The Key Elements of Mentoring Success
Want to take your business to the next level? Consider mentoring. Mentoring develops leadership, and better leadership can only lead to good things for your business or organization.
The value of mentoring is tremendous, and fortunately, many tools are available to support mentoring programs.
A mentor program can be as simple as a senior-level manager working with a junior-level employee one-on-one, or it may also include additional group training or programs.
Why Is a Mentoring Program So Important?
Mentoring provides a tremendous value to a business or organization. In a nutshell, quality mentoring helps employees work to their fullest potential. This helps organizations better achieve their goals, objectives, and overall mission. This isn’t just theoretical; it has been backed up by many studies.
What Are the 7 Key Elements and Why Do They Matter?
Experts generally agree on the critical elements of a mentoring program, though they may disagree on the specific number or areas of focus.
Mentoring, by the way, is not quite the same thing as coaching, although the two are related. With mentoring, a senior person is imparting not just guidance but the knowledge to their mentee. Coaching is typically more about an objective party, who may or may not have specific job expertise, encouraging a person to unleash their gifts and talents.
There is an overlap between coaching and mentoring, and the best mentors will use coaching techniques to accomplish their mentoring.
All that said, we have honed the critical elements of an excellent mentoring program down to the following:
1. Planning and Vision-Setting
Before starting your mentoring program, consider first what your goals are. What is the vision you have for the program? What value would you like participants to get from the program? Also, you will want to plan the program properly. Make sure you have clear guidelines, start dates, and end dates (if applicable).
Also, consider how to handle potential challenges. For example, what will your procedure be if a mentee isn’t connecting well with their mentor?
2. Mentor Selection and Training
You may have already decided in your planning sessions who would be participating in your mentor program as the mentors. If your program is exclusive, your mentors will possibly be selected or at least recruited. In an open program, anyone can sign up to be a mentor.
You will want to train your mentors on best practices, as well as how the program is designed to work.
3. Mentee Selection and Initial Coaching
Mentees may also be volunteers for an open program or hand-picked to join a more exclusive program. In either case, some preliminary coaching on how they should show up and participate as a mentee would be very helpful.
4. Matching Mentors and Mentees
Managing mentors and mentees can be challenging, but in larger organizations, matching software is often used for this purpose. By finding suitable matches personality-wise and talent-wise, you can get better results.
5. Mentor Program Tracking and Accountability
It’s a good idea to keep track of how the mentoring program is going. Basic stats like the number of meetings and participants are good. Also, having regular surveys from both mentors and mentees can help evaluate how the program is doing.
6. Mentor Program Assessment
At periodic points throughout the program, review all of your data, and talk to the participants. What is working? What isn’t working? Is more training needed?
7. Mentor Program Improvement
Continuous improvement is a good mindset to have for your mentor program. There are always ways to improve your program, whether it involves ongoing training for your mentors, more materials and support for mentees, or better matching.
Benefits for the Mentors and Mentees
When mentoring is working well, your employees and managers will not only be more productive; they will be happier. Good mentoring improves relationships in the workplace, especially between leadership and employees.
Along with other tools and training, mentoring can supercharge morale and on-the-job effectiveness. With the above key elements in place, you are sure to have a successful mentoring program.
Your Leadership Experts in Seattle, Washington
At Kelley Connect, we are big fans of mentorship and leadership. We are committed to providing our employees with an engaging and inspiring place to work and grow.
Kelley Connect provides a full range of print management solutions customized to your needs. To learn more about how we can help your organization save time and money, contact us today.