Mentorships are tools that organizations can use to accomplish a wide variety of goals. Mentoring can get you there, whether you’re looking to develop your employees’ skills, create a more inclusive workplace, or prepare high potential employees for leadership positions.
But before you can start a mentoring program and see similar success, you need to begin with a mentoring plan.
What is a mentoring plan?
A mentoring plan is an essential element for any successful mentorship program. It defines the goals of the program as well as the logistics or how the program will proceed. A mentoring plan can also establish expectations for mentors and mentees.
Sometimes, organizations can use mentoring plans to help define where the biggest need for mentors lies.
For example, organizations may want to build a more diverse leadership team. To do this, they decide to connect employees from minority backgrounds with mentors. These mentors will coach and provide them with career guidance. The hope is that their investment will lead to more minority employees moving up through the ranks.
Therefore, the mentoring plan defined a course of action for the organization to become more inclusive. Diversity-focused mentoring programs are common mentoring plans.
Why is it important to outline your mentorship plan?
A mentoring plan sets out the expectations for participants. It can also be vital to get leadership to buy into a workplace mentoring program. By defining the objectives and aims of mentorship at the organization, company leadership will clearly see the need for such a program. They’ll also understand how the formal mentoring program will improve the organization.
Mentoring plans can also help mentoring program organizers stay on top of their tasks. Depending on the size of your organization and the scope of the program, there can be a lot of mentorships to monitor. With a mentoring plan, organizers will be able to stay up-to-date with each mentorship.
Moreover, a mentoring plan can help mentors and mentees stay focused and understand the purpose of their relationship. While many relationships develop organically, the terms of the connection get defined over time. For a successful mentorship, these terms and boundaries should be clear at the beginning of the relationship.
Mentoring plan template
Creating a mentoring plan involves a few steps. Here are the sections that you should include in your mentoring plan.
Mission statement or goal of the program
It’s vital to start with the overarching goal of the mentoring program. Why was it designed? Is the organization looking to reduce turnover, enhance employees’ skill level, or create a more diverse workplace?
This mission statement will help guide the mentoring program.
Timeline for program
Mentorships are limited in time. Most mentors and mentees are connected for a short time and need to be focused on accomplishing their goals during the few months they have.
Mentoring program organizers will need to specify the duration of the mentorship, whether it is three months, six months, a year or longer.
This information can help mentors and mentees pace themselves and work towards an end goal.
Who will be mentors and mentees
Deciding who will participate goes back to the first section of your mentoring plan: Objectives and goals.
- If the goal is to integrate new hires quickly, you’ll want to select mentors who can facilitate that. And your mentees would be new hires.
- If your mentoring program is designed to reduce the turnover rate, you can consider what departments see the highest level of turnover. Select employees from that department to be involved in the mentoring program.
How you will pair mentors and mentees
The pairing process will also need to be specified. Will you match mentors and mentees based on similarities, differences, goals? Is the program format peer mentoring, group mentoring or reverse mentoring? You should define these in your mentoring plan.
Resource for pairs and mentor training
Consider how you can help your mentoring pairs cultivate connections and build a successful relationship.
You can offer them meeting agendas with discussion topics. These agendas can be customized to meet the specific goals of the mentee and guide conversations. There may also be other resources you’d like to offer or some training for participants before they get started.
All of these should be defined and included in the mentoring plan.
How you will report on the program
Measuring your mentoring program is critical. You’ll want to track and report on how successful the program has been.
Consider the different elements you’ll want to report on and create a plan for monitoring them. With mentoring software like Together, you’ll be able to create customized reports on your mentoring program.
It can make the task of tracking and reporting easier for a mentoring program organizer.
What is the Mentorship Agreement?
A mentorship agreement is a document where the mentor and mentee define their specific goals and responsibilities for the duration of their relationship. It outlines clear expectations of each participant.
A good mentorship agreement will include various sections, such as
- Development planning
While a mentorship agreement is optional, it can help participants define what they want to accomplish and lead to a more successful outcome.
Mentoring agreement template
To help simplify the process of defining a mentoring agreement, consider creating a template for your mentoring participants.
Here are some of the sections that you’ll want to include:
Mentees outline their goals
Include a section that allows mentees to outline their goals for their careers. What do they want to achieve in the next few years? Encourage them to be specific about their goals, which can help break them down into actionable steps.
Mentees outline current skills they want to work on
Next, mentees can consider the skills they’ll need to develop to achieve their goals. Do they want to enhance their leadership capabilities? Are they hoping to brush up on their presentation skills? Again, the more specific and direct they can be in this section, the better focus the mentorship will have.
The development plan section is one that a mentee and mentor will fill out together. They will consider the mentee’s goals and the skills they want to work on and define some actions that can be taken in the following weeks and months. There are several things to consider in this section, such as:
What are some concrete actions a mentee can take to achieve their goals for the mentoring period?
Where do you want to be at the highest point in your career? What is the most senior position you’d like to hold?
Scheduling & Time
What time commitment will you make?
What’s your preferred style of contact?
Participants should consider whether they’d like to meet in person, email, talk on the phone, chat over IM, or otherwise.
This section is vital to building trust between participants. They should commit to keeping sensitive conversations had during mentorship sessions private and confidential. Participants should also commit to respecting the time of their mentor/mentee and show up on time and prepared for each session.
Build your mentorship program with Together’s platform
Building a successful workplace mentoring program is easy and fun with Together’s platform. A good mentoring program requires some planning, managing, and reporting. Together’s mentoring software can simplify the process from planning to matching to reporting.
Easy to use mentoring software
Together’s platform is intuitive and easy to use. So, your mentoring program manager won’t need to struggle to learn new software. It’s also mobile-friendly, so no matter where your team is based, you’ll be able to access Together’s platform.
Mentor matching at scale
Getting a good mentor match can be stressful. But with Together’s intelligent pairing algorithm, you’ll be able to connect mentors and mentees based on specified criteria that you can customize based on the objectives of your organization’s mentoring program.
Robust reporting features
Together also offers in-platform reporting. This means you’ll be able to gain important insight into the program and how mentorships are developing. You’ll also be able to quickly identify when mentors or mentees may be struggling. It can help you stay on top of your pairings and help smooth out any issues or challenges they may be facing.
Customizable templates and agendas
Offer your mentorships access to meeting agenda templates that can be customized to meet the objectives of your workplace mentoring program. These resources will guide your mentors and mentees through every step of their journey.
Together’s team has also put together other valuable information to help participants and mentoring program organizers. From blogs to FAQs to handbooks for participants, with Together, you will be equipped to get the most from your mentoring program.
Plenty of integrations
Additionally, Together has been developed to integrate with other popular communication tools, such as various calendars apps, Slack. Teams, etc. This makes it even easier to get your team on board.
Find out how simple it is to use Together. Book a free demo today.