Mentorship can be beneficial to all parties involved—the mentors, the mentees, and even your company more broadly. That’s because mentorship, when done right, is one of the best ways to improve employee engagement—showing your team members that you’re willing to make a real investment in their long-term personal and professional development.
But of course, you probably caught my little caveat. Workplace mentorship programs are only beneficial when they’re done right—and that means being strategic in how you structure them.
What makes for an effective mentorship program, though? I’ve got a few thoughts I’d love to share.
Starting a Workplace Mentorship Program That WORKS
Have clear business goals in mind. If you don’t have some specific goals in mind, you’ll have no way to tell whether your mentorship program is doing its job—and as such, you may grow tired or frustrated with it pretty quickly. Be clear about what you hope to achieve—higher engagement numbers? More women or minority employees in leadership roles?
Match carefully. Good mentorship is all about having positive relationships between your mentors and your mentees. Be careful how you set up these matches. If you have a team where people are pretty preference-driven, you may want to give them a say in how they are matched.
Provide training for everyone. First-time mentors will need some instruction on how to do their job well, and even mentees will need to figure out how to get the most out of the mentoring process. Make sure training is offered to everyone in your mentorship program.
Market the program. Finally, don’t just assume that starting a mentorship program will guarantee big enrollment numbers. Actually, it’s important for you to market the plan, elaborating the benefits of participation. Also, don’t forget to use mentorship as a selling point for potential hires and new recruits!
Learn How to Develop an Effective Mentorship Program
There are several components to consider as you try to build a workplace mentorship program—and I hope you find these pointers to be a good starting point.
I’d love to talk with you more about what effective mentoring looks like, or about any other questions you may have about employee engagement.