Thursday, April 14th, 2022

Virtual Mentoring

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” — Steven Spielberg

A Gallup survey last fall revealed that working from home — including various hybrid arrangements — is trending permanently. Last September, 45% of U.S. employees were working partly or fully remotely, and 91% of them planned to continue some level of remote work post-pandemic; in fact, 58% would consider leaving their current jobs if access to remote arrangements vanished.

By now, you have learned that remote/virtual training can be accomplished. You had no choice. I want to encourage you to continue your mentoring program that embraces a method of having a virtual mentor/mentee, someone you do not see face-to-face every working day. It can be done and while you have not been forced to do it, as with training, it can be done successfully.

Many people assume that mentoring relies on being physically together at least from time to time. However, that is not true. I will offer myself as an example.

I have successfully mentored, coached and guided CPA firm managing partners, HR directors, firm administrators, and even marketing directors for many years, most of them I have never met in person. Sometimes we use Zoom or Teams for our sessions but mostly it is simply via phone conversations. Of course, there is some structure to our conversations and action steps that are identified and achieved just like it is with in-person mentoring.

My advice to you, if you cannot be a mentor or mentee in person you can, just simply talk to each other. Often, it is easier to talk to a person via phone (not seeing their face). Think about helplines for people with various troubles and challenges. They do to see the person they are talking to but they soon learn that the person on the other end of the conversation cares, can be trusted, and has sound advice.

Don’t exclude your virtual employees from the benefit of mentoring. It is a fundamental part of building a career in public accounting – a more experienced person guides a less experienced person to help them achieve career success.

  • "Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can."
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leave a Reply