Mentorship

What is Mentoring Software?

Mentorship software makes it easy for companies to run mentoring programs at scale. In this guide, we break down what mentoring software is, who would use it, specific features, and how to get started.

Ryan Carruthers

April 26, 2022

Organizations face several challenges when it comes to training their employees. Perhaps the most significant challenge is ensuring that employees receive the training they need to be effective in their roles. This can be difficult to achieve since employees are busy with day-to-day responsibilities. According to Statista, here are the top four biggest challenges:

  • Making learning a priority (49%)
  • Creating a learning culture (42%)
  • Improving employees' engagement in learning (36%)
  • Teaching an employee how to use technology (31%)

Mentoring software helps solve this problem by providing a way for employees to continue learning in the workplace. Mentorship software provides the opportunity to create mentoring relationships between employees, more experienced colleagues and managers

If your organization is struggling with employee training, consider using mentoring software to create long-term learning relationships to help your employees retain what they learn and continue to grow in their careers.

What is mentoring software? 

Mentoring software provides a platform for mentors and mentees to connect and engage in mentorship activities. It also allows for easy tracking of mentor-mentee relationships, so both parties receive the maximum benefits from the interactions. Additionally, it creates opportunities for professional development and networking.

Mentoring software typically includes tracking progress and program goals, matching mentors and mentees, scheduling and reminders, communication tools, reporting, and analytics. Mentoring relationships can last for weeks, months, or even years, and they provide a way for employees to stay engaged in their learning and continue to improve their skills. 

Who uses mentoring software? 

Mentoring software can be used in various settings, including formal programs run by businesses, nonprofits, schools, and government agencies. And informally by social groups or colleagues.

Below are five of its use cases: 

Human Resources

In many cases, the HR department initiates and oversees the program. They are often responsible for onboarding new employees and helping them acclimate to the company culture.

Learning and Development Teams

Learning and development teams are responsible for equipping workers with the relevant skills they need to achieve the company’s goals. These teams conduct training targeted at employee growth and skill acquisition. When used by learning and development teams, mentoring software can help organizations to:

- Support the professional development of employees

- Encourage knowledge sharing

- Facilitate succession planning

Diversity and Inclusion Teams

Diversity and Inclusion teams inspire productivity and a sense of belonging in the office. Diversity has always been a corporate issue, and a recent Statista study shows that Black tech workers have a harder time getting someone to mentor them than their white counterparts. 

This has been a big hindrance to BIPOC employees who are underrepresented at the helm of affairs. There are only five top black executives among 274 board members of the largest 50 S&P companies.

Mentoring software allows an equal representation of all backgrounds in mentoring programs and other activities. 

Professional Associations 

Consider The Forum, an association of female entrepreneurs, for instance. They're passionate about matching their thriving community of female entrepreneurs with mentors. Adopting mentoring software increased their reach and eliminated the stress of a manual mentorship program. 

Using mentoring software also helped them increase the size of their program to 4 times its original size. That’s because the automated pairing function lightened the burden so the program administrator could match a lot more people in a fraction of the time.

Why do you need mentorship software?

If you’re running a mentoring program with a few people at your office you probably don’t need a software solution. You probably know these people well and have an idea for how to match people together as mentors or mentees. 

Where it gets more challenging is when you’re an HR manager tasked with starting a mentoring program for, say, 50 to 100 employees. You don’t know each employee personally. So considering each persons likes and dislikes, passions, and goals to find them the perfect mentor match is too much. That’s why a software solution that includes a pairing algorithm is so helpful. You can pair employees at scale without spending weeks doing it manually.

Joan Skelton, Avison Young’s Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion, reflected on the their pairing process before adopting Together’s mentoring platform saying,

“We’d spread [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.”

Mentoring software has other benefits as well. They include:

  • Greater accountability and better record-keeping
  • Improved communication between mentors and mentees
  • Organizers match mentors and mentees based on interests and skills
  • And help create more structured mentoring relationships, leading to better outcomes

Below are reasons why you need mentorship software.

Pairing employees manually is an administrative burden

Gathering the data needed to facilitate a perfect mentorship pairing is laborious. However, mentorship software is a cost-effective option that helps program coordinators to supervise the program with minimal effort.

Mentors and mentees can easily sign up for a mentoring program through mentorship software. This means that potential participants don't have to go through a paper-based or manual process of signing up, which can be time-consuming and difficult to manage.

Manage registration and keep everything in the same place

Instead of reporting to the HR desk to enroll in the mentorship program, interested participants can register using the software. The software simplifies actions like the registration, pairing, scheduling, and reporting of mentors and mentees. Employee-centric platform Together Platform describes the use of mentoring software that can "make the difference for your workplace mentoring program." 

In addition, mentoring software can automate other program-related processes, such as matching mentors and mentees, tracking progress, and scheduling meetings. This can make it easier for program administrators to run the program effectively and efficiently.

Report on and monitor your program

Using the software enables program managers to be more intentional about the program. Most mentoring software features an automated check-in feature. 

Instead of monthly check-ins, mentors and mentees will enjoy the coordinator's presence via frequent courtesy texts or feedback surveys. Since feedback is critical to measuring the program's performance, using the software gives the program leader a sincere outlook on things. 

Mentoring software helps lessen the burden of examining the data received from the survey. If the company executives require more frequent reports, the program head can provide that with the software's assistance. 

How does mentoring software work?

The software typically includes a database of potential mentors and mentees and a set of tools to help match individuals based on compatible interests and skills. Once matched, the software can also provide a platform for communication and collaboration between mentors and mentees.

Build your program with one of our program templates 

If your organization currently lacks a mentoring program but is thinking of starting one, why not take advantage of a template? To ensure the maximum success of the program, you must allow for adequate planning and execution. 

Whether your program will improve diversity and inclusion or improve internal mobility, start by planning properly. Define your goals, select the program type, invite participants, match them, and follow up accordingly. 

Invite employees to register through email 

Upon establishing your program's goals, announce that you need volunteers to participate as mentors or mentees. A competent communications team will come in handy as most employees will be skeptical about joining the program. It's the comms team's responsibility to present the initiative attractively. 

Decide how to match mentors and mentees with our pairing algorithm

Remember, incorrect pairing is a serious problem in a mentoring program. When two employees with different views are matched, it's nearly impossible to achieve a positive outcome. 

However, Together Platform's unique software algorithm is a great feature that curbs the possibility of incorrect matches. Users can tweak the pairing criteria until they get a positive result. The software adapts to frequent criteria changes and, with each alteration, delivers the best possible mentor-mentee match. 

Pair employees

After using the algorithm, you can pair the employees. Although the software has drastically reduced or eliminated the chances of a wrong match, you can make the process exciting by offering three options. 

You can allow mentees to request a mentee with whom they feel most comfortable, and the mentors approve. This empowers them and scales their engagement with the program. 

You can also adopt the previous strategy with a minor modification. In this case, the program administrator approves the request, not the mentor. And finally, the administrator, using the software and algorithm, decides the pairings. 

Provide meeting agendas and session topics 

One way to support an early mentoring relationship is by providing mentors and mentees with agendas and topics that will spark discussions and build bonds. 

Program leaders can leverage leadership mentoring topics, reverse mentoring topics, and more to create meaningful discussions

Track progress and report on key metrics 

How can program managers determine whether their program is succeeding? Well, they can adopt an intelligent process called measurement and evaluation

To guarantee correct data collection, the measurement and evaluation process should already be incorporated into the program. Meanwhile, the key metrics for measuring a program's performance should include: signups, mentee and mentor goals, and session feedback.  

Doing this gives the manager a clear understanding of how the program is performing and how best to tackle its shortcomings.

Ready to start your mentoring program? 

If you don't have a mentoring program, your company is missing out on a strategy proven to develop its leaders and talent pool. It's an excellent way of increasing employee engagement and equipping workers with valuable skills. As the Great Resignation rages on, companies keen on preventing an influx of resignation letters must invest in modern-day solutions. 

The Together mentorship software is a marvellous digital solution developed to accelerate employee growth and lower turnover. See it as the ultimate employee retention tool. If you're looking to bolster your workers' confidence, let our software do the heavy lifting now.

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Want incredible results from your mentorship program? Then download our comprehensive list of best practices.

We draw these best practices from the first-hand experience of program managers like you and our own expertise. This white paper is a comprehensive guide that will be your roadmap to building a world-class mentoring program.