Knowledge sharing

What is flash mentoring and how can you use it in the workplace?

Flash mentoring is an effective way to bring the benefits of mentoring to your organization in less time. Here's everything you need to know to get started: the benefits, examples, and steps.

Ryan Carruthers

Published on 

July 19, 2022

Updated on 

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Conventional mentorship is like asking your boss or top people at work to open up their lives to you. It requires time, commitment, and the willingness to share personal experiences on both sides. 

Flash mentoring is a method of mentoring without ‌committing to a long-term relationship. This is one way of getting busy executives to show junior employees how you do things in the company under a few hours. The goal is to learn without the pressure of keeping up with a familial relationship.

This article will explain further, what flash mentoring is and how HR managers can leverage it in the workplace to promote knowledge sharing and employee development.

What is flash mentoring?

They are commonly referred to as speed mentoring. However, flash mentoring is a formal mentoring relationship that’s formed for only a short time. With speed mentoring, a mentee is assigned to a mentor and given a time frame in which to ask questions and seek advice from the mentor. In flash mentoring, the mentor and mentee have more time to dig deeper into the specific topic under discussion. The catch in both mentoring types is that there is no need to commit to a long-term relationship.

Constant personal growth and development are one thing that keeps employees loyal to a company. We are in an era where people can work remotely and for any company. They will pursue company’s that allow them to progress in their career. If you have a busy company with little time, as most people, flash mentoring can help you keep your employees engaged.

Flash mentoring shouldn’t have to replace traditional one on one mentoring. It’s a booster for those looking for quick and summarized knowledge from a peer or senior in the organization. It is an effective way to share knowledge in less time. 

Why is flash mentoring important?

Flash mentoring provides a valuable opportunity for less experienced employees to gain valuable knowledge from experienced employees while requiring limited commitment and time from both parties. 

They can decide to meet again following their flash mentorship session. The initial meeting is the only commitment expected from both of them.

You can use flash mentoring to gather important information or learn a skill quickly. Although it is not as long as formal mentoring is, it is still valuable‌. You can combine it with the traditional mentoring programs in your organization. 

Below are several benefits of flash mentoring:

  • You can find answers right when you need them by speaking to experts and putting the knowledge into practice instantly.
  • Less demand on the time of mentors and still achieving the aim of the mentorship by connecting in a more relaxed manner.
  • Mentors can positively influence mentees in less time, too. PAdditionallylus, they can reach more mentees with flash mentoring.
  • Flash mentorship can complement other mentoring models you have in place. They can ‌cultivate a culture that values employee development and engagement.

The author of the book “The Culture Playbook: 60 Highly Effective Actions to Help Your Group Succeed” talks about flash mentoring in this edition of McKinsey interviews. 

Here’s what he said:  

“Traditional mentorship is a big ask. It’s like asking somebody to be your aunt or your uncle. It’s high-stakes thing. Flash mentoring is a way of lowering the stakes and saying, “Tell me, why did you write the memo that way?” or “Tell me, why did you start your presentation with that slide?” And shorter, quicker conversations get at the skill. The goal being, you’re trying to get everything from the mentor or trying to create a quasi-familial relationship.” 

He also shared other helpful insights into company culture and tips to help teams connect over a common goal and purpose. It's worth a listen.

Examples of flash mentoring

We already discussed how flash mentoring is short-term with no pressure to keep in touch relationship. It also doesn’t require multiple meetings over several months. Here are some examples of flash mentoring if you would like to introduce it into your organization. 

Speed networking between new hires and leaders

A new employee can meet with a more experienced employee to get help on whatever task they are working on. This ensures the onboarding process of the employee is faster and they can start doing their work better sooner. It could be a one-on-one or group session.

Knowledge sharing between departments

Here, people from different departments meet to discuss their work and areas of mutual interest. They can also discuss ways to collaborate to achieve the common goals. It is impactful to have people from different teams share their experiences and insights. This is a core tenet of peer learning

Speed networking event between leaders and employees

You can have a networking event where executives and junior employees of different hierarchies can share ideas. It makes the executive less intimidating and gives employees the opportunity to ask questions and get information.

A junior diverse employee matched with several senior employees

This is a chance for the junior employee to discuss the experience of minorities in the workplace with senior employees. Present areas that need improvement and also get tips on going about business in the organization. It could be a mini diversity and inclusion workshop

A high potential employee meets different executives weekly

The process will help the high potential employee learn new things in less time. It is an opportunity to gain unique experiences without having to go through the normal route.

A student meets with a professor to discuss upcoming projects

Students can have the rare opportunity to discuss with their professors outside of academic gatherings or classes. They can ask for clarification on an upcoming project and how to go about it. These, within a short ‌time. 

How to start a flash mentoring program

It can be overwhelming to try and build a flash mentoring program manually. Together can easily help you match employees. You can now take charge of your mentorship program without feeling out of control.

To organize flash mentoring in your organization, sign up for our mentoring platform for free. You can invite employees to sign up, build their profiles and include topics they have relevance and useful expertise in; topics like leadership, marketing, finance, career development, and more. 

Employees interested in flash mentorship can look at the mentor profiles and then set up a quick in-person or phone call meeting to discuss their specific interests.

You can either get started for free or learn more about the Together mentorship platform by booking a demo. 

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