Building a positive work culture that encourages life-long learning and development takes time and people who care. While software systems like our learning management system help, they are no substitute for human relationship, which is why we've focused so heavily on the relational tools. In Edvance360, there are tools for:
- Building relationships on the enterprise scale (the secure social network) to smaller departmental or focus-centered scale (communities)
- Building relationships through collaboration (wiki tool), discussion and debate (discussions and live chat tools) and even live meetings that can be recorded on the LMS (video-conferencing integration)
- Building relationships that specifically benefit minorities (via course facilitator tools) and individuals (learning paths and mentors)
This blog focuses on that last one: mentors. Mentors can be any role in the LMS (learner, instructor, staff, admin, etc.) but are assigned to an individual to provide a more relational approach to on-boarding and training, to provide coaching, and even just the feeling that someone is available to help, should the need arise. This connection is made on the learner's Home Page (see screenshot below). The mentor's contact info and even a Live Chat button can be made available to allow the learner to quickly access them and their services.
The mentor has a few tools to enable them to record their interactions with the person being mentored:
- All emails and chats are recorded and added to the Log Report
- A mentor can summarize time spent training in real-time which is added to the Log Report
- (If desired) A mentor can log in to see their assigned learners' status in trainings, enroll them in trainings, schedule events on their calendar, and run reports
Are Mentors For You?
If you are training volunteers, mentors can provide that high-touch training needed to make the volunteer catch the vision quickly.
If you need to cut down on turn-over or increase your appeal to employees, mentors can make the new employee feel they are a part of the culture quickly and securely (saving money!). Millennials, adult learners, and other self-led learners will find mentors appealing as they can "customize" learning to their needs, goals, and dreams.
If you sell business-to-business, assigning a mentor or liaison (you can rename mentor to anything you want), ensures they know who to contact when they need it and puts a "face to a name". It makes customer service personal.
If you sell your expertise, providing the value-add of a mentor who can walk them through difficult topics or prepare them for events, can increase completion rates and future referrals. Go ahead - charge more because your time is valuable!
If you offer internships, externships, and even apprenticeships, mentors are key.
If you train professionals, connecting them with a professional who can mentor them is an invaluable resource and one that will bring them back and again and again.
If you are Higher Ed, mentors can make all the difference for freshman and open-enrollment schools - some of whom are experiencing a 100% increase in their students moving forward in their degree program rather than dropping out. This takes academic advising to a whole new level (perhaps what they were originally intended to be?). They are also useful for Capstone projects.
Bottom line: Many employees/learners need relationships and mentors provide it.
How to Setup Mentor Accounts
Navigate to Admin > User Management > User Roles > Term >Parent/Mentor to edit the settings. Then simply select Parent/Mentor as the User Role when creating a new user. Parent/Mentor accounts can review information for learners/employees such as scores, calendar, training courses, attendance and settings. There is a drop down on the homepage that allows parent/mentor accounts to select desired learner/employee to monitor progress.
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