Upskilling your workforce efficiently is top of mind for most employers today. A formalized mentoring program is a powerful, yet often overlooked strategy for upskilling your workforce. In fact, a mentoring program done well can actually be the most efficient tool to address the learning needs of your workforce and really meet people where they are in terms of what they need to learn in order to be more effective and productive.
Let’s say you have identified 25 core skills that all employees should have in order to be effective. In addition to any training offered by your company currently to address the learning needs, matching mentors and mentees based on topics is a wonderful way to help employees learn, while building a relationship in the process.
For the mentors, we actually have data that shows there’s arguably no better way to teach someone how to be an effective leader than by teaching them how to mentor. We hear from mentors who say they actually learn more by serving as a mentor than by serving as a mentee. Because of this, we tend to approach mentors in our programs not as a volunteer opportunity, but really as an opportunity for them to develop their leadership capacity and learn an important new skill.
The success of any mentoring program really starts with an understanding of what you hope to accomplish in the short term and the long term and getting clear on the skills you are wishing to develop. Once this list of skills is developed, an assessment is usually needed to determine the available mentor pool on the identified topics. In addition to determining the success of the desired learning outcomes, it is also important to track the perceived success of the program in the short term, which may include feedback surveys and collecting an NPS (net promoter score) from participants in your mentoring program.
In addition to efficient upskilling of your workforce, a formalized mentoring program at your company can also help address the following: succession planning, talent retention, talent attraction, leadership development, breaking down silos in communication, and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the workplace. So the byproduct of implementation of a skills-based formalized mentoring program for an organization is often increased retention, increased productivity, and a stronger value proposition for why an employee would want to come work for you.
A formalized mentoring program is a powerful strategy for meeting employees where they are developmentally and creating a talent magnet culture where employees know how to pour into one another and how to access the resources and relationships they need to thrive.
To learn more about how Engage Mentoring can help you upskill your workforce through a formalized mentoring process, visit us at 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.