Onboarding Mentoring Program Handbook:
Congratulations! You've begun your mentorship program. Mentorship has been around for a long time, and it's proven to be one of the best ways to achieve personal and professional growth whether you're a mentor or mentee.
Starting a new job is an exciting time, but can also be a little nerve-wracking for the new team member. Onboarding programs are designed to help alleviate some of that anxiety. Having a mentor from the get-go is crucial to a new employee’s long-term success.
Making a Great Onboarding Program
Few companies take onboarding programs seriously. A study by Gallup found that 88 percent of employees don’t believe that their company has a great onboarding program. Additionally, statistics show that many companies are not using onboarding advantageously.
This results in new employees being twice as likely to start looking for new jobs within their first 90 days. Fortunately, by virtue of starting this mentoring program, you’re already off to a good start.
Setting up a mentoring relationship from the get-go creates a relationship between the new hire and the experienced mentor who is familiar with the company culture, structure and role.
Two key characteristics of this mentoring relationship will be trust and confidentiality. In this guide, we’ll break down the best practices to making an onboarding mentoring relationship a success.
Give the Mentee the Inside Scoop on Company Culture
Company cultures are more than just the values on our about pages. It encompasses all the different perspectives, world views, and values that make up everyone at the company. The mentor should be their mentee’s guide to understanding the social makeup of the team.
As the mentee ask your mentor these questions:
- What are the companies core values and why were they chosen?
- How are the company values practiced throughout the company?
- Who should I know about?
- What’s the company history? How did we get to where we are today?
- What resources do I have available to me to learn more about the company and the team?
Aligning the Mentee’s Goals with the Organizations
Starting a new job can be confusing if you don’t know how you fit into the whole of the organization. The mentor should break down how the role of the mentee contributes to their wider team and in turn, the whole company.
As a mentee ask your mentor:
- What are the senior leadership’s goals for the organization?
- How do I, the mentee, fit into those goals?
- What skills do I need to succeed in this role/company?
The mentor should then seek to understand what their mentee’s professional goals are. Afterward, the mentor should help the mentee align their goals with the company.
As a mentor ask your mentee:
- What drew you to this role?
- What do you hope to learn over the next several months?
- How can I help you approach a discussion with your manager regarding your career objectives and growth within the company?
Ramping up Mentee to Their Role
The mentor should leverage their experience at the company to help ramp up their mentee. It speeds up the mentee’s development and helps them get comfortable in their new role when they have someone beyond their manager to lean on for guidance.
What projects does the mentee have to work on?
- What are the skills the mentee wants to or feels they need to work on? Work out a plan with them to develop those skills in the coming weeks/months.
- What knowledge or advice can the mentor give their mentee to help them where they are right now?
- Does the mentee have any important meetings or presentations coming up, and how can they prepare for them?
The mentee should be able to leverage their mentor to advise them on how to succeed early on in their role. Follow our onboarding checklist for more best practices on helping your mentee ramp up into their new role.
Who Should The Mentee Meet?
The mentor should connect their mentee with colleagues throughout the organization whose expertise would be relevant to their goals and current projects. Who else in the organization should the mentee meet?
- Who would be a great connection for the mentee to have?
- What do they need to know about them?
- How will you introduce them?
These questions will help identify who best to add to the mentee’s network. After you make the connection ensure you follow up with both parties and see how it went.
If you want to go deeper on the topics discussed above, we have resources on our website that unpack them further.
Download as PDF
Why the Onboarding Experience Is Key for Retention
By Gallup Blog
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