If you’ve been following my blog, you know how important I believe mentorship to be for success and growth within any career path. If you have the ability to do so, one of the most valuable things you can do in any workplace is to create a mentorship program. A successful program has the ability to lead to higher employee satisfaction and allow for the development of new leadership skills. If carried out correctly, there is very little room for the mentorship program to have a negative impact. There are a few things that you’ll need to take care of in order to build a successful mentorship program:
Determine Your Program’s Objective
Before you try to pitch your idea for your mentorship program, you must first determine the goals and structure you see for the program. Your company may have different issues and needs to address, so be sure to figure out what you want to tackle. (A mentorship program for new hires would require a completely different setup than a mentorship program that is focused on grooming future company leaders.)
One of the major keys will be to make sure you work with the company culture. Formal work culture will require a more formal process and more relaxed scenes will require less structure. But no matter what the culture, you will need to determine how the mentor/mentee pairings will be established and determine a general outline of goals that should be accomplished through the partnership.
Determine the Pairing Process
This will by and large be the most difficult (and vital) part of the process. There are a few different ways that you can structure the mentor & mentee relationship:
Group Mentoring: In this set-up, a number of employees work together to share information, provide advice, and work towards a goal of mutual professional growth. Most group mentoring programs have a “group leader” who facilitates the forward movement of the group.
Peer Mentoring: Peer mentoring is the pairing up of similar employees. In this scenario, individuals develop a relationship based on the transfer of knowledge, and create an environment rich with skills and continuous learning.
Flash Mentoring: This mentoring scenario would be a series of “one-time meetings or discussions” where those interested in being mentored can sit down and meet with different mentors. This situation puts less pressure on the mentor, but still allows for the mentee to get the information that they need.