A formalized mentoring program is a powerful way to articulate to a prospective employee why they would want to come work for you as an employer. The generation of employees that are entering the workforce are asking powerful questions. They want to know they are going to feel supported, feel developed, and see a path. A formalized mentoring program is also a powerful tool for onboarding new employees and supporting them throughout their career. Access to relationships is critical to create a culture that works.
An ideal mentorship program addresses the recruitment strategy for mentors and mentees, training, matching, and tracking outcomes. Many companies think software is key, but that is a small part of the overall strategy that should be taken. An ideal mentorship program should also address matching based on the mentee’s true development needs, not simply based on whether the mentor and mentee is likely to get along based on one another’s lived experiences. To achieve true outcomes, learning objectives must be identified.
It is also critical to measure success of the mentoring program by first identifying what you are hoping to accomplish. Outcomes may include skill development, retention, promotability, succession planning, and talent attraction. In addition, it is important to capture the feedback and outcomes based on the experiences with the matches made within the program and track number of hours, topics chosen, and overall satisfaction with the experience of the participants.
Mentoring programs are a win-win for employees and employers, whether the employees are participating as a mentor, a mentee, or both. As a mentee, they are receiving a safe space to learn and grow and a powerful shortcut to learning, as well as exposure to other leaders to draw from their experiences. As a mentor, they are developing their leadership capacity by serving as a mentor and furthering their empathy, communication skills, and ability to spot talent. As an employer, offering a mentoring program is a powerful way to meet people where they are in terms of each employee’s unique development needs and to build a thriving culture.
As the Managing Director of Engage Mentoring, I have seen firsthand what a formalized mentoring program done right can do to transform a culture. Employees of today are asking for different things and being able to offer this benefit to a prospective employee is a powerful attraction tool that beats compensation every time.
To learn more about how Engage Mentoring can help you make mentoring easy, visit us at www.engagementoring.com.
Alison Martin is the Founder and Managing Director of Engage Mentoring, a software-enabled leadership development program that helps companies attract, retain, and develop their talent through strategic mentoring initiatives. For more information, visit www.engagementoring.com.