What you need in a good mentoring program is somebody who tactically understands what metrics we are driving towards and is responsible for the outcomes related to those.
For us, an ambassador is simply somebody who is administering the program. But we have done the hard work of making sure we have leadership buy-in, and a vision developed for them to execute.
You don’t necessarily have to have multiple ambassadors, but it certainly helps if there’s manager involvement in making sure that the employees that are participating know that there’s accountability and visibility within the program and that they are going to be held accountable to the outcomes as well. It is important to have an ambassador who cares about the outcomes and it is important to have manager buy-in and visibility into the program to make sure that it is effective.
Training is a MUST
Training is imperative because it ensures that people really are on the same page with what is being asked of them and what we are hoping to accomplish and so, they feel comfortable serving in the role that has been identified for them, whether it is a mentor or a mentee.
Training is, for all those reasons, very important. People only do what you ask them to do if they have clarity around what role they are supposed to be playing and what that really looks like. We find that training that also incorporates role playing as well as real understanding around what mentoring is, what is being asked of them, and what success looks like is critical in any mentoring relationship. You cannot just match people and have them meet and hope for the best without providing some sort of context for what they should be talking about or what success looks like.
Power in Accountability
Any time you roll out a mentoring program, there is often a lot of enthusiasm in the beginning because people generally agree and understand that they need to be a mentor as well as to be mentored by others. We all have a heightened sense of the need for connectivity based on recent world events. Having said that, it is important that any mentoring program has some accountability built in so people understand, not only what success looks like, but what actions they are being held accountable to, in order to consider the mentoring program a success.
Absent that, what you often find is there is enthusiasm in the beginning, but the enthusiasm tends to wane if they do not have the clarity or the accountability around making sure the relationship keeps going and that they are tracking to specific outcomes. One of the things we specialize in at Engage Mentoring is holding program participants accountable at all levels to know what their role is in our programs and what success looks like.
Engage Mentoring has had the successes that it’s had is because we have lived through the failed attempts at making mentoring programs go and learn what needs to happen in order to engage, match and track outcomes for a mentoring program and fully administer those programs so that it’s so that it’s an easy solution for our client.