Mentorship Program Guide
Ready to start a mentorship program at your organization? Follow the guide below to get started.
Defining Program Objectives
There can be many objectives for your organization’s mentorship program. A great way to know what your employees need out of their program is to ask them! Send out a questionnaire to your employees asking:
- What are your professional goals?
- What are the most important goals for your team?
- What do you admire about your coworkers? (skillset, attitude etc.)
- What of those admired skills do you feel you could improve upon?
Once you have received enough answers, create program goals. There can be more than one, for example, you may find the program needs to focus on teaching employees’ new skills or have the broader goal of helping them grow professionally. Some companies struggle with communication between departments. The goal could be to connect mentors and mentees across the organization to create a broader sense of community. Additionally, use the results of the questionnaire to pair up your mentorship teams, once you have established formats for your program.
What are the best ways for your mentees and mentors to connect? This is highly dependent on your organization’s culture and size. There are a variety of options and like objectives, you may find that more than one method suits your needs.
- Traditional one-on-one. Traditional style of mentoring allows lower-level employees to learn from experienced members of the organization. It is a traditional “Grown Gorilla” mentor relationship. It is well structured and scheduled in advance. These are highly appropriate for corporate environments.
- Peer Mentoring. Mentoring isn’t always done by people of different levels. In fact, peer-to-peer mentoring might be the best way to build strong team bonding. One employee could see the skillset in another and realize it could be to everyone’s benefit that they also attain those same skills. It’s a good chance for external friendships to bloom and to raise overall morale amongst teams.
- Group Sessions. You might find several employees need to build the same skills. Having one mentor for a couple of mentees ensures everyone is learning a new skill at the same level. In these sessions, a junior-level employee could even mentor a group of senior-level employees on new technologies or tactics that have not been considered in the past.
Now all that is left to do is go out and start your program. Be sure to encourage employees to participate and become engaged. Pair new employees with mentors right away so they instantly feel supported. There are many creative ways to get going, but the results are always happier, higher-performing organizations.