As workplaces change due to disruptions, including technology, COVID-19, supply chain shortages, trade wars, and other variables, there is a noticeable shift towards a decentralized workplace. For many people, this has manifested in remote work and telework.
While there are benefits to working from home and in hybrid arrangements, new challenges and trends (such as growing isolation and “quiet quitting”) have emerged. Leaders must be well-versed in these areas to address these concerns effectively.
One solution is mentorship, where mentees can be trained to manage isolation, re-engage in their jobs, and connect with their teams.
The Challenges of Keeping Workers Engaged
Remote work has many benefits and is seen positively by a large workforce. It provides flexibility and the freedom to work from multiple locations or in the comfort of home. But many workers enjoy a more structured and formal environment, and remote work can lead to isolation and feeling disconnected.
“Quiet quitting” is another growing trend in a decentralized workplace, referring to employees who become disengaged from work and quietly withdraw from their responsibilities without formally resigning. They may continue to work but do so at reduced productivity, interest, or enthusiasm.
It’s essential for leaders to recognize the challenges remote workers face and take proactive steps to mitigate them. For example, organized virtual team-building activities, regular check-ins, and remote worker collaboration assignments can help bridge the isolation gap and help workers feel more included.
When it comes to quiet quitting, leaders should be vigilant and proactive in identifying disengaged employees. Regular check-ins between managers and employees or scheduled team meetings between peers can help identify issues and enable leaders to address them appropriately.
Many people facing isolation may need to gain sight of their value to the organization. Having previously gained validation through informal meetings, body language, and public affirmation, they may feel their value has dropped. Employee recognition and professional development are more critical than ever, especially in the virtual world.
How Business Mentorship Helps Address the Challenges
Business mentorship can be an effective solution to these challenges. Mentors can provide valuable guidance to help mentees navigate the decentralized workplace and overcome feelings of isolation and disengagement. They can share experiences and provide support in staying motivated and engaged while working remotely.
Mentors have experience and insight from years of working within formal and informal structures, which can help identify the issues causing disengagement. They act as a sounding board and offer practical advice to company leaders on addressing these issues.
Business mentorship can also give mentees access to a valuable network of contacts and resources. Mentors can introduce mentees to others in their field and provide opportunities for professional development. These opportunities can help mentees remain engaged outside the workplace but with opportunities to interact with others in their industry.
Keeping Up with Today’s New Realities
Mentorship has always been a crucial and vibrant part of business. But today, company leaders need it more than ever to navigate the difficulties of growing a business in a digital world.
The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC) at Georgian College offers mentorship programs to connect business leaders with those who have walked the walk and faced many challenges.
Contact us to learn how we can match you with a mentor to help grow your business and keep you and your workers fully engaged.