How to get busy executives to be mentors in your mentoring program

When you're starting a mentoring program, it can be hard to get busy execs on board. But it isn't impossible. This article outlines 6 ways you can not only convince executives to join your mentoring program but be excited about it.

Ryan Carruthers

Published on 

October 28, 2021

Updated on 

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Mentorship is really what you make of it. It can take time and effort. For busy executives, time is money, and mentoring may seem like a waste of their valuable time. Moreover, there is no quick and sure-fire way to be a mentor. 

Without a proper incentive, senior leaders will simply avoid getting involved. If you’re looking for ways to attract executives to your workplace mentoring program, it’s crucial to start with the value of mentorship. 

The Importance Of Mentorship Programs 

Over 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a form of mentoring program in their organization. Statistics show that these programs lead benefit both participants and the organizations that run them in a number of ways. 

For example:

  • 71 percent of employees who have a mentor believe their employers provide them opportunities to grow at work. 
  • In addition, 72 percent of employees in mentorships were more likely to stay with their organization, and 69 percent of mentors were more committed to their jobs. 
  • Nearly half of employees without a mentor have thought about quitting, according to a CNBC survey. 

These numbers demonstrate the value that mentorship programs offer to your organization. To keep your program strong and successful, it’s key to have senior leaders supportive and involved. 

6 Ways To Get Busy Executives To Sign Up To Your Mentoring Program

Many executives are pressed for time and may not see the benefits of getting involved in a mentoring program. Here are some ways that you can help them see the advantages to both them and the company. 

1. Benefits to their career and own growth and fulfilment 

To attract mentors to your program, show them what’s in it for them. Demonstrate the numerous benefits mentors can gain both to their professional and personal development, including:

  • Strengthening soft skills
  • Learning to give and receive feedback
  • Getting outside of their comfort zone
  • Validating their leadership skills
  • Developing a reputation as an advisor
  • Gaining new perspectives
  • Expanding your network to find emerging talent

2. Highlight the impact the executive can have on their mentee’s career and growth

Employees who are given the opportunity to grow can reach their full potential and give back more to the company than those without growth opportunities. 

Mentorship programs can have a positive impact on the career and growth of both mentors and mentees. 

Explain to your executives how significant their influence is on the career growth of employees and their own. Being a mentor to someone can help them change the course of their professional and personal lives. It is a unique and special role to have in another person’s life. 

3. Time commitment involved

For many busy executives, the idea of adding another commitment to the calendar can seem daunting. However, if you’re able to demonstrate that the time needed for mentorship will not be as demanding as they think, you’ll have more success attracting mentors. 

Encourage them to consider shorter, mini-mentoring sessions that are 20 to 30 minutes long. Invite them to be creative with the time they spend. 

For example, have a mentoring session over lunch. Mentors don’t need to be drawn into long coffee meetings, instead offer a 15-minute Skype or Zoom session. Mentors can also prepare some answers in advance by considering some of the common questions they’ll be asked, such as, “How did you get started in your career?” 

If executives still aren’t convinced ask them if they’d be interested in leading a group mentoring program. In a group mentoring program, the executive mentor’s several mentees; usually new hires, or high potential employees who are being considered for leadership positions

From our experience, when we help large organizations run group mentoring programs there are mentors, mentees, and group facilitators that help handle some of the logistics involved in organizing the group. They usually plan some questions ahead of time and prep documents for the mentor. In doing so, it lightens the executive’s burden and frees them up to focus on their mentees.

4. ROI for the organization 

Workplace mentorships hold significant benefits for the organization as well as participants. With a successful mentoring program, you’ll be building on the skillset of your employees. It will also result in more employees feeling happier with their jobs and higher engagement and retention levels. 

One survey found that 91 percent of employees with a mentor reported being more satisfied at work. Reducing turnover directly impacts your bottom line. Find out how much job vacancies cost your organization with our employee turnover cost calculator

Moreover, mentoring programs can create a positive work environment and help you build a reputation for being a great company to work for. You’ll be able to use your mentoring program to attract top talent. Take, for example, Randstad, a multinational human resource consulting firm. After implementing a mentoring program they found that employees participating in the program were 49% less likely to resign.

If you’re looking for ways to accurately calculate the ROI of mentoring for our organization we have an entire white paper that outlines several ways to do so. Download it here

5. Marketing tactics

Running a workplace mentoring program requires some marketing techniques to promote it. These can include emails, intranet, posters and newsletters. You can hold kickoff and recruitment events to let your executives know about the program. 

These activities should also include some personal testimonies from participants. Let potential mentors hear about how mentoring has changed the lives and careers of those who have experienced it. 

6. Give mentors the resources they need to be great mentors

Make it easy for mentors by guiding them through the process of how to build a successful mentoring relationship. 

With Together, we provide more than just mentoring software to organize your program. We have agendas, handbooks, and so many other helpful resources to prepare mentors with everything they need to be great. 

Depending on who the executive is mentoring we have several helpful resources to share:

These resources all dive deep into how to mentor someone in different contexts. 

Design A Mentorship Program That Runs Itself With Together

Building a successful workplace mentoring program takes time and effort. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Using spreadsheets to run your mentoring program will leave you feeling drained and unmotivated. Instead, level up your mentoring program with a best-in-class mentoring platform that runs itself. Together’s mentoring software offers the best user experience for your employees, keeping mentors and mentees engaged and connected. 

Moreover, you’ll be able to customize your program with our platform. Make adjustments so that the objectives of your program can be easily achieved. At Together, we want to help you run a seamless and effective mentoring program. That’s why our support team will provide you with guidance every step of the way. Let us show you a better way to run your mentorship program.

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