Finding the best way to develop employees, boost engagement, and improve retention can be a challenge. Corporate mentoring programs offer a pragmatic leadership development intervention to accomplish these goals! A robust program will promote growth and skill development, as well as generate success in key talent, giving your emerging leaders the push they need to excel.
Building and implementing an internal program can work to foster a more engaged, cohesive community within your company. But where do you start? How can you be sure that you’ll be able to run your own mentoring program successfully? Paying attention to a few important details and following mentoring program best practices will help you start your program off right. Here are some of our tips for crafting a powerful mentoring experience.
Before you begin the process of developing a mentoring program, you’ll need to clearly define your goals and expected outcomes. This is an essential part of making sure your program is successful. Develop a set of quantifiable key performance indicators (KPIs) that will allow you to measure the success of the program at its completion.
A good mentoring program will have the ability to balance structure with flexibility. Programs need some structure to track progress, set the foundation, hold participants accountable, and more. But building flexibility into your program will allow the mentor and mentee to forge their own path and navigate their way through the program. Each mentor-mentee relationship is unique, so offering your participants guidance while letting them generate their own goals and conversations will hit the perfect mix of structure and malleability.
Without participants, there would be no program. As you introduce mentoring into your company, you’re likely to get some initial enthusiasm, but this doesn’t always mean participation rates will be high. Without properly promoting your program, you may not see as much interest, and might not even have enough mentees or mentors signed up to kick things off. Make sure to get the word out, but remember to be open about who would benefit most from this type of program. Set clear criteria for mentees and mentors, and work to link this program offering to your talent management processes. Being direct about who should participate—and why—will then help you anchor your mentoring program and work towards concrete goals.
Before jumping into a mentoring program, mentors and mentees alike will want to know what they are getting themselves into. By providing some sort of training or educational information session, you can give your employees the tools to embrace the mentor-mentee relationship and help it thrive throughout the program. Not only are you able to do this before the start, but by continuing education and informal training throughout the program, you can allow for more growth opportunities. Consider providing each mentoring pair with a list of suggested discussion topics to facilitate conversation.
As we mentioned, you should make sure you have measurable and attainable goals set in place for your mentoring program. But how will you know if your program is meeting these goals and objectives? Continually tracking progress throughout your program will help you understand its success and potential weak points. One of the best ways to do this is through surveys. Not only should you have participants partake in surveys at various points during the program, but consider including their managers, as well. This will give you perspective from both participants and team leaders who may be better positioned to notice the effects of your program.
The last thing you want to do after you’ve started a mentoring program is to just set your mentors and mentees loose without any sort of continuing guidance or resources. While it is important to allow some flexibility, as we discussed above, the mentor-mentee relationship needs to be nurtured in order for successful, organic relationships to develop. Utilizing resources and tools that enhance your programs, such as business education webinars, opportunities to connect and network, and more will help relationships thrive.
Running a mentoring program is no small feat, but it comes with substantial rewards, from increased employee retention to confident rising leaders. Set yourself up for success by allowing Menttium to be your partner in building a high-quality program. By establishing an internal mentoring program, you can show your workforce that you care about professional development and want to see your employees progress into genuine leaders and changemakers within your company.
Internal corporate mentoring programs allow you to work within your own company, rather than outside mentors. This provides an ideal climate for internal knowledge transfer. At Menttium, we will work with you to design a customized program for your employees, making the process of implementing a new mentoring program feel like a breeze. Once your program is up and running, we’ll continue to provide valuable resources and tools to keep things moving smoothly.
Our 28 years of success prove just how passionate we are about helping you provide structured mentoring programs for your employees. With the help of a mentor, future leaders of your company will unlock their full potential and embark on the path to success. If you are ready to show your employees you’re invested in them, contact us today for more information about our mentoring programs.