The workgroup 'mentoring' within TriFinance recently met virtually. One of its members, Business Consultant Nico De Neve of the Blue Chip Boutique Transition & Support in Ghent, already experimented some time ago with mentoring from a distance and in a group. He created a digital whiteboard and held virtual group sessions around specific themes. Partly due to the Corona crisis, this experiment is receiving broader attention, as we are doing our mentoring from a distance these days.
Nico indicates that there have been virtual sessions on Excel, VAT, AR in Ghent in the last few weeks. He explains that these were meetings of about an hour where a mentor meets four Project Consultants working on the same topic. "In order for such a meeting to take place physically, you need half a day. Now nobody has to move. Turn on the computer and we're off. That's not only more cost-efficient. Above all, in some cases, it helps us learn more efficiently."
This way of working fits the context of 'workplace learning'. We have been using workplace learning as a concept for a long time and we are constantly refining the corresponding insights. "Rather than putting Project Consultants in a training room for half a day of teaching, you hold a shorter session in which you immediately apply the learnings in the real work situation. This approach keeps the new knowledge better acquired", Nico explains.
Organizing mentorings virtually offers the opportunity to organize them more frequently, and consultants can immediately apply their learnings in the real work situation.Nico De Neve, Business Consultant T&S Ghent
For him, the added value of mentoring online does not mean that we can completely forget about physical meetings. He explains this in unison with Céline Woltman, Business Consultant at T&S Antwerp. Because mentoring isn't just about knowledge, about hard skills. Mentoring also has to do with soft skills, and the two experts are convinced that physical meetings are more appropriate for this kind of guidance.
"We're going to have a lot of virtual ‘Hub mentorings' in the near future, with an expert facilitating the meeting. Several topics will be discussed: Budgeting & Forecasting in Corona times; preparing closings from a distance; Power BI and so on. Such sessions contribute a lot to broadening the horizons of the Project Consultant", Céline explains.
Virtual Hub Mentoring
The participants in the mentoring workgroup exchange best practices. The aim is to continuously improve our offer to Me inc.®’ers and to achieve a more uniform policy throughout our network organisation, without detracting from the specificity of the Blue Chip Boutiques.
Being forced to switch to mentoring online on a large scale opens up perspectives. Who said it again: 'Never waste a good crisis'? Technology will play an increasing role in supporting the growing group of Project Consultants to roll out their careers.