How to Start a Mentoring Program at Your Company
At Menttium, we’ve been helping individuals and corporations find success through mentoring since 1991. As a woman-owned company, we are experts in crafting corporate mentoring programs that improve engagement and build future leaders. From our 27 years of experience serving more than 80,000 participants in over 70 countries, here are just a few of the insights we’ve garnered about starting a mentoring program at your company.
Start on the Right Foot
Many begin their mentoring pursuit with the best intentions, but lack an understanding of how much time and expertise is needed to implement and run a successful program that will invigorate and empower its participants. The best advice we can give when it comes to forming your new mentoring program is to avoid some of these most common pitfalls.
- Choosing a Consultant Based on Their Price
While budgets are an unavoidable reality, choosing your mentoring consultant based purely on cost is not advisable. Typically, price differences exist for a reason. Make sure to fully examine the services and conveniences you’re getting or not getting when you choose a consultant.
- Relying Too Heavily on Software
When it comes to matching mentees and mentors, nothing can replace the high touch, customized approach of Menttium’s Match Team. We strongly believe that human beings – namely, our relationship experts – create the best matches, not a software program. By considering how the needs of the mentee blend with the strengths of the mentor, and how learning truly happens at the point of difference, creating partnerships is more of an art than science.
- Not Checking References
When it comes to the success of your mentoring program, you don’t want to leave anything up to chance. Be sure to take the time to follow through and contact references. Menttium has dozens of customer testimonials and references to back up our reputation as an expert in corporate mentoring.
- Failing to Provide Structure for the Partnership
A successful mentoring program extends beyond matching the mentors and mentees. Structure is needed to guide the partners’ conversations, especially early on. Structure is also necessary to assist mentees with goal setting as well as monitoring the pairs’ satisfaction throughout their partnership.
- DIY-ing the Whole Program
While many self-help resources and blogs on the topic of DIY-ing your own corporate mentoring programs exist, the amount of time and knowledge needed makes this extremely difficult. Our mentoring experts can help you best leverage the power of mentoring at your company.
- Choose Agility
A corporate mentoring program can be a highly beneficial resource for your business. We’ve spoken about the danger of choosing a resource based solely on price, but likewise, be wary of those offering one size fits all mentoring options. Each organization is different and deserves an agile system that has the ability to be modified to meet their needs. At Menttium, you’ll receive consulting, facilitation, and administrative assistance from our mentoring experts that will ensure your mentoring program is set up for success. From curriculum design to measurement of the results, our mentoring experts can do it all.
Understanding the expectations of all constituents involved in the mentoring program is vital to your program’s success (e.g., mentors, mentees, managers, leadership, HR). To lay the groundwork, start with the stakeholders at your organization. We’ve helped hundreds of companies start their own internal mentoring programs, so we know how significantly mentoring programs can vary from company to company. Here are just a few of the aspects you’ll need to consider when conceptualizing your mentoring program (you can see a full list of considerations to keep in mind in our How To Create a Successful Mentoring Program ebook).
- Resources readily available
- Level of internal input
When you are considering how to customize your program, or what are the “must haves,” keep in mind that you can start off slowly and utilize a pilot program approach. For example, you may want to launch at first with a smaller number of partnerships (10-20) and provide a virtual training to prepare both mentees and mentors for their roles in a successful program. If proving your ROI is critical, you can utilize measurement tools like Menttium’s. Or you may decide you want to start big and need a full-blown program including all components.
Once you’ve started to work out some of the details, it’s time to call the professionals. It’s never too early to involve the experts. Mentoring consultants are there to help you, so be as specific as you can about all aspects of your program. At Menttium, we will work with you to design a project that meets all of your needs as we shape your final mentoring program. The more rigor you apply to the process, the more successful it is likely to be!
To learn more about how Menttium can help your mentoring program succeed, reach out to one of our mentoring experts.