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Workplace Mentoring and Crisis Management

Workplace Mentoring and Crisis Management

Connection with a workplace mentor is more important than ever

“How are you doing?”

Those words, along with an actual listening ear, are powerful (maybe now more than ever) during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The stress and strain on individuals related to health, childcare, and employment concerns is rising. Now is the time to retool mentors to serve as not only career coaches and advocates, but also an army of mental wellness supporters within your organization.

I’m not advocating or even suggesting that mentors have the same credentials and/or capabilities as a licensed professional. However, mentors already have established relationships with employees within an organization. While the top tiers of leadership are focusing on making broader decisions regarding PTO and paid leave policies, front-line staff bonuses, continued employment options, etc., mentors can be leveraged to help with maintaining a pulse on employees’ wellness.

Leverage mentors for crisis management

A great way for organizations to leverage mentors as a part of their crisis management plan is via rounding conversations with mentees that build trust and show appreciation. Employee rounding (even virtually) can lead to improved communication and increased feelings of value, and can also reinforce positivity. During times of uncertainty, employees want to feel as though they are being cared for. Mentors can use simple rounding questions that help to both connect with employees and also provide intel on organization themes to leadership. Example conversation starters and questions are:

  • I want to check in on you to see how you are feeling during this time.
  • Is there a way in which I and/or the organization can be of support to you?
  • Are you aware of our EAP and other resources that are available at this time?
  • I want you to know that we appreciate your hard work and contributions to the team. You are a valued member of the organization.


Workplace mentors show your company cares

Having mentors engage in these conversations will help to show how much the organization cares for its employees. The key here is to be authentic and intentional. History always remembers what we did in the face of adversity. Leverage your mentors to continue to keep your employees engaged and motivated. We will all get through times like these together!

How are you leveraging and strengthening mentoring relationships during emergency and/or unprecedented events within your organization?

Yolanda Johnson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Highly energetic and enthusiastic HR professional. Skilled in aligning business strategy with talent management programs that initiate and sustain corporate culture change. Demonstrated ability to apply a systematic process for analyzing human performance gaps and closing them