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Making time for a mentoring program

Mentoring during a pandemic is possible. Whether you already had a successful workplace mentoring program, were just getting started or if you were somewhere in-between, you don’t need to stop cultivating mentorships. To find out more, contact us for a free demo today.

June 1, 2020

Making time for mentoring

Many organizations have the perception that workplace mentoring programs take a lot of time to build and manage. However, that is not always the case. Getting a mentorship program up and running at your organization can be easier than you think. 

The most time-consuming part of a workplace mentorship program is the registration and matching of participants. Making the right match is key to cultivating a successful mentoring program. That is why it is important to invest your energy in getting it right. Software, such as Together, helps to make this process easier, faster and more effective. Whether your employees will continue working from home or if you are planning to re-open your office soon, mentoring software can help make start, manage and analyze your program no matter where you work. 

Distance mentorship made easy

During social isolation, it may be easy to find the time to keep your workplace mentorship program active. Most of your mentorship pairings will have adjusted to virtual mentoring, using apps and other platforms to stay connected. Technology is key during these times.  If you already use mentoring software like Together, you’ll find it simple to adapt to managing your program from a distance. 

If your company was just getting started on a workplace mentoring program, don’t let COVID-19 slow you down. By letting a computer program do most of the hard work, managing your mentorships takes little time at all. That includes getting a program started. Mentoring software uses algorithms to find the best match from your registered participants. Once you have made the match, managing the program, even remotely, is simple. 

Tracking the progress of each mentorship, measuring how often they meet, how the mentee is doing at creating and accomplishing goals and how often the pair communicate are key indicators that you can track with mentoring software. Together is even capable of creating reports to help you and your leadership team measure how well mentorships are meeting KPIs. 

Time management

One of the biggest challenges to most workplace mentoring programs is time. Mentors and mentees may feel that the time commitment for mentorships is too demanding. For program managers, the thought of taking on another task on top of their current work responsibilities feels overwhelming. However, COVID-19 has changed that by giving all of us ample time. How we use and manage that time right now can create healthy time management habits tomorrow. Here are some tips that will help you make time for mentoring:

  1. Have a time allotment - Set a designated amount of time for mentoring each week. Keep your meeting days, times and locations consistent. By scheduling in time to spend on mentoring, you will feel less pressured. 
  2. Stick to the agenda - Agree on an agenda prior to the meeting with your mentor or mentee. During the meeting, stick to the items that you agreed on and don’t get distracted. Any other non-urgent issues can be added to the agenda for your next meeting. 
  3. Constant communication - Staying in touch is key. Respond promptly to any calls or emails from your mentor or mentee. Also, be sure to let your mentor/mentee know if you will be unable to make it to a meeting. Do this as soon as you know there is a conflict. And, reschedule as quickly as you can. 
  4. Be flexible - With social distancing in place, most mentorship meetings will be online. However, technology can present some challenges so be flexible. If your mentor or mentee is unable to get video conferencing to work, consider an audio call instead. 

Taking your mentoring program to the next level

Workplace mentoring programs are a vital tool to help encourage your employees. During social distancing, you don’t need to settle for maintaining the status quo. With a reduced workload, it is the ideal time to take your mentoring program to the next level. 

With fewer distractions taking up your time, consider how you can improve the connection between mentors and mentees, spend some time recruiting new participants and don’t forget to continue promoting your workplace mentoring program to employees. 

Improving mentorship connection - Remote working demands an adjustment to how things get done. This will include how your mentors and mentees communicate and connect from a distance. Stay in touch with your program participants and ask for feedback. This can help you know how you can best support them during the pandemic, such as assisting them in overcoming tech challenges or time management issues. 

Recruit program participants - Even though most of your employees may be working from home, let them know that they can still be involved in mentorship. In fact, they may have some extra time on their hands and getting involved in mentoring may be a productive way they can use that time. Remind them about the benefits of mentoring including skill development, networking, and the personal satisfaction of giving back. 

Promote your program - Continue to look for ways to connect with employees and encourage them to consider your workplace mentoring program. This can be through emails, newsletters, virtual meetings or other internal communication methods. It is important to keep up the momentum when it comes to your mentoring program. 

Building successful mentorships from a distance

Whether your organization already had a successful mentoring program, was just getting one started or you were somewhere in-between when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, you don’t need to give up on your plans to build a mentoring program in your workplace. 

It is possible to continue to cultivate a mentoring program while your employees are at home. With mentoring software, you can register participants, make good matches and create reports that measure your program’s KPIs. 

To find out more, contact us for a free demo today. 

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Download our Whitepaper on Best Practices for Running A Mentorship Program

We draw from the first-hand experience of managers at various companies leading mentoring programs and our own expertise to outline the best practices for running a mentorship program. This white paper is a comprehensive guide to help you build a world-class mentoring program.