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Natalka’s mentorship program finds new ways to continue during the pandemic

14 September 2020
Natalka’s mentorship program finds new ways to continue during the pandemic

In spite of the unusual circumstances, Natalka’s mentorship program at Polyus Magadan has found a way to remain in place throughout the pandemic, by developing a new format and introducing new features. Polyus Magadan has also introduced new goals, targeting increasing the total number of mentors to up to 10% of the total employees.

Polyus Magadan prioritizes employee mentorship. The company’s management regularly holds meetings with mentors, providing ongoing advice and methodological support, as well as incentivization; if the mentees do well in their exams, their mentors are receive a bonus compensation.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the process of training mentors and, in particular, its format. Face-to-face training had to be canceled, meaning that future mentors are now studying remotely via Zoom.

Zoom has proven to be a time-effective solution, and using the new platform has given mentors the opportunity to explore new information technologies and ensures transparency in the training process. However, it also means that there are some constraints associated with technical capacities (a stable internet connection is a necessity), and issues regarding the proficiency of personnel, as some employees who are training to be mentors require some time to familiarize themselves with online tools.

Irma Zhinalinova, teacher at the Training Center:

“Most of our students prefer to study with their mentors face-to face rather than only using computers.”

However she highlighted the progress that the trainees have made. In addition, despite the new format, interest in the mentorship program, which the company’s management is actively promoting, has been steadily rising.

Polyus aims to increase the total number of mentors by up to 10% of Natalka’s total headcount. The company plans to have mentors in all departments, on every shift, for most professions, and especially for those that are in high demand.

Our mentor team members are usually selected from the most experienced and highly skilled professionals; they all complete a full training programme and receive certification before commencing work with the mentees.

As of mid-June, Polyus Magadan had 107 mentors who helped more than 40 people to complete their vocational education, training and onboarding programs. By the end of the year, 120 people are set to become mentors.

Sergey Sidorov, Head of the Training Center commented:

“Mentors are an integral part of any comprehensive production system. They help new members of the team to quickly become full-fledged team players, benefiting both the new employees and the wider company.”