Creating a mentoring program might be the only business initiative that has a solely positive impact.
Mentoring can boost worker satisfaction, lower turnover, improve on-boarding, support the company’s brand and improve leadership performance. But perhaps the best part of a mentorship program is that it’s free. Unlike training or tuition reimbursement programs, mentoring leverages the resources a business already has on hand.
The first step to establishing a mentoring program is defining the goal of the program. The goal of the mentorship program might be developing the company’s future leaders, or it could be to increase retention rates by supporting the company’s onboarding program.
There are a number of different options when it comes to structuring your program, including group mentoring, peer mentoring, expert-facilitated mentoring and reverse mentoring – where newer, young employees can mentor more experienced employees. Some companies even use a speed-dating approach to facilitate the “flash mentoring” session. However, the most common type of program is peer-to-peer, one-on-one mentoring.
Get Employees Involved
Ultimately, the programs involving the employees having input are generally the most successful.
One approach to incorporate input is to have would-be mentors and mentees complete a questionnaire on what they might want from a mentoring program. This questionnaire could then be used to create mentoring matches.
A different approach to creating mentoring pairs is to offer either mentors or mentees multiple choices for a partner. Some experts recommend matching people using personal chemistry, based on the notion that people who get along will get the most out of the relationship.
Sometimes, a mentoring pair won’t work out and it’s good for a program to give participants a way out of a bad relationship. One approach to this could be setting up regular check-ins or evaluations, especially soon after the mentoring relationship starts. If there is a significant problem, early check-ins can help the mentee find a new mentor.
Getting a Return on Your Investment
Once you’ve established your structure, you need to go about getting value from your mentorship program. A good first step in this respect is to show employees what they can get out of the program. This can be done by having someone who has gotten a lot out of a mentorship program to share their experience.
It’s also important to have a mentorship program that includes a plan for participants. Mentees should understand what they can get from the relationship, how it can help them and what they need to do in order to engage the process. Mentors should be helping their mentees create a career development plan and follow through on it.
Ultimately, to be successful, your mentorship program should include a lot of communication and it must be embedded into your company culture.
We Fully Support Our Clients’ Engagement Initiatives
At ZDA, we work with our clients to ensure that their employee engagement and development initiatives are as effective as possible. If your company is currently looking for a supportive talent acquisition partner, please contact our top supply chain recruiters today.