Are you looking for a creative way to improve retention at your company? What about boosting productivity? An office mentoring program may be a good solution.
In this article, we'll explain the benefits of office mentoring, things you should consider before starting a program, and different ways to implement mentoring.
Mentorship Programs in the Workplace
Why offer a mentoring program?
Let's be honest — you don't have time to implement anything that's not going to produce results. Will a mentorship program be worth it?
Companies using mentorship programs have seen improvements in:
- Employee retention
- Employee motivation
- Employee training
As successful staff members work with new staff members, all of these things can improve. Long-time employees can find new enthusiasm after working with new recruits, and those new recruits can glean career inspiration from established employees.
Having a mentor can also help brand new team members figure out the company's culture and policies.
What do I need to consider before beginning a mentoring program?
Don't jump into anything before carefully considering if it will be right for your company. Here are some things to think about before starting:
Does your company have the time to spare? Starting a mentoring program can take a lot of time initially. Not only will the start-up process be time consuming, but the program itself will take time out of the work day.
Mentors and mentees will be spending enough time together to form a relationship, set goals, and learn from each other.
Make sure that the mentors that you ask to participate will really put themselves into the program. Mentoring won't succeed unless the participants are willing and committed.
Start your mentoring program with a goal in mind. Are you having problems with employee retention? Is the company struggling with communication between departments? Are your new recruits having a hard time fitting in? By having goals, it's easier to make sure that all of the time and effort you're putting into the program are paying off.
What form of mentorship is best?
There are several forms of mentoring that you can use, but the best form will vary, depending on your company and the goals you've set for the program. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1) Mentor up:
In traditional forms of mentoring, the more experienced employee mentors the less experienced. But some companies have found success with practicing the opposite form of mentoring. Long-time employees may be able to learn something from the newer employees
2) Speed-dating format:
A speed-dating format may be best if you want to allow mentees to select their own mentor. While most programs match them together, you may be more successful if mentees are able to choose who they want to learn from.
Hold an event where each mentor and mentee get to spend a minute or two together, discussing their areas of expertise and their goals for the mentorship program. Mentees can then pursue their mentor of choice.
3) Group mentoring:
If you've got a ton of mentees and not as many mentors available, a group approach could be a good option. Groups can meet as often as needed, but they should be carefully monitored to ensure that problems don't arise.
Are you looking for other ways to improve your company culture? Check out this free checklist for some great ideas.