When it comes to the dynamic and ever-changing tech industry, it’s very fast when the knowledge turns outdated.
With the introduction of technologies and new programming every day, it becomes crucial to stay up to date with ongoing and upcoming trends.
This helps in developing the knowledge and expanding the skill set of the team, and the most effective strategy you can find is to implement the mentorship program.
But how to start and what are details you should know, for the help here is an ultimate guide for you.
- What To Know About Mentorship?
- Why is Mentorship Program Beneficial For The Companies?
- Qualities of a Good Mentor
- How To Be A Mentor?
- Different Types In Mentoring Programs
- Developmental Or Career Led Mentorship Program
- Reverse Mentoring Program
- Peer To Peer Mentorship Program
- Group Mentorship Program
- how to start a mentorship program?
- Step 1: Define Your Goals And Purpose
- Step 2: Create An Design For The Mentoring Program
- Step 3: Start the Onboarding Process Of Mentors And Mentees
- Step 4: Match Right Mentee With Mentors
- Step 5: Maintain The Mentoring Momentum
- Step 6: Measure The Success And ROI
- How To Match Your Mentees With Right Mentors?
- How To Ensure a Mentorship Program Is Working Well?
- Key Metrics To Use For Measuring The Mentoring Program
- How to Measure the Success of a Mentoring Programme
What To Know About Mentorship?
Before you start learning how you can create the mentorship program, you must be clear on what it means.
Well, mentorship is a relationship between two people in which one person who has more knowledge, connection, and experience, is considered a mentor, and they help in transferring what they know to the next person who has less experience, also known as a mentee.
It’s for helping the mentee to learn and understand the right ways of dealing with challenges related to the specific field.
The activities of the mentor are mostly aimed at maximizing the professional as well as the personal potential of the mentee.
However, it’s not always focused on the problems. Instead, it’s aimed to teach and develop the skills and knowledge to solve the problems on their own.
Why is Mentorship Program Beneficial For The Companies?
Well, with the help of ideal mentoring, this can work as a two-way road. Here both the mentor and mentee get the benefit to enjoy.
However at first glance, it does give the idea that mentee has more benefit, but it’s only one side.
When the mentors are helping the mentee or juniors to be better, it gives them the satisfaction of helping but achieving success in better management and improving along the way.
Qualities of a Good Mentor
An important question to ask is, well, why do you need to have a mentor, especially for the workers whose main capital depends on the skills they have?
The employer requires knowledge of the subjects in order to do the tasks and solve the problems they face during work.
However, in different industries, the knowledge of workers, especially designers and software engineers, can become obsolete fast. And they need the learning in order to level up.
This is why an experienced mentor is needed; they help in moving forward and also improve their way of thinking.
With the help of a good mentor, not just they can see the growth points but also help in staying on top of the trends which are going latest in the industry.
Along With that, they can be encouraged to join the community of people who are like-minded and also focus on developing plans for the learning activities.
To understand it better, here are some of the benefits that the employee or team could get from the mentorship.
Help In Learning The Tools And Best Practices
A mentor can help in teaching about advanced programming teaching to the mentee, it can help them to be updated and familiar with all the recent learning tools and best practices that help in improving their skills.
Find Better Solution For Challenging Problems
If the employee finds it difficult or can’t cope with tasks that are hard to handle, they might need to broaden their view to find the solution and consider the different angles to get a faster way of solving it.
It’s important to understand if mentors solve the problem on behalf of the mentee, this will never let them grow. Instead of that, they make it dependent on their mentor.
This can help in dealing with the task and difficult problems on their own.
Identifying The Areas For Growth
Mentors also need to find the areas where the mentee can grow. If they are being honest and point out the employee where the employee can work to be better.
It’s difficult to find the weakness of human nature to avoid tasks that are difficult. And when the mentee has a weakness in front of them, they can work on it and get better results.
Give Better Advice For Career Development
A mentor can help in finding the area where development is needed and suits a mentee doing best, including their likes and dislikes.
So the help can guide them in finding a career path and help in avoiding mistakes.
And on-time advice can help in saving time and aching the goal much more quickly.
Support During The Remote Work
If the employees are working alone, how are they going to get the experience? Well, here the mentor can help them and immerse them in the company’s culture to build colleagues and building relationships. Also, this helps in gaining experience and creates much more successful plans.
How To Be A Mentor?
A mentor is the first as well as foremost a good human and patient.
While they are not the coaches essentially but their jobs need them to do the guide and coaching.
When you are running a mentoring program, you need to find mentors who can hold the responsibility of guiding and helping the mentee.
Well, some of the handy points that you should check :
A mentor requires to ensure the goal creation, they need to focus on what goal the mentee is following and help in fostering the connection, preparing them to do the major milestones, changing when it’s needed, and making sure the mentee is on the right track.
To make sure that the relationship between mentee and mentor should be productive, the meter is required to follow the structure to help in better focus.
However, it’s only possible when the mentor and mentee have a rapport.
With the right mentor, the mentorship program can be effective and result in what you are aiming for.
The next and most important facet is to share the information. The mentor should have the expertise and expertise to fill the gap that the mentee lacks.
Also, they should know how to communicate and share what they have learned from their experiences.
Open Doors Policy
To be sure that the mentee and mentor have an effective relationship, an open-door policy is needed, also it’s important for improving communication.
The program requires it to be structured in such a way that can allow both parties to have a transparent relationship.
This is important for offering clean communication. Also helpful in building a healthy and transparent relationship between the mentor and mentee.
Different Types In Mentoring Programs
Employees can bring their set of dedicated skills. However, depending on projects, it might need diverse skills to be imbibed and updated.
Because of this, it becomes important that the business offers a mentoring program in the workplace to ensure that everyone’s skills are in the development process.
There are some of the popular mentorship programs, including :
Developmental Or Career Led Mentorship Program
The mentoring program includes the senior executive helping the junior employee has a dedicated growth path in their career.
For example, the junior who joined the retail division of the company would get mentorship from the mentor or senior employee to climb up the division leader with knowledge as well as specific skills.
It’s one of the common types which is included in most of the top companies, it helps in :
Giving The Job Satisfaction
A satisfied mentee can be a successful mentee when the organization offers a structured learning program that can help in increasing job satisfaction.
This also reduces attrition which is considered one of the gravest problems faced by companies on a global level.
Improving The Job Output
The help of a coaching program can offer enhancement to the critical job, this helps in excellent outcomes for the company as well as the team.
Project Driven Mentorship Program
When an employee enters a company or gets inducted into a project, they might not have complete knowledge regarding the role they need to play.
The help of dedicated project-led mentoring programs can help in targeting to help as well as coach the employee as they will get the required skills
Well with this mentorship program, there are some of the benefits you get, it includes :
Optimizing The Results
When you are providing the complete knowledge and skills that the employee should have for the tasks, it helps them in becoming better and ready for it.
This also improves the results and achievement of the goals.
Improving Employee’s Professional Development
Being equipped with all the needed skills can help in boosting the confidence of the employee. This affects their performance and also has positive reflections on the outcome of the project.
Reverse Mentoring Program
The next type you get is a reverse mentorship program that can be unconventional. However, this can be an effective one too.
With this type of mentorship program, the junior employee gets paired up with professionals who are more experienced in sharing the experience, limitations, and learning.
The bottom-up approach helps the company to get transparency, enhancing the collaboration and sense of being valued in the organization.
It shows the meaning of a true mentor who is not afraid to walk with you and see what you can do instead of walking ahead and showing what they did and how.
The mentorship program helps the companies as it provides the benefits including :
Increasing The Retention Rate In Employee
When your employees are feeling like the company truly values them, listen along with putting their opinion into consideration. This helps them to stick with the company for a longer time.
Enriching The Company Culture
Well, the hierarchical glass gets removed when you are following the mentorship program. This leads to a much healthier environment where much better good working relations are developed in the company.
Peer To Peer Mentorship Program
A peer mentoring program involves an employee who shares the same level of interaction as mentees and mentors.
This lets them take turns and alternate between who will take the role, and share their experiences, address the challenges and ideas across the project.
Some of the benefits that you get here are :
Fostering The Healthy Working Relationships
Brainstorming sessions, especially among the employees, can be much more transparent and make the competition healthy. Also, improve the working culture, helping in growing and creating much better results.
Strengthening Company’s Foundation
When colleagues are helping out their colleagues and encouraging each other to do better with the help of shared knowledge, it helps in boosting the performance of the company as a whole.
Well, not just is the situation is win-win for employees and employers, but it also promotes strengthening the foundation of the company.
Group Mentorship Program
This mentorship style includes a single mentor for the whole group that contains the mentee, this might belong to the same project or team. With the help of senior executives in a company, they can help in working better and encourage individuals as well as the team to achieve their goals much more effectively.
Well, here the key highlight of the group mentorship program includes :
Providing the Effective Teamwork Skills
When individuals who are young and ambitious team up in order to achieve a common goal, they work great and share a good team spirit. This is helpful and beneficial for the company.
Improving The Employee Engagement
Active participation of the members in the group helps in leading a healthier and better work environment. Therefore, it helps in enhancing the results of the company and is beneficial for everyone.
how to start a mentorship program?
Mentoring programs can bring tons of benefits and enhance overall performance and results.
However, executing the mentoring program in the right way is important; luckily here you got a step-by-step guide that can help in starting the mentoring program in the workplace.
Step 1: Define Your Goals And Purpose
Regardless of where you start, there are two main things you should be clear about. Well, it applies to your mentoring program too.
So make sure you have answers to questions such as :
- Do your employee engagements are low?
- Do you have any talented graduates who decide to leave?
- Does your company have a gender imbalance in leadership?
No matter what your reasons are, make sure you are defining it clearly to the team and keep everyone on the same page when you start designing as well as running the mentoring program.
The next thing you need to do is to find out the key reasons and motivations that help in getting signed up by your employees for the mentoring program.
This should differ from the reasons related, but it can be vital in order to get the attention of the people and deliver the right value.
For example :
The mentee could sign up because they want to improve their qualities and skills in leadership
Whereas mentors can sign up for better promotions and build the confidence
The third point you should be clear about is what you want to achieve and how you are going to measure it.
To track issues like low engagement from employees, you need to define the KPIs and metrics to track.
And you can use the KPI to meet the goals, so it can help you in showing if your planning is working or not.
Tip To Know :
When you involve the mentees and mentors, it’s better not to make an assumption. Since this is a planning stage, it should do research to find the key reasons.
This way you can design effectively and the program is going to fit the needs of the people as well as the business.
Step 2: Create An Design For The Mentoring Program
When you get the planning right, next, you need to exult in a design that works.
To create the design, do the outline, and it should include :
- How many spaces are you going to offer?
- Are you choosing participants inclusive or exclusive?
- What is going to be the sign-up process?
- If it’s inclusive, then how are people going to sign up?
- How are you going to be encouraged to sign up?
- How are you going to launch the program?
- How long will this mentoring relationship last?
- How will this match the participants?
- What commitment do you expect from the participants?
- How are you going to monitor the progress?
- How will you report success?
Apart from this, there are a bunch of other questions you should include to specify the design of the mentoring program, but it depends on the organization type and objective you have.
However, make sure you are going as detailed as possible; you also need to map out the program from how it will start and finish.
Step 3: Start the Onboarding Process Of Mentors And Mentees
The key challenge when you start the mentoring program is to do all the work and still get low participation rates.
It can only scale when you do the promoting and boarding effectively.
But to attract the people interested and actually efficient with the program, here are some of the points you should follow.
Communicate The Benefits For Both Parties
Instead of assuming that people might already know why they should be invested in mentoring, it’s best to drive the interstate by highlighting what they will get from it.
You can also share the statistics, benefits, and how it can help, not just the mentors but the mentees too.
Removing The Barrier To Entry
One of the reasons why you might have a lower participation rate even though you designed and planned everything smartly is the possible entry barriers.
People might not participate because of several reasons, it can be fear or lack of time that might double up their work, or they won’t be able to commit.
Offer Them Materials For Training And Preparation
There are chances that some of your people might not know how to do the mentoring, or it can be their first time. You can encourage them by offering training and preparation for the materials so they can be informed. Also, it will help them in becoming comfortable enough to commit.
Onboard Your Stakeholders And Leaders
To encourage the people in your company, find the people who hold the most influential weight and sell the dream to them first.
If you are successful in signing up for them, this will help you in getting the attention of others.
Step 4: Match Right Mentee With Mentors
One of the steps that you should not ignore is it can cause issues to the HR and L&D team or anyone who is managing this program.
You did all the hard work for the program, designing and onboarding the eager participants, how will you match them in the right way to make the program effective?
The details of the participant are required to enter when they sign up. It includes background, interests, skills, experience, etc.
This can be based on the goals which help each of them to achieve the goals.
Most of the time, you can do this manually as the program organizer have the best knowledge regarding the participant and their objective,
Step 5: Maintain The Mentoring Momentum
By now, you have connected the right mentee with mentors, and the program is underway.
But here, you should not sit back and let the relationship blossom on its own.
It’s very easy to lose momentum when it comes to mentoring, mostly because both parties are new, and it’s not part of the routine.
So without having the right guidance, structure, and inspiration, they need to remember the reason behind why they signed up. Or you might see the numbers going down in the participants.
Also, you need to check the mentees and mentors from time to time, so you can ask them to give feedback and reports.
Tip To Know :
When the mentorship relationship starts, it’s important that you outline the clear goals to the mentors and what they are looking to achieve.
This will give the relationship the right objectives and directions. Also holds the parties accountable for their action and goals.
Step 6: Measure The Success And ROI
The final stage of your mentoring program is to measure the success against what objectives you have selected.
Running such programs requires a lot of work, program managers, and reports as well as proving ROI.
It’s important that you measure the success, including all the possible areas of your mentoring program.
How To Match Your Mentees With Right Mentors?
As mentioned above, you need to choose the right mentee for mentors. When you choose the right match, it helps in making your program much more beneficial.
Monitoring connects the isolated employee as well as exposure to see new points and views. But to get that, you require a powerful matching system.
To decide on the mentee and mentors, you also need to know about the types. it includes :
The coordinator of the program asks the mentor and mentee a bunch of questions and lets them decide who is suitable for whom.
Not only is this method much faster, but it also leads to problems. Mentoring about the personalities which should relate to the goals. A great personal connection is a key role, it helps in allowing the mentee to feel comfortable and more open to what they need.
For this, you should ask some basic questions based on skills such as :
- What is their current position?
- What are their strengths?
- What do they hope to become in three years?
- Where do they see themselves in 6 years?
- What changes do they want to make in 6 months?
- What are their goals?
- What experience do they have with the goals?
- What kind of general work experience do they have?
Along with these, you can also add questions based on personality, it includes:
- What soft skills do they want to develop?
- What kind of hobbies and interests do they have?
- What will be the top three things they struggle with the most in work?
- What values and qualities do they consider important for a mentee or mentor?
- What are the top three things they do well at their work?
- What are they hoping to achieve when the program ends?
Is It For You?
Well, manual matching no doubt, is effective. However, it can be time-consuming, especially if you are keeping the mentoring program open to anyone.
Manual matching suits the best if you are considering the invite to your mentoring program, where it’s on you who will be able to sign up.
The next option you can consider is self-matching; it allows the mentee to find whom they want to be their mentee and vice versa from the company.
This works really well if I know the employees, which helps in saving time on getting to know each other. It also suits the employee who has less confidence and helps in getting started much faster.
However, the mentor’s experience is not the only important part. But also, it’s important to consider if they are choosing mentees who actually have skills and experience enough or if they are picking them up because they are friends.
This can be a problematic part as it causes the issue and risk of causing benefits to certain groups.
Is It For You?
Well, if you are running a mentorship program within a company where people know about each other already, you also want to reduce barriers as much as possible. Then this one is an ideal option.
However, it’s important to consider the risk of diversity and poor choice in mentors for the mentee.
This method allows the mentors and mentees to use the question for asking the manual matching. Here you have the responsibility to create a pool for both, so they can choose who will be the mentee and mentor.
The type is called hybrid because it’s a mix of both i.e., mixing manual and self-matching.
Is It For You?
Hybrid matching is an ideal solution that allows you to use the algorithm for matching the mentee and shortlisting the top mentors.
Also, mentees can read profiles and choose which one is best for their goals. Also, the option gives freedom to adjust the preferences.
How To Ensure a Mentorship Program Is Working Well?
When you have a good mentoring program, strategize everything well, you need to focus on how you are executing it.
Thus it is important to keep a few points so you are improving the efficiency of workplace mentoring.
It includes :
- Ensure your managers or mentors can allocate their time without getting stressed over the meeting and deadlines.
- Remind the manager constantly about their role as mentor and how it’s good for their portfolio and professional development.
- Managers should take the role of being a mentor seriously in order to make the mentorship effective.
- Remind the employees and mentees about the program, and how it’s going to boost the career.
- Do encourage the mentee so they can be excited about the program.
- Stage the formal meetings where the mentors, as well as mentees, can do the meetings.
- This should also not turn into teacher-student relationships where the one person has the upper hand as it can turn the whole thing intimidating.
- Keep the relationship where everyone is at par, the mentor is training the mentee to turn into a mentor.
- Normalizing the mentor failing, in case if it happens, switch the team of mentor and mentee
- Track and monitor each of the programs and for progress.
Key Metrics To Use For Measuring The Mentoring Program
You get different things for tracking when you are running your mentoring program. While some metrics might depend on the organization, some depend on the type of program.
However, there are some basic key metrics that you should measure, and it will help you in knowing if the mentoring program was successful or not.
Well it is divided into three basic groups which include:
An important metric that you should be focusing on, as it will tell you how much people were engaged with the program.
For this, you need to measure the metrics such as :
- Number of signups
- Number of notes taken or actions set
- Number of mentoring sessions
- Number of the active mentoring relationship
- Numbers of mentoring hours
Another one that you should focus on is the progress metrics, they will help in knowing how much progress the participant made in their set goals and areas.
To measure this, you need to focus on metrics including :
- External feedback
- Personal satisfaction score
- Achieved goals and numbers
- Numbers of goals that have been set
With That, you will know about the improvement that business did. Also, it will highlight that you were successful to achieve the goals you are aiming for /
This includes :
- Employee engagement
- Participation rates
- Performance rating
- Retention rates
- Promotion rates
- Employee satisfaction
How to Measure the Success of a Mentoring Programme
Mentoring programs in the workplace bring different benefits, it can improve retention, support mental health and encourage diversity in leadership.
But it’s important that businesses know how these areas are impacting, and for that, you need to measure the mentoring program.
The basic information includes when the sessions are going as you plan, the duration or frequency, and if it’s hitting the agreed milestones. These are the crucial leading indicators for predicting a successful outcome in the end.
If the engagement is not going as you want, check the intervention to diagnose the problem and take action.
Do The Pulse Checks
Next to that, you can consider doing the observation of the duration and frequency, as it’s insufficient for success.
You must ask the participant to do the rating with complete ease throughout their program to highlight the challenges they faced.
Also, rate the support available or evaluate the comfort with the program’s pace.
Organizations can also ask a few basic questions and do surveys. However, it can be based on the environment, you can do anonymous surveys to get honest feedback.
Make sure you are getting qualitative and quantitative information.
The format is useful when you will do the analytics and reports.
Also help you in understanding the issues, and reasons behind the cause along with the problem-solving correction.
Check The Mentors And Mentees Experience
You must engage the mentors and mentees separately for understanding on the ground effectiveness,
Also, focus on creating a safe space, and it should be both mentees and mentors where they can be comfortable and be at ease to give their honest feedback and discuss their concerns.
Do the one-to-one meeting, keep it private to make it effective for evaluating the perceived value of the participant regarding the program.
Track The Mentee Progress
Since both parties have entered in this program with their predefined goals in mind, it will be the most direct measure you could find.
Use this to measure the program’s effectiveness. Therefore, you can track the mentee’s progress and see how far they have come to achieving the goals.
You can create an individual development plan ( IDP) or personal development plan ( PDP), at the beginning of engagement to do better measuring.
Apart from this, you can evaluate the success by using the collected 360-degree feedback, which includes the feedback from the direct reports, peers, superiors, and customers.
That gives a direct measure of how they are working on achieving their goal.
Consider The Outcomes Of the Organization
To understand how much your mentoring program is impacted, you can consider the outcomes on a macro level, such as the performance rating, retention levels, engagement scores, promotion rate, productivity, etc.
For example, if your objective was to develop specific skills by the end of the mentoring program. And it was designed according to that. You can check the outcomes and the impact they had on the overall organization.
However, to make sure the information stays meaningful, you should compare the outcome between employees who participated to those who didn’t.
Use the analytical tools to check the trends in impact and effectiveness.
Focus On Program Advocacy
Another important indicator that can be lagging in establishing sustainability is to check the advocacy of the program within the organization.
- You can measure through different data points, including the number increase in participants, including
- the mentors and mentees
- program referrals numbers from the participant exist
- several mentors who participated more than one time.
All of these indicators can help in knowing the sustainability and interference points about the impact and effectiveness of the program.
Also, establishing the robustness of the mentor program is not sufficient, however, when you are tracking the effectiveness.
Taking action based on the feedback you get, and sharing the outcomes with stakeholders can help you understand the impact and if the mentoring can be understood.
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Carol T. Mahaffey is a certified American Author And a creator of Theleaderboy. Carol is a Self-Taught Marketer with 10+ Years of Experience. She brings her decade of experience to her current role, where she is dedicated to writing books, blogs, and articles, inspiring the world on how to become a better Leader.