Mentoring in the workplace has been shown to reduce employee turnover, improve engagement and boost productivity. This is likely why 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies have workplace mentorship programs in their organizations.
While one-on-one mentorships have been the traditional style, group mentoring can be just as effective. In fact, in group situations, there are more opportunities for learning, engagement and to create a team mentality among the workforce because there are more individuals involved.
One research paper noted that: “Outcomes for participants are increased confidence, expanded understanding of the organization and increased commitment and connectedness to the organization.”
Group mentoring programs have also been seen as a positive way to handle diversity in the workplace. Through team mentoring opportunities, multiple people can take part. This creates a more cohesive and innovative environment.
Mentoring multiple people at the same time is also a time-efficient way to help employees and guide their progress within the organization. Group mentoring can also be the best option for companies that do not have a lot of mentor candidates to draw on. In this way, it can help reduce the possibility that mentors will be overstretched and burnout.
In today’s economy, many employees have been taking on more tasks, which can mean that some of your potential mentors may not feel they have enough time or energy to take on mentorship roles. However, through a group mentoring program you can get maximum results from your mentor and added benefits for your mentees.
Allowing one mentor to work with multiple people at a single time can be an efficient use of your talent’s time and skills.
The essential elements in a workplace mentoring program include the ability to pass along wisdom and information to the mentee, as well as create a personalized goal plan and strategy. These features can still be achieved through a group mentoring experience. In addition, each mentee can benefit from the added input and perspective of others in the group.
Some keys to making the group mentorship successful include:
There are many types of group mentorships that can be beneficial for guiding multiple people. The most common styles of mentoring when it comes to mentoring multiple employees include facilitated group, peer mentoring and team mentoring.
Facilitated group: This style is designed to be a learning experience that allows the mentees to benefit from a mentor or mentors. Because each participant brings their own experience into the group, a facilitated group experience can enhance an individual employee’s perspective. In this type of setting, the mentor can guide the group discussion with questions. They can also share their own experience and offer feedback to multiple people at the same time.
Peer group: This type of mentor situation happens between peers and does not have a designated mentor to lead. Rather, participants are able to learn from each other’s experience and feedback. The benefit of this style is that individuals are offered advice from their peers to help solve problems.
Team mentoring: Team mentoring scenarios are ones where participants have joint goals and objectives. These groups can have one or more mentors that help lead the program. This style of mentorship works best for employees who work on teams together. While participants can learn from their mentor they are also given the opportunity to learn from each other.
Team mentoring has become a common method that employers use to handle diverse mentees. It has also been proven effective to ease the workload of a mentor by allowing for a minimum of meetings while maximizing their impact on mentees.
It is important that leadership is behind any workplace mentoring program that is established, including group mentoring activities. Because mentoring can add to the responsibilities of top employees, managers may want to consider a team-style workplace mentoring program. The opportunity to mentor multiple people at a single time means that a mentor is able to help the organization by using their experience and talent effectively.
It is also important that mentoring program managers and leadership keep in mind the amount of work that a mentor needs to do aside from their roles as an advisor for other employees. Most often, mentorships are taken on by senior members of the company who will still need to perform their regular duties alongside their mentorship responsibilities.
While mentoring can be a rewarding experience, it can also be time-consuming. One of the best ways to ensure that a mentor’s time is being used effectively is through a mentoring software program. Good mentoring software has the capability to track and schedule events, including group meetings as well as produce reports.
Through these monitoring features, mentoring software can offer insight into how a mentor’s time is being used and whether or not the mentorship is proving effective.
Most often mentoring software is seen as an asset to traditional workplace mentoring programs, but they can also help develop and manage group-style mentoring programs. Software like Together is built with a variety of features that can advance a workplace strategy for mentoring. These features include:
Registration-even if you are designing a group or team mentoring program you will need to gather some preliminary information. With Together, you can easily gather this data on your mentors and mentees. The software can also use existing employee information to help in the registration and matching process.
Pairing-diversity is one of the best elements of a group mentoring process. It allows participants to gain knowledge from those who have different backgrounds or life experiences, which can be an enriching experience. However, there will still be an element of pairing needed when it comes to making up a successful team. Mentoring software can simplify the matching process through its algorithms. It can also be customized to create matches built around your organization’s requirements.
Meeting and communication-Together’s mentoring software comes with a scheduling feature that can integrate with a variety of calendars. This makes it easy to track, record and manage group mentoring get-togethers. Our software is also equipped to coordinate with emails of participants so that everyone is reminded of upcoming meetings.
Reporting-thanks to mentoring software it is easy to track the progress of workplace mentorships, including group experiences. Reports can be created in a short time and customized to focus on the important aspects of your organization. These reports can be used to monitor the success of group mentoring programs and ease the workload of the mentors and program managers.