predictions and expert tips below.

A Look at Mentorship of the Future

In this section, we’ll explore the state of mentoring and coaching, how it will transform through the years, and what to expect from each change.

Taking three principal directions, it will be digitally driven, innovation-oriented, and inclusive. Let’s get into more detail about each.

1. Digital-first

Digital transformation facilitated the transition of practically every aspect of life and work to the virtual environment. And mentoring isn’t an exception. Mentorship in the digital age takes an entirely new form, namely, digital-first. And sometimes, digital-only.

It is characterised by:

• Mentorship sessions via video calls/chats (Zoom, Google Meet)
• Social media for mentor-mentee communication (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook)
• E-learning platforms with online courses (edX, Moodle, Opexity)
• Mentoring apps and tools (PushFar)    

Case study: Nissan leveraged PushFar to create a robust mentoring programme. The company has already conducted 500+ meetings and changed the employees’ perception of the mentoring process.

2. Innovative

The future of mentorship is also powered by the cutting-edge innovations like:

• AI (artificial intelligence)
• ML (machine learning)
• AR (augmented reality)
• VR (virtual reality)
• XR (extended reality)

These are more than just abbreviations for mentors aimed at effective skill transfer.

Case study: Coca-Cola radically transformed the upskilling of employees with an ARuVR solution (extended reality). The results? Among other things, the learning retention increased by 15% and employee engagement – by 80%.

3. Inclusive

The roles and responsibilities of a mentor have gone far beyond motivating, encouraging, and accelerating mentees’ professional and personal growth. Inclusion is now one of the most significant trends in workforce management and mentoring. Inclusive mentorship is a mutually enriching partnership based on cultural responsiveness between mentors and mentees of diverse backgrounds, genders, ages, ethnicities, races, religions, etc.

Case study: Deckers Brands (employees in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific regions) resorted to PushFar’s mentoring solutions to solve diversity and inclusion challenges. They ran several mentoring programmes synchronously.

How to Ensure Successful Mentoring in 2024 and Beyond (Expert Tips)

Whether you’re looking for guidance on building a mentorship program from scratch or enhancing an existing one, these insights will illuminate your path toward a fruitful mentoring journey.

1. Foster a culture of mentoring

Mentorship isn’t a one- or even a two-time shot either.

Jim Pendergast, Senior Vice President at altLINE Sobanco, believes, “Mentoring should become an ongoing and uninterrupted tradition in the workplace. Through mentorship, organisations establish continuous learning and development of employees. And although it requires constant capital investment (both financial and human), it offers invaluable benefits. Employees gain resilience and adaptability and always stay ahead of the curve. This ultimately encourages business growth.”

You have to put consistent effort and financial resources into a mentoring culture, getting everyone on board and making mentoring programmes accessible to everyone.

On average, L&D leaders spend 19% of their training budgets on technology.

As an example, read the case study of Zain and see how they sped up the adoption of a mentoring culture with PushFar’s software, involving 388 employees and planning to turn 25% of the organisation into mentors.

2. Develop a multi-faceted model of mentorship

What is it, and how does it work?

It implies using a combination of mentoring types and blending them seamlessly together.

“Combining different types of mentorship is a brilliant way to achieve multi-objective results and engage every mentee in the best possible way,” claims Morgan Taylor, Co-Founder of Jolly SEO. He adds, “Depending on your goals and tasks, some mentoring styles will surely work better than others, but they can be blended in a hybrid learning scenario whenever necessary. For example, in our SEO team, it’s rather a blend of mutual, group, executive, and flash mentorships.”

Here’s a full breakdown of mentorship types to pick from and mix:

• One-to-one mentoring – a more proficient employee takes a less experienced colleague under patronage.
• Group mentoring – one mentor has a cohort of mentees.
• Flash mentoring – short mentoring sessions focused on specific topics.
• Reverse mentoring – seniors learn from juniors, often younger, mentors.
• Aspirational mentoring – mentors are role models who inspire their mentees and promote their professional performance and personal development.
• Mutual mentoring (two-way learning) – a mentee learns from a mentor and vice versa.
• Executive mentoring – top-ranking executives offer guidance to their new hires.
• Coping mentorship – mentors help mentees cope with work-related issues and stress.

Regarding the latter, such mentoring correlates with mentees’ mental and physical well-being. For example, a mentor may give instructions on how to fight burnout, take short breaks, or organise a longer productivity detox.

3. Personalise mentoring experiences

How do you make personalisation work for the future of mentoring?

The key task is to generate a positive personal experience for mentees.

But the most bothersome question remains: How exactly?

“It’s about getting people the support that they need at the right time,”
mentions Paula Rawlinson, L&D Manager at Arbuthnot Latham. The company creates personalised videos and webinars for employees to cater to everyone’s needs.

So, the formula is simple: personalised material + proper timing = mentorship success.

It’s also worth knowing that 85% of workers would like to select time slots for training to fit those into their schedules.

4. Prepare snackable materials

Do you know the average attention span of learners?

It’s typically 10–15 minutes for modern university students.

That is why you might need to prepare easily digestible, small chunks of content for training your mentees and keeping their attention via bitesize learning.

These “bites” may be:

• Up-to-ten-minute videos
• Infographics
• Screenshots
• Checklists
• One-sheets
• Animations
• Quizzes
• Short webinars, etc.

Here’s an example from Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing & Media Relations at Ninja Transfers: “Just like we suggest short explainer videos about the three Ps (Place, Press, and Peel) of DTF transfers to our customers, we also train employees with short-form video content. Sometimes, it’s a win-win solution for marketing, too, on TikTok and YouTube, as we share some of those shorts on our social media platforms.”

Pro tip: To create snackable educational content for mentees, use AI for learning and development.

5. Engage mentees with gamification

The traditional classroom-style mentoring is dead. Not to mention that 90% of employees want the knowledge-sharing process to be fun and engaging.

Under these circumstances, what should you do to keep your teams happy and engaged during mentoring sessions?

There’s a fail-proof solution: gamification.

Take it from Jerry Han, CMO at PrizeRebel, who advises mentors to develop a game-like strategy for a mentorship programme. He says, “Gamification in mentoring helps simulate real-life scenarios, set goals and track progress, encourage team collaboration, engage and motivate mentees, and unlock their achievements. It’s also essential to incentivise mentees with bonuses and rewards, indispensable game elements.”

On the whole, the core game mechanics and elements are as follows:

• Rules
• Competition
• The progress bar
• Levels
• Awards (badges, points, prizes, or other incentives)

You can use mini-games, challenges, or other gamified and fun activities to boost your mentoring programme.

6. Turn to mentorship to tackle DEI challenges

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the three pillars of a healthy workplace culture. And when you feel they are not quite stable in your company, you can always lay a firm foundation via mentoring to deal with DEI issues like unconscious biases, abusive language, bullying, harassment, discrimination, and others,” highlights Robert Kaskel, Chief People Officer at Checkr.

Indeed, mentorships break down DEI barriers and help leaders build a fairer future for workers, supporting diverse and inclusive initiatives in hiring and further employee development. Checkr, for instance, embraces hiring/training programs for people with criminal records and creates space for diverse perspectives in driving decisions across the company.

If you haven’t launched a mentoring programme for DEI yet, you’d better do this right now.

Or get inspired by Deckers Brands (mentioned above). Among other mentoring initiatives, the company implemented reverse mentoring for Gen Z engagement and overall youth empowerment to bridge the gap between senior leaders and junior employees.

Final Thoughts

Applying the above tactics guarantees you will grow as a mentor, adapt, and thrive in the rapidly changing mentorship environment.

Bookmark this page and scroll through it at the end of the year to check whether you successfully stepped into the future of mentorship and whether your mentoring practices played out as you planned.

To start implementing them immediately, schedule a demo with PushFar to see how mentoring software can revolutionise your training and play a crucial part in your organisation’s success.    

Author Bio

Catherine Schwartz is a marketing & e-commerce specialist who helps brands grow their revenue and move their businesses to new levels.

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