Blog Article

When It Comes To Mentoring, Software Needs Humans

In our new article, we are exploring whether the employers’ need for efficiency can be aligned with employees’ desire for personalized learning.

November 2, 2022
February 3, 2023

Human-moderated onboarding, learning, and mentoring by Mentessa

As advances in AI and automation continue to rapidly change the way we work, one discrepancy is becoming more and more evident. 

Businesses, ever on the lookout for higher efficiency, want to automate and scale as many processes as possible. Employees, on the other hand, want to be recognized as individuals and value personalized approaches more than ever. 

What this means for HR processes like onboarding is that showing new employees hundreds of hours of video recordings won’t get high levels of loyalty and commitment, and may actually kill their enthusiasm right from the start. In regard to mentoring, fully automating the process will also fail to realize its full potential for employee morale, productivity, and well-being. Yet, without any help from technology, the classical mentorship approach is so time-consuming that typically, only 0.1% of employees in a company will be offered a mentor!

So, is there a win-win? Can the employers’ need for efficiency be aligned with employees’ desire for personalized learning? 

Absolutely yes. Mentessa’s human-moderated onboarding, mentoring, and learning tools scale these important HR processes but without losing the human touch. Mentessa automates the tasks in which algorithms and machines outperform humans, and clearly recognizes the areas where humans are irreplaceable. The end result is a unique learning platform that fosters more connection, learning, and collaboration.

Human-moderated onboarding, learning, and mentoring by Mentessa

What is the role of software in supporting onboarding and mentoring?

As mentioned already, sustaining a well-functioning mentoring program takes a lot of time and effort. Mentoring software alleviates a great deal of the administrative burden by automating a number of repetitive tasks. Activities like asking for feedback, sending reminders, matching mentors and mentees, handling urgent requests for changing a mentor can easily be handled by machines. In fact, in all tasks that require diligent, repetitive effort, mentoring software performs faster and better than any human. So much so that – with platforms like Mentessa – mentoring is no longer a niche offering for only the most promising employees but a benefit enjoyed by all team members.

With regards to onboarding, in this area, too, software can help streamline the process. Automating administrative tasks – like sending reminders of important meetings or events, making sure new hires fill out required forms and documents, etc. – can save busy HR teams a lot of time and effort. 

Another advantage of using mentoring software is the ability to collect reliable data and monitor KPIs. We have already explained why online forms yield more authentic results about skills and knowledge gaps compared to face-to-face interviews. In addition, a digital platform where interactions and tasks are recorded ensures greater transparency and fairness within an organization. This is particularly valuable for large companies and especially those with significant numbers of remote workers.  

This said, there is a limit to what machines can do. Automating some aspects of mentoring, onboarding and training is a great idea but 100% automation is neither possible (at least at this point), nor advisable. Imagine getting career advice from a chatbot. Yes, companies are increasingly placing chatbots in customer service capacities. Yes, consumers are using them to order take-aways (although the large majority still prefer human agents). But will employees bond with a digital mentor, be it a chatbot or an AI-powered virtual assistant? Will they respect and trust it? Highly unlikely. The thing is, people need people to feel belonging. In addition, essential aspects of organizational culture – like the ways to get ahead in a company or how to work successfully with a particular manager – are never spelled out. They can only be learned in personal interactions with a mentor or peers. This is where Mentessa’s human moderated mentoring can help.

What is human moderated mentoring?

Human-moderated mentoring is an approach developed by Mentessa in order to bridge the gap between what companies need (automation, scale, high efficiency) and what employees want (highly personalized learning). 

For the onboarding process, this means that a new hire is not left alone with a long to-do list but gets an onboarding mentor to guide them as they get to know the company and the team. Just like a party host welcomes a new guest at the door and then introduces them to others, the onboarding mentor helps the new employee connect with peers who show them the ropes.

In addition, the onboarding mentor supports the new employee when issues arise. This is extremely valuable as new hires may be reluctant to turn to their line manager out of fear for their jobs. The mentor also helps new hires prioritize, something they typically find challenging during the first few weeks on a job. Typically, the mentor and mentee decide together what goals and tasks should be accomplished. The mentor then assigns the tasks via Mentessa and tracks the mentee’s progress, while HR and line managers have an overview of the process.

Once onboarding is completed, the process is less formal. Mentessa acts as an internal support center with flexible and personalized support extended to everyone. When an employee faces difficulty with a particular task or project, they can search for peers who have the relevant skills or knowledge. There is never a shortage of experts as everyone in the company is listed on the platform, not in terms of their department or job title, but with the specific skills and expertise, they are willing to share with others. Once there is a match, the person looking for help asks to book an appointment with the relevant colleague who may be a senior staff member, a junior employee, or someone working in a different department in a different city. 

This type of decentralized collaboration based on skills has several advantages:

  • It helps people talk to colleagues they would otherwise probably not have met
  • It boosts morale since everyone is recognized as an expert in something
  • It provides real-life data about skills, including hidden skills.
What is human moderated mentoring?

How is Mentessa’s mentoring software better than other solutions?

Companies looking to buy mentoring software have plenty of options to choose from nowadays. Before selecting a technology provider, decision-makers should take stock of the needs of employees and people opps and evaluate how closely a product is able to match them. The following five characteristics make Mentessa stand out from competitors:

  • Guides employees through their entire journey: Mentessa focuses on the employee and supports them throughout their tenure in a company: from onboarding, through talent development, up until offboarding. This comprehensive approach boosts the employee experience and facilitates the work of HR and L&D teams who have one comprehensive solution for several important processes. 
  • Lowers the barrier to entry: In contrast to social media where matching, connections, and activity are based on content, Mentessa has a No content and no followers policy. This is a deliberate decision to make the platform more inclusive by giving shy people and introverts an equal opportunity to participate.
  • Supports inclusivity: The decentralized collaboration model gives each employee the opportunity to connect with many different peers. The solution does not look for the perfect chemistry between potential matches. Rather, it pairs employees for different purposes, creating connections among people who otherwise would probably not have met.
  • Provides authentic real-time data: Recruiters know this all too well: CVs and LinkedIn profiles are written to impress potential employers. In contrast, participating in a peer-to-peer community where the only possible actions are learning or teaching others, provides an honest self-assessment of a person’s expertise, passions, and hidden skills. 

In conclusion, while software solutions help increase efficiency and scale mentoring, there are some aspects of learning that cannot be automated.

To find out more about how Mentessa’s human-moderated onboarding, learning, and mentoring features can boost employee morale and help create an inclusive and collaborative workplace:

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