Top Steps to Create the Best Mentorship Programs at Work
Mentorship programs have become an extremely common tool utilised in organisations that can help encourage the professional development of employees. Workplace mentorship programs are commonly utilised throughout a new employee onboarding and development journey to ensure that they are guided strongly in areas of uncertainty.
Specifically, a mentorship program involves connecting experienced workplace employees known as mentors with specific skills and knowledge with inexperienced employees also known as mentees who are looking to learn and acquire the same skills and knowledge as the mentor within the workplace.
A mentoring program in the workplace is commonly utilised to present employees with opportunities to grow, which in turn enhances the overall employee engagement level within the organisation. Likewise, effective mentorship programs have been found to motivate employees to continually aim to work harder and aspire to reach new personal career goals.
To go into a little more detail, a workplace mentor plays an extremely crucial role in ensuring the success of any mentorship program. A workplace mentor has a wide range of highly qualified skills and knowledge in the profession they are working in that is of value to anyone that is participating within the mentorship program.
Mentors act as workplace role models to help employees learn, grow, develop and reach their full potential through assisting employees during challenging tasks and offering continual positive reinforcement. Mentees should further reciprocate the effort put in by mentors through actively participating during the mentoring experiences, communicating with the mentor and further aiming to absorb as much mentor teachings as possible.
Likewise, when successful mentorship programs are achieved it can be found that a variety of benefits will be achieved. The benefits of successful mentoring programs include increased employee engagement, stronger workplace leadership, greater employee development, improved workplace communication, increased employee retention and further increased workplace satisfaction.
To help you achieve the benefits from a successful mentorship program the following information within this blog will inform you effectively of the top steps to create the best mentorship program at work.
1. Determine the Program’s Goals
When developing the best mentorship programs at work it is extremely important to ensure that you highlight what it specifically is you wish to achieve from the program. It is extremely critical to identify what goals are to be captured through beginning the mentorship program so that an effective mentorship program plan can be made.
Your organisation could potentially wish to ensure that through the mentorship program newly hired employees become increasingly engaged and confident when in the workplace. Or your organisation may identify the program’s goal to be to strengthen leadership development and communication skills throughout the organisation.
Whatever the goal your organisation wishes to achieve it is important to clearly identify it and get all of the leadership team on board. A mentorship program thrives on continual support from all individuals to achieve the greatest outcome for the organisation.
2. Plan How the Program Will Operate
The best-designed mentorship programs will ensure that they had planned out how the entire mentorship program will operate. It is extremely important to ensure that a clear structure is planned out such as addressing key questions including how will employees partake in the program? What qualifies employees to be a mentor? How long will the mentorship program last? Will it be a one-on-one mentoring program or a group mentoring program?
These are just some of the many key considerations that any of the strong mentor programs within any organisation will need to address. Further, it is critical in today’s environment to plan out how the program will best fit the landscape of business. That means due to the innovation of technology and situation built from COVID-19 will the mentorship program be in-person face-to-face or be online.
If the organisation decides to take the mentorship program online, it is critical to identify what platform will be utilised. Will the program be utilising online video conferencing tools such as Zoom or utilise a direct messaging system through communication channels such as LinkedIn or Slack? Whatever the choices made, as long as the program has been completely planned out, success will inherently follow.
3. Attract and Select Participants
Mentoring programs will fail if you do not attract and select the best participants within your organisation to partake in the program. When employees know the organisation wishes to start a mentoring program it is often met with resounding enthusiasm, although organisations forget to make that enthusiasm a reality.
Organisations need to consider the different ways to assure high participation through attracting perfect mentors through various strategies. Consider rewarding mentors who participate throughout the program or even encourage mentors to participate as it will help them enhance their career succession journey.
Furthermore, once the correct audience is attracted you should consider selecting the perfect participants for the program. It is vital that the organisation chooses mentors and mentees that will complement each other, will actively participate, have desired skills and further are extremely passionate and motivated to help learn from one another.
4. Pair Mentors to Mentees
Management must ensure to match mentors and mentees based upon how well they will compliment one another. A common strategy management will utilise is identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the workplace mentees and then ensuring that the workplace mentor will be able to assist in strengthening the mentee’s strengths and effectively address the mentees weaknesses.
Moreover, you should consider whether management will pair the mentors to mentees, or they will self-match themselves. If the organisation identifies to self-match then it is recommended to provide mentors and mentees with a list of the strengths and weaknesses that each of the individuals have, to give employees a clearer picture of who might be best to pair with.
On the other hand, if the organisation decides that they wish to manage the pairing of mentors to mentees it is crucial to ensure that program participants are involved. Management may consider running surveys to ask questions that will help best match the mentee to the mentor to ensure the best mentoring relationship will be made.
5. Provide Ongoing Training and Support
It has become extremely critical to consider that great mentorship programs offer mentors with ongoing training and development before, throughout and after the program. Mentors may be inexperienced in training mentees although they are extremely well equipped due to prior experience, likewise, the mentor needs training to effectively learn how to best work with a mentee.
Moreover, it is critical to continually support the mentor and mentee throughout the entire process. If at any stage of the mentoring program there is a point of struggle, question raised, or issue found do not hesitate to show your support to address the situation.
It is extremely important to never forget that a mentorship program is a completely new experience for all mentors and mentees, so offering ongoing training and support will be extremely essential to create the best mentorship programs at work.
6. Measure Success and Refine
During and after the mentorship program it is extremely important to measure the success of the mentorship program. To ensure that your organisation is not wasting any resources on an unsuccessful mentor program and ensure that value is gained from participants it is important to capture metrics and capture feedback from employees who participate in the mentorship programs.
One great way to effectively measure and track the level of success that the mentorship program had is through conducting employee surveys. EmployeeConnect provides a HR Software system that effectively allows HR managers to easily conduct surveys and capture survey data on analytical dashboards to easily assess the level of success that a mentorship program may have had. If this is something you need click here to request a demo!
Furthermore, it is extremely critical to continually refine the mentorship program with the data captured. If through feedback received and survey results noticed an issue is viewable, it is important to refine and effectively address any of the mentorship program issues immediately. This will ensure that all participants have the best experience and are assured that management is working to make the mentorship program the best around.