Picture this: You’ve been trying to introduce a mentoring program in your organization. You’ve championed it to leadership by emphasizing all the benefits mentoring programs provide to the company: employees are more engaged, more knowledge sharing happens between all levels, learning and development is more successful—and it’s worked.
You got buy-in to launch a pilot mentorship program. That was six months ago—and the pilot program was a success. Employees loved it and want more.
But now you’re faced with a challenge many People Leaders and HR teams face: how to scale a mentoring program.
It’s can be a big task. When talking with the diversity and inclusion team at Avision and Young, for example, they shared that running even a small mentoring program was chaotic:
“We’d spread [employee registration responses] out all over the floor and try to match people. And we’re a big company with a couple thousand people. It’s hard to tell if this person is right for that one… [the previous program manager] literally said she was losing her mind.”
If you’ve ever tried to match up a dozen or more employees with mentors you can probably relate. It takes way more time than you think it will and you never really know if the match is a good fit.
All hope isn’t lost. You can still scale a mentoring program without losing your mind. You just need the right process and tools. If you read this article to its full length. You’ll have both.
So let’s jump in!
What does it mean to scale your mentoring program?
When you’ve found the secret to success with your mentoring program, it’s time to expand mentorship to the whole enterprise. This is called scaling your mentoring program. It’s about taking a smaller success and spreading it to the rest of the organization.
Some organizations are familiar with casual, informal mentoring that goes on among employees. These relationships are led and directed entirely by the mentor and mentee. However, it usually requires a lot of effort on behalf of the mentee to identify a mentor and then engage that person in a mentorship.
A more formal mentoring program in a work setting usually falls under the management of HR. While it does not cost a lot of money to run a mentoring program, it does require some time and coordination. But the benefit is that it can be scaled so that all employees at the organization are offered the opportunity for mentorship rather than just one department.
When do you need to scale your mentorship program?
Starting small when beginning a mentoring program at your organization is a good approach. But there may come a time when the program increases in popularity and more and more employees are asking to be paired up. This can make it more complicated to manage the mentorship program.
Imagine that your mentoring program has just 10 participants. That would allow for up to 25 matches. What if there are 50 participants in your mentoring program? It presents the possibility of 625 matches. If your program grows to include 100 participants, you will now face 2,500 possible pairs. That will require much more coordination to ensure you’re getting the best pairing for mentorships.
While you want to have a lot of interest and involvement in your mentoring program, it can become a challenge to manage it manually when you get more than 50 participants. Yet, if you want to offer the opportunity company-wide, you can consider using mentoring software like Together. Our platform can analyze large numbers of registrations and determine the best pairing with its customizable algorithm.
How to effectively scale your mentoring program
Scaling your mentoring program can be exciting. Like any other initiative you take in your organization, having a strategy and the right tools can get you there. Here are some steps you can take to scale your mentoring program effectively.
1. Start using a mentoring platform
The reality is that your HR team already has a lot of responsibilities. It is critical to offer them a mentoring platform, like Together, to help manage and run the program. Our software can guide the process from registration to pairing and reporting. Together is also designed to monitor matches and assist with scheduling using calendar integrations. All of the things that can take up time for your program manager can be done with little effort using Together’s platform.
2. Automate mentor matching
Mentor matching is one of the most crucial elements of a mentoring program. When you can connect two compatible individuals, you have the recipe for success. With mentor-matching software, you’ll be able to find the best pair for participants based on the program’s algorithm. An advantage of using Together’s platform is that you can customize the criteria for a match. This allows you to scale up mentoring programs designed to improve your organization's diversity and inclusivity.
3. Provide a bank of discussion topics for participants
It can be a little awkward in the beginning for mentors and mentees as they get to know each other. Offering them resources to use during their sessions can help move the mentorship along. Together shows users suggested topics for each session. These help participants focus more on the goals they’ve set out for themselves. In short, it allows participants to get the most out of each session and the mentoring program.
4. Measure and report on outcomes
Tracking the progress of mentorships and measuring KPIs are the best ways to know if your program is successful. Together has the capability to create customized reports that you can present to company leadership. This information demonstrates the importance of the program and how it is doing at meeting objectives defined for your mentoring program. Additionally, you’ll be able to identify areas of your mentoring program that may need to be tweaked or adjusted to improve outcomes.
Scaling your program with Together mentorship software
Successfully scaling your program couldn’t be easier. Together’s mentoring software does the heavy lifting for you, allowing you to scale in minutes, not weeks.
Whether you’re looking to expand your remote mentoring opportunities or invite employees into group mentoring or reverse mentoring, Together helps you create a more skilled workforce and cultivate a stronger company connection.
Our platform allows you to scale without losing the essential elements that have made your mentoring program successful. Together can handle higher numbers of registrations, mentor matches, and data for reporting.
Ready to scale up your mentoring program? Book a 15 min call with our team. We'll walk you through how our platform makes scale a breeze!
Together Platform is recognized as the best platform to run a mentorship program on.