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Workplace mentoring - A Quick Start Guide

March 22, 2021

Starting a workplace mentoring program is one of the most positive things you can do for your organization. Through mentorships you can improve employee engagement, enhance employee skillset, and onboarding new hires. Compared to workshops and training for your employees, starting a mentoring program is an affordable way to make a positive impact on your business. But it is important to know that successful mentoring programs don’t just happen. It takes some investment to start and manage workplace mentorships. 

What is involved in employee mentoring?

Mentorship is a unique relationship that a more experienced employee develops with a less experienced employee. Traditionally, this has been between an older individual matched with a younger employee. However, successful mentoring programs can also include various other mentor-mentee matches such as peer-to-peer and reverse mentorships. 

Workplace mentoring has several benefits for the mentee, mentor, and the organization. These include a lower employee turnover rate, more highly-skilled employees, succession planning, leadership development, and an opportunity to give back to the company. 

Tips for starting a workplace mentoring program

Successful mentoring programs always begin with a plan or a strategy. By setting some goals for your workplace mentoring program, you’ll be defining clear expectations and guidelines for participants. Doing this can improve employee satisfaction with the program. Here are some tips for getting started.

  1. Set goals for your mentoring program. Workplace mentoring programs are often started to boost business performance in one way or another. There are many ways that you can use a mentoring program to achieve business goals. For example, mentoring can be an essential part of the onboarding process. You may design mentorships that help employees develop leadership skills. Mentoring can also be a central part of succession planning for your organization. Decide what benefit your company needs most from a mentoring program. Once you have selected your goal, you’re ready to get started. You can enter your goal into your mentoring software to begin developing your program. 
  2. Gather registration details. Collecting participant details may seem like one of the most daunting tasks of running a workplace mentoring program, which is why many companies use mentoring software to simplify the process. With Together, you’re able to customize the registration questions. Doing this helps you keep your mentoring program goals in focus and better match up your participants. Through mentoring software, you can have control over the registration process. It can also help speed along the development of your program by setting a deadline for registration, sending out email invitations to potential participants, and promote the program across various company channels. 
  3. Make the match. Pairing mentors and mentees together is one of the most crucial elements of a successful mentoring program. The match can make or break the mentoring experience. You’ll want to set up mentees with mentors that they can connect to and people who allow them to learn desirable skills. Unless you have countless hours to spend manually matching participants, pairing individuals is one of the biggest benefits of a mentoring software. Using sophisticated algorithms, Together can analyze participant’s goals and skills to make successful matches. You’ll also be able to give mentors and mentees some control over the matching process, which boosts participant satisfaction with the program. 
  4. Track goals. At the beginning of the mentorship, it is important for a mentee to set goals that will guide the interactions with their mentor. These individual goals will usually be aligned with the overarching business goals for the mentoring program. Software like Together can help track the progress that mentees make towards their goals. Tracking goals is done by allowing participants to assess their skills before, during, and after the mentorship.  
  5. Analyze program success. Once you have started the program and mentorships are in place, you’ll want to track the program’s success. A mentoring program is only successful if it can achieve the goals you defined for it. Monitoring mentorship activity, satisfaction, and key performance indicators are essential to determine if your program has done what it set out to do. Together’s mentoring software has built-in reporting that can make this step easier. You’ll be able to see which mentor-mentee pairs are meeting and how often. Participants can provide feedback through surveys and skill assessments. Tracking insights into your workplace mentoring program can’t get any easier. 

Creating a workplace mentoring program for your organization can be exciting. As you define your goals, create successful matches, and track mentorship progress, you’ll be building a culture of mentoring that will have an ongoing and positive impact on your company for the long term. Getting it right can take some time and effort. Together’s mentoring software was designed to partner with you and make building a successful mentoring program easier. Consider your workplace mentoring program an investment that will help you achieve your business goals.

Download our Full Report on Mentoring

We interviewed and surveyed employees from 50+ leading North American Companies including McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, IBM, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Capital One, Norton Rose Fulbright, Mackenzie Investments. Get the results below.

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