What is just-in-time mentoring?

Quite simply, “just-in-time” mentoring refers to the guidance that a mentee needs, at the time they need it. In turn, it encourages self-driven learning and exploration to take the reins themselves.

This is the mentor for the right time, not necessarily forever.

This mentor will get you from point A to point B, then it might be time to reach out to someone new who will help you reach your next milestone. The benefits are immediate, just-in-time mentoring helps you reach that goal quickly and efficiently, and can your organisation develop a culture of learning and collaboration promoting the overall idea that your company values collaboration, education and celebrates the engagement and the circulation of new ideas.

Mentoring relationships are golden and unlike many other relationships in your workplace. Different from a coach or a manager, mentoring helps you build a network where experience is shared – creating a daisy chain of advice and support.  

Just-in-time mentoring can be used to develop a wide variety of skills and networking and relationship building, decision-making skills, promote strategic alignment or create accountability.

What are the benefits?

You can see immediate results
So you need to learn something, right now. In today’s culture of work, we increasingly all need to learn new things on the fly. Acquiring new skills or knowledge can be daunting, especially when time is of the essence. This style of mentoring can bring confidence to new skills, fast.

Enhance employee value
In addition to improved confidence, this short burst of learning can increase morale and diversify your people’s skills, fast.

Multiply their networks
By encouraging many short-term relationships over one, long-term endeavour, both mentors and mentees are provided with the opportunity to build their networks quickly.

Build a culture of learning and collaboration
Just-in-time mentoring ensures the whole organisation lives and breathes their promise to value collaboration, education and celebrates the engagement and the promotion of new ideas.

So, how do I ‘do’ just-in-time mentoring?

  1. Firstly, get specific.
    You’re likely on a path and hit a road-block. Try to understand what’s holding you back from the next step, so you can seek out the right person to share their experience. 
  2. Get searching.
    Try to find a select few people that excel at that specific trait. This is important because you’re not looking for general mentors in your field, in this case, you’ll be getting specific. Aim to find people who have clearly demonstrated these skills before. They might not be in your immediate network or line of work.
    Having trouble? Join the Mentorloop Marketplace to find that very person.
  3. Provide some context. Be open and look to draw out their lived experience. Ask them, how they approached a similar challenge and if they would do anything differently. Seek the advice that could have the greatest impact on your abilities. 
  4. Give them time to mull it over. You might separate these sessions into smaller chunks – get to know one another, pose your challenge and follow it up together in the second catch-up. 
  5. Just chill. Hold back on making big decisions until you’ve collected advice, feedback and opinions from all of your sought after just-in-time mentors. See how the experience intersects, if there are any overlaps and look at all of the experience shared as a whole.
  6. Get SMART. Now you’re in a great position to set a goal. A SMART one at that. Use our SMART goal-setting framework to keep you on track.

Is a just-in-time approach right for your organisation?

We’re growing! And we’re growing fast.
As we scale businesses, it can be difficult to stay on top of what skills are in the business. It also becomes challenging to ensure connections are made for new employees. With a constant flow of onboarding, a mentoring program can ensure no one is left behind.

Everything is changing, and we need to stay up-to-date.
Most organisations these days have a heavy reliance on technology. To remain competitive, your people need to be at the forefront of the latest advancements. This style of mentoring can ensure that your people are knowledge-sharing and seeking advice from those who may have discovered or experienced a new piece of technology recently.

We’re a remote workforce.
This style of mentoring can connect remote employees to a variety of people in a short amount of time. When your team is working over multiple time-zones, this shorter, targeted learning approach can fill in the knowledge gaps required to keep on track and pushing ahead.

A long-term mentoring relationship is a daunting commitment for some of our people.
Just-in-time mentoring can be a less intimidating way for many to get a taste of what mentoring has to offer. It’s often a great way to recruit people into an existing program and encourage a wider variety of people in, to share their skills. 

Want to learn more? Why not have a quick chat with one of our mentoring specialists, to help assess your specific organisational requirements.

Chat to a mentoring specialist

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Emily Ryan

Em is our Marketing Manager at Mentorloop. That's a lot of 'm's! | She is passionate about crafting messages, crafternoons and craft beer.

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