Mentee to Mentor: Creating a Lasting Internal Mentoring Program

While mentoring programs create valuable results for corporations, they may also seem like a lot of work to keep running long-term. Each program must be like starting from scratch, right? This isn’t the case. With the right support, guidance, rigor, structure and tools effective  mentoring programs for professionals can sustain momentum and impact over time.  


The mentor-mentee relationship is one of the most important aspects of creating this type of successful internal program within your organization. But how exactly does a company go about securing mentors, generating interest from prospective mentees, and ensuring that a mentoring program delivers ROI? The secret to career progression and increased employee retention lies in a structured mentoring program.


Internal Mentoring Programs


Internal mentoring programs are a great option for companies if encouraging internal knowledge transfer and fostering a mentoring culture within the organization are important goals for leaders. An internal program works with mentors and mentees within the same company, rather than from an outside source. 


At Menttium, we can work with you to create and implement a customized program designed specifically with your employees and your unique company culture in mind. While you will manage your program internally, Menttium’s seasoned team members will work hand in hand with you to design and implement a successful program. 


In order to build a successful program that can sustain momentum and impact over time, it’s important to determine how mentoring fits into your talent, leadership development and D&I strategies to help determine who could participate as a mentee and then also gauge interest from senior leaders to be mentors.  


From Mentee to Mentor


As mentees advance through a program, they begin to learn from their mentors’ experiences. They will gain valuable insights, develop key leadership skills, and learn to think outside the box. When mentees feel as though they have a support system behind them, they are more equipped to face challenges and navigate obstacles in the workplace. Ideally, successful mentees will continue to advance in their careers at your company. Knowing how instrumental their own mentor was in helping them reach their professional and personal goals, former program participants who have achieved senior leadership roles will give back by becoming  mentors themselves. 


Creating this sort of pay-it-forward culture within your organization will be what helps your internal mentoring program become self-sustaining. A successful program should position your mentees to eventually become the mentors they were once seeking. But what sort of strengths can a mentor bring to the table from their previous mentee experience?


Mentees are interested in leaders who can provide guidance, share unique perspectives, and engage in diverse conversations that will help them make strides in their careers and navigate increasingly complex organizations. As a previous mentee, good mentors know how valuable their own dialogues were, and are willing to share their experiences with their mentees, including all of the challenges they’ve faced and successes they’ve achieved. Mentors can provide inspiration and motivation to up-and-coming talent. 


While there is no secret to being a great mentor, having been on the mentee end of a program can have its advantages. Former program participants already know the importance of the mentor-mentee relationship and understand the types of authentic, vulnerable conversations that need to take place to generate learning and progress. This experience perfectly positions those former mentees to navigate difficult and engaging dialogues with new mentees. Ultimately, this cycle will continue to produce competent, experienced leaders that will eventually grow into the mentor role. 


Mentoring Programs from Menttium 


Building a successful, internal mentoring program benefits your company and employees. Encouraging knowledge transfer and improving workplace satisfaction are lofty goals, but they can be achieved. Mentoring programs are an excellent way to foster the culture you want to see in your company. At Menttium, we are eager to help you create a lasting program that will increase retention, engagement, and job satisfaction. With 28 years of experience under our belt, we can assist you with the initial design, implementation, and continued facilitation of your corporate mentoring program. 


For the mentor-mentee relationship to thrive in the most effective manner, matches can’t be based off of a computer algorithm alone. That’s why we use an in-depth, personal interview process that bases matches on professional and developmental goals. We also encourage mentees to seek a mentor with a different background than their own, such as a leader from another department or with vastly different life experience to share. This stimulates diverse perspectives  while providing valuable insights and unique perspectives that mentees can apply throughout their career.  


An internal mentoring program can be an effective way to promote more involvement within your organization, helping employees reach their goals while preparing the next generation of leadership. With the help of a mentor, employees will be prepared to make significant strides in their careers and then do their part to share their experiences. If you’re ready to incorporate an internal mentoring program into your company, contact Menttium to hear more.