customer success

Expert Tips from Together's Customers to Start and Expand Your Mentoring Program

Explore expert tips from Together's customers on starting and expanding mentorship programs. Gain insights from HubSpot, Affirm, and Cooley on creating impactful initiatives that enhance employee development and retention.

Matthew Reeves

CEO of Together

Published on 

May 21, 2024

Updated on 

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Mentorship programs are powerful tools for employee development and retention. Recently, representatives from HubSpot, Affirm, and Cooley shared their experiences with running mentorship programs through the Together platform. Their insights provide valuable tips for organizations looking to start or expand their own mentoring initiatives.

Understanding the Structure and Motivations

The webinar highlighted the diverse structures and motivations behind successful mentorship programs. Alyssa Rodriguez from HubSpot described their RisE program, a six-month mentorship initiative aimed at improving soft skills. Elizabeth Camacho from Affirm shared how their employee resource groups lead mentorship programs for specific communities, such as women and Black employees. Nia Scott from Cooley explained how mentorship organically occurs through work and deal teams but noted their recent efforts to formalize these programs.

Designing Effective Mentorship Programs

  1. Consider Cultural Context and Employee Feedback:
    • Elizabeth from Affirm: Emphasized that mentorship programs should resonate with the specific communities they serve, driven by employee resource group leads. This ensures that the programs are relevant and valuable to those participating, fostering a sense of ownership and engagement. Elizabeth pointed out that when programs are designed by the communities they aim to serve, they tend to be more effective and well-received.
    • Alyssa from HubSpot: Highlighted the importance of employee feedback in shaping mentorship programs, noting that many employees desire opportunities to mentor others. This bidirectional interest can significantly enhance the mentorship culture within the organization. Alyssa explained that by incorporating feedback, HubSpot ensures that the mentorship program addresses real needs and provides meaningful growth opportunities for both mentors and mentees.
  2. Adapt to Unique Needs:
    • Nia from Cooley: Stressed the importance of cross-office and cross-team collaboration, adapting programs to the unique needs of a global firm with diverse teams. Nia noted that Cooley’s mentorship programs had to be flexible enough to cater to various departments and offices, ensuring that the mentorship experience is relevant and beneficial across different contexts. This adaptability helps in maintaining the program’s effectiveness and appeal.

Promoting and Measuring Success

Promoting and measuring mentorship programs are critical to their success and sustainability.

  1. Involve Senior Leaders:
    • Elizabeth from Affirm: Shared that senior leaders’ involvement as mentors is key to the program’s effectiveness. By having senior leaders actively participate, it not only lends credibility to the program but also demonstrates the organization’s commitment to employee development. Elizabeth noted that this involvement encourages a culture of learning and mentorship at all levels of the organization.
  2. Highlight the Cost of Not Having a Program:
    • Alyssa from HubSpot: Suggested demonstrating the cost of not having a mentorship program, such as higher employee turnover, to underscore its value. Alyssa explained that presenting data on potential losses without a mentorship program can be a compelling argument for its necessity, helping to secure buy-in from stakeholders and ensuring sustained support for the program.
  3. Share Personal Success Stories:
    • Nia from Cooley: Highlighted the impact of personal success stories from mentorship programs, which can serve as powerful testimonials to their effectiveness. Nia shared that stories of meaningful connections and career advancements resulting from mentorship relationships can inspire others to participate and support the program, fostering a culture of mentorship within the organization.

Advice for Starting or Expanding Mentorship Programs

  1. Identify Specific Needs:
    • Design programs to address specific needs such as improving soft skills, fostering a sense of belonging, and providing career development opportunities. Tailoring the program to meet these needs ensures that it is relevant and valuable to participants, enhancing its impact and success.
  2. Leverage Employee-Driven Initiatives:
    • Programs should be largely driven by employees themselves, with support from senior leadership and the DEI team. This approach ensures that the programs are responsive to the actual needs and interests of employees, fostering greater engagement and participation.
  3. Utilize Automation and Adaptability:
    • Automation can streamline program management, while adaptability ensures the programs meet evolving employee needs. Using technology to manage and track mentorship relationships can make the program more efficient and scalable, while adaptability ensures it remains relevant and effective over time.
  4. Consider Potential Losses:
    • Reflect on what the organization stands to lose by not having a mentorship program, rather than just the benefits of having one. This perspective can help in building a stronger case for the implementation and support of mentorship initiatives, highlighting their critical role in employee development and retention.
Watch the full webinar to see how top companies are successfully scaling their mentoring programs with the help of the Together platform.


Starting or expanding a mentorship program can significantly enhance employee development and retention. By understanding the diverse structures and motivations behind successful programs, leveraging cultural context and employee feedback, and effectively promoting and measuring success, organizations can create impactful mentorship initiatives. The insights from HubSpot, Affirm, and Cooley, shared through the Together platform, offer a valuable blueprint for organizations aiming to develop their own mentorship programs. By investing in mentorship, companies can foster a more engaged, loyal, and high-performing workforce.

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