Four Tips For Launching A Sustainable Mentoring Program
Implementing a mentoring program in the workplace is a strategic way to offer guidance to your employees to meet their goals. Mentoring programs have long been found to enhance recruitment, employee satisfaction, and retention, which is why they are being embraced by more organizations every day.
[Related: How Do I Ask Someone To Be My Mentor?]
Despite the rising popularity of mentoring programs in the workplace, developing one can be challenging. Below are a series of actionable steps from “How to Build a Successful Mentoring Program,” a guide from MBA@UNC, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s online MBA program, that you can use to launch a sustainable mentoring program.
1. Identify A Mentoring Target
In order to launch a successful mentoring program, you need to define a specific organizational need or skills gap you want to address. By identifying your targeted need, you can put program objectives in place.
Develop SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals that are linked to your company’s business mission. These goals will help guide how your mentorship program is structured in its early development stages.
2. Determine Program Structure
When determining your mentoring program’s structure you should define how long the program will last and propose metrics that will determine if the goal of the program was achieved. It is crucial that you explain how you will evaluate success. The structure of the program should be dictated by your company culture and the needs of its participants.
3. Communicate Prior to Launch
To effectively prepare for the launch of a mentoring program, you need to be in constant communication not only with upper management, but also with the company at large. You must obtain initial and ongoing buy-in and support in order for the mentoring program to be successful.
Your mentorship program will have a better chance if all members of your organization understand the program’s goals and objectives. It should be clear what the program is targeting, which employees are eligible to take part in the program, and how someone can be selected for mentorship. You should also share the mentoring program’s progress and metrics for success with your company. This transparency will not only garner people’s support, but also help identify interested mentors and mentees.
4. Match Mentors And Mentees
Depending on the reason behind why you are launching a mentoring program, the process for matching mentors and mentees can be formal or informal. No matter which approach you decide to use, make sure to allow participants some say in how the selection is made. After all, your mentorship program should be helping them and your employees know what they need on an individual basis.
[Related: The Key to Becoming a Successful Mentor]
Once you have determined what your matchmaking process will look like, think about how you will deal with situations where a mentor-mentee relationship does not work out. Scheduling weekly check-ins helps mentors and mentees determine whether they click or not sooner rather than later, allowing for the relationship to dissolve more seamlessly.
Done right, a mentoring program can be an invaluable asset to any organization. But in order to succeed, mentoring programs require thoughtful planning, structure, and continued buy-in from your company.
Molly Greenberg is the community content manager for MBA@UNC. Molly has a background in journalism, specializing in education technology, education policy, business, and higher education lifestyle coverage. In her free time, Molly enjoys cooking, running, playing soccer, traveling, identifying grammar mistakes, and reading in-depth profiles of fascinating start-up founders.
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Molly Greenberg is the community content manager for MBA@UNC, UNC Kenan-Flagler's online MBA degree. Molly has a background in journalism, specializing in education technology, education policy, business, and higher education lifestyle coverage. In her free time, Molly enjoys cooking, running, playing soccer, traveling, identifying grammar mistakes, and reading in-depth profiles of fascinating startup founders. Continue Reading
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