E-mentoring: A Technological Solution for Knowledge Transfer

E-mentoring: A Technological Solution for Knowledge Transfer

Mentoring has tremendous value for organizations especially in succession planning where a senior manager grooms his mentee to take up his position when he needs to move on or take up higher responsibilities. With the available learning management solutions, mentoring takes up a new dimension in today’s world where organizations are spread across various geographical regions. Organizations are spread across different continents and communication primarily takes place through internet (be it through email, video conferencing or social media). Most employees are now comfortable using various online communication tools. Therefore, e-mentoring, also called cyber mentoring, tele-mentoring, or virtual mentoring, can be considered as a viable mode of knowledge transfer.

Employee benefits: Employees are benefited with an e-mentoring program as it is an excellent alternative to face-to-face mentoring, which may not always be possible due to logistical reasons. Mentees can get the benefit of in-depth, useful and mutually-beneficial interactions that can reflect on his productivity within the organization. Since the interaction takes places virtually, it is more flexible and can be easily rescheduled without causing major inconveniences.

Organizational benefits: Organizations can benefit from e-mentoring because it is very cost effective. Mentor and mentee need not be present in the same location. This gives organizations a larger pool of capable mentors, who can coach employees. If an employee has a problem, he can have a mentor to turn to for guidance. Easy access to the solution is bound to improve his performance. This in turn ultimately helps in improving the performance of the organization as a whole.

Technology for e-mentoring: There are a multitude of technologies that can be used for e-mentoring based on the existing set-up of the organizations. Learning Management Systems, Web 2.0 tools, Skype, web conferences or email are some of the methods that organizations can choose from, for their e-mentoring program.

E-mentoring can facilitate transfer of knowledge from an expert to a mentee, even if they are located at different locations. It provides a platform where the mentee and the mentor can login to a secure portal to communicate with each other, with respect to the job and related responsibilities. It is particularly relevant in instances where technology, practices or procedures are being replicated at another location and the manager needs constant guidance.