One of the most effective employee engagement tools is mentoring. All organizations can benefit from a mentoring program because they help develop a better-trained and engaged team.
What is a mentor?
Mentors help mentees learn the ropes at a company, develop relationships across the organization, and identify skills that should be developed or improved upon.
This Forbes article informs us of how mentoring improves workplace culture in more detail.
What is a mentoring program?
A successful mentoring program consists of four phases: preparation, negotiating, enabling growth, and closure. These sequential phases build on each other and vary in length.
I recommend your first mentoring program be for your New Hires. In this case, the mentor should not be the new hire’s direct manager. This way the new hire can ask questions of their mentor without fear of being judged.
In this program, the person being mentored really drives the engagement, but it is nice to prepare some specific content that the mentor delivers to the new employee. This program is ideally for 6 to 12 weeks depending on the complexity of your organization or resources that you have.
Your second mentoring program should be for High Potential Employees. This type of program takes more proactive work and content for the person who is the mentor. The mentor should be shaping and developing the mentee for the next level of responsibility. This type of program is usually for 12-24 months, depending on opportunity and organization.
Here is an insightful article to read from SHRM on mentoring High Potential Employees.
Coaching vs Mentoring
You may be asking yourself this question: What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?
Coaching is more performance driven; it’s designed to improve the professional’s on-the-job performance. While mentoring is more development driven, looking not just at the professional’s current job function but beyond, taking a more holistic approach to career development.
If you need support starting a mentoring program in your organization, feel free to reach out.
If you already have one, then what do your mentoring programs look like? I would love to hear other examples in the comments below.