A mentorship is perhaps the only business decision that will create an exclusively positive impact. Unlike training courses that employees dread attending, when you pair them with a mentor, they’ll have the opportunity to build a relationship with someone else and learn from them.
Structure is Key
When thinking about starting a mentorship program, you should start by thinking about what you want your employees to get out of it and what you hope the organization gets out of it. This is important to clarify early in the journey because your program should be structured around the desired result.
It is also important to remember that you cannot attempt to copy another mentorship program. Since every team is different, every mentorship program will be unique. This is not a one size fits all approach.
Before you start matching, it is crucial to determine what kind of mentor you are looking for. Some companies like to match newer employees with employees who have been with the company for a while. Other companies like to bring in an “expert” to mentor the company as a whole. You should reflect on step one and see what you want your employees to get out of the program. Most often, employees get more out of the experience when they are paired one-on-one with a mentor.
In terms of the actual matching, some companies hire outside companies to use sophisticated algorithms similar to what you would see on a dating site to match employees. Other companies have individuals fill out surveys and find similarities within the group.
Something else to note when making pairings is that there needs to be away for a match to “break up” without hurting feelings. Even if you do the best job-matching, there is bound to be one match that does not work well together. Establish check-ins with the matches to see how they are doing and take action if necessary.
Utilize your new mentor matches as an opportunity to expand training efforts within the company. This is a great motivator for employees!