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Best Practices for Mentoring Programs

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Mentoring program with mentor and mentee

Mentoring is an integral part of employee programs and is known to add tremendous value to an employee’s personal and professional growth. Well-managed mentoring programs enhance employee experience and are a great way for employers to attract top talent.

Here is a list of best practices that mentoring program managers can follow to get the most out of their programs.

Best practices for mentoring

Nuanced mentor-mentee matching

Since hybrid and remote set-ups have become a norm, mentoring program managers need to take into consideration what this could mean for traditional mentoring programs - a mentor and mentee not meeting in person. This calls for more thought put into finding the right match among all those who signed-up. Program managers should factor in the backgrounds and personalities of mentors and mentees in addition to regular data that is available in the HRIS.

For example, if both, mentor and mentee, belong to an underrepresented group and are members of the same Employee Resource Group (ERG) they may connect instantly due to shared experiences. ERG data can be made available as an input to mentoring algorithms for nuanced mentor-mentee matching. This is made possible by comprehensive platforms like Teleskope through the seamless integration of different employee programs.

Create awareness about mentoring programs

Promoting mentoring programs is key for their success. Lack of awareness of active mentoring programs can lead to employees not being able to participate in them despite being interested. Often program managers get occupied with designing the structure and curriculum of mentoring programs; getting the word out about what they offer is an afterthought. Instead program managers should focus on sending out communication about the programs proactively and ensure it reaches every employee.

Including information about mentoring programs in the recruitment as well as onboarding process is another way of effectively promoting them with newly hired employees. However, it is equally important to ensure existing employees are also aware of the programs. In a world of filled inboxes, a platform dedicated to mentoring programs is a great way to keep employees informed through announcements, events and discussion boards.

Focus on mentoring data

Data analysis and reporting should not be reserved only for business projects. Deep diving into data about mentoring programs can reveal useful actionable insights to program managers. Tracking data such as the uptake of different mentoring programs can shed light on the types of mentoring programs that are more popular than others.

Anonymous surveys are an effective way of collecting feedback from both mentors and mentees about ways to improve as they can be candid about their opinions. A short survey after every touchpoint or interaction can also help gauge the engagement levels of participants. A mentoring platform with data views and analytics as well as reporting is a very useful tool to nurture and grow mentoring programs.

Be flexible and explore new formats for mentoring

Mentoring program managers should be open to evolving programs as per the needs and feedback of the participants. Organizations often get stuck in a rigid style of mentoring that has been in practice over the years. However, a rigid program structure might not mesh well with newer generations that join the workforce.

It is a good practice to experiment with different types of mentoring programs as well as mentoring structures. The number of participants, the duration and frequency for how often they connect as well as the expectations vary from program to program. Reverse mentoring and flash mentoring are examples of new-age mentoring programs. A mentoring software provides the flexibility to create and update program designs, their structure as well as the curriculum.

Mentoring program managers should implement the best practices discussed above to ensure employees get value from the program as well as contribute to a better employee experience.

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