Ongoing learning is crucial to professional journeys, increasing workplace satisfaction and employee retention. Colleagues may already be guiding one another on some level, offering insight and opinions to overcome roadblocks. However, mentee and mentor relationships are most effective when structured and recognized.
When developed carefully and implemented strategically, mentoring programs can increase knowledge sharing, foster diversity, improve employee engagement, and foster professional growth.
Is a company mentoring program right for my company?
There’s a misconception that mentorship is reserved only for new employees and integrated with the onboarding process. While new hires will benefit significantly from veterans, so do employees who show growth potential and might be prospects for promotion. You may have members on your team who excel but cannot move to the next phase of their professional journey because of limited opportunities to grow and learn.
Enlisting your team’s support
Beyond the leaders of your company, tenured employees also make excellent mentors. With a structured and defined mentoring program, there shouldn’t be confusion regarding the time the mentor spends with the mentee. Having a clearly outlined program also increases opt-in and support.
More importantly, having an organized mentoring program helps prevent confusion and misinterpretation. If a leader were to take an employee under their wing, it might be perceived as favoritism and create friction in the work environment. Employees need to know how mentees and mentors are matched. Therefore, a certain level of transparency is essential for a successful mentorship program.
Analyzing which skills to teach
Consider which skills will benefit the mentees most and are relevant to their professional journey. While each organization is different, useful skills can be developed through mentoring, such as problem solving, self-management, and adaptability.
Length of stay in a company doesn’t always equate to the strength of experience and knowledge. Therefore, only a handful of employees in your organization may qualify as good mentors. Start small and identify the right mentors first. You may even consider becoming a mentor yourself, particularly if there are limited people on your team who qualify as mentors.
Seek advice from experienced mentors
Look outside your organization to connect with experienced mentors who may provide insight into their processes. Consider what has worked for them and what hasn’t.
Communicate the mentoring program to your employees, clearly defining the program’s goals and developmental needs it plans to achieve. Increase engagement by inviting employees to contribute their ideas on what skills they’d like to learn through a mentorship program.
Make the program scalable
Your mentoring program may start small with new hires and high-potential employees; however, other employees may desire to be mentored over time. The increased interest offers the opportunity to expand your program. Not only can the program attract more mentees, but also encourage more leaders to provide mentorship.
As a former CEO and COO, I have built leaders and their teams for over 30 years. I now count top organizations among my grateful clients.
I can custom-tailor an executive coaching and team-building plan just for you. There is never any cost for a discovery call which you can schedule right here: https://calendly.com/inscapegreg/30min
I look forward to chatting with you.