Best Practices for Marketing Your Mentoring Program
Workplace mentoring programs can help organizations recruit top talent, boost retention rates, reduce turnover rates, and engage employees for a more productive workforce. Building a mentoring program can be one of the best investments your company makes. You’ll want to cultivate it so it can grow, which is where promoting your program is essential.
After you’ve pitched your mentoring program and gotten leadership to buy into it as well as determined its objectives, it is time to promote it. To do this effectively, you’ll need to have a strategy to guide and know the best practices for promoting your workplace mentoring program.
Start with creating a list of who you’ll be promoting the program to. There are different purposes for mentoring programs and that changes what kind of mentors and mentees you want to attract.
Some areas mentorship programs are designed to:
- Support professional development among employees;
- Strengthen relationships and company culture;
- Enhance employee engagement and job satisfaction; and,
- Prepare high potential employees for leadership positions.
Will it be open to anyone in the company or directed at high potential employees or underrepresented individuals? Once you’ve established who your marketing mentorships to, it’s time to consider some ways to promote your program.
Internal communication is a powerful tool to spread the word about your workplace mentoring program. Create a unique and engaging email with a great hook sentence, such as sign up now or click here for more information. If your organization has an employee newsletter, write something for it that features your program. For example, look for success stories that you can share. Allow participants to help you market your mentorship program.
Feature some information on your company intranet to attract participants. You can leave it up for a few weeks or let it stay up indefinitely so people can register on demand. Be sure the include a link where they can sign up or get more information.
Build a portal
Using mentoring software allows you to build an attractive portal where interested employees can read more about the program. Be sure to include the benefits participants can get from becoming involved. Focusing on what a mentor or mentee can achieve through mentorship will be more interesting than how the program meets company objectives. Additionally, a mentoring program portal can be a one-stop-shop for people to sign up, contact the program coordinator, and build their profile.
Don’t be afraid to get creative marketing your mentorship program. Design an attractive and informative poster or event flyer that you can put up in high traffic areas around the office. You can also use the poster on your company’s intranet so that remote employees can be included too.
Have a party
Plan a party or event to draw employees in and tell them about the mentoring program. For example, if you are just starting the program, consider a launch party. You can send out invitations and encourage managers to give employees a break to come out and learn more about the benefits of mentoring. You could also organize a speed mentoring event to give attendees a taste of mentorship. Alternatively, you can piggyback on office activities already planned, such as lunches. Be sure to ask the event organizers if it is okay that you show up with some information or a presentation.
Invite participants to tell others about the program and their mentorship experience. Word-of-mouth can be particularly effective if there is a success story that you can promote. Did one of the mentees get promoted? What are the valuable skills a mentor passed on to a mentee? Be sure that these stories are passed along through the office grapevine.
Don’t stop promoting
Months after reaching your promotion goals, you should still be marketing your mentoring program. Most company mentorships last about a year. To keep your program growing, you’ll need to constantly be looking to attract new participants. You won’t need to put as much effort in once the program is running successfully, but consider sending something out every few weeks or months. It can help you reach new hires or employees that may have been previously undecided about mentorship.
Tips for marketing your mentorship program
No matter what ways you use to promote your mentoring program, here are some tips to help you:
- Focus on the benefits of mentorship. When promoting your workplace mentoring program, focus on the benefits to mentors and mentees. They’ll be more interested in the skills they’ll develop or the experiences they will have, or the track to leadership positions rather than how the program meets business goals.
- Get leadership on board. Ask company executives to promote the program to employees they come into contact during their week. Perhaps the company CEO can write a brief letter to employees that will encourage them to get involved. It can be sent out via email or posted up on the company’s intranet.
- Define some marketing goals. Develop some KPIs that you can use to measure your promotional efforts. Depending on the type of promotion you are doing, a KPI could be the click-through rate of an email or an increase in registrations of mentees.
- Use feedback. After a mentorship ends, seek feedback from the participants. Find out what worked and what didn’t. Short surveys or emails can help you identify success stories and give you valuable material for marketing your mentorship program.
Be sure that you have developed the registration and matching process before promoting your workplace mentoring program. You’ll want to pair participants while they are still enthusiastic. The longer they have to wait for a match, the more momentum you’ll lose.
Promoting your workplace mentoring program can make or break its success. By getting leaders on board early and leveraging their enthusiasm you can spread the word about your program through various channels like email, social events, and word of mouth. Focus on generating enthusiasm through all levels of the organization and the only problem you’ll have to worry about is how to handle the logistics of all your participants. But, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Check out our mentor matching software that does away with manual matching through spreadsheets.