How Do You Introduce Mentoring In The Workplace? Part 1 - The Setup

Mentoring can expand your team’s skillset, create a collaborative and supportive company culture and help to boost employee retention. Done well, mentoring schemes can be beneficial for both the mentor and the mentee, with experienced staff able to demonstrate their expertise and younger team members given the opportunity to hone their skills and enhance their professional abilities.

If you’re considering creating a mentoring programme in your workplace, you need to ensure it’s properly set up. A solid structure will help the programme to function smoothly and ensure you get as much as possible from the scheme.


Understanding The Need For Mentoring

Before you begin a mentorship programme in your organisation, it’s important to understand why your company needs mentoring and how a structured programme could benefit your team and your business. Start by identifying gaps in skills and knowledge. These may be departmental or individual and could range from practical expertise, like the use of specialist software, to qualities which can have a huge impact but are harder to quantify like communication, rapport building and networking.

Not only can mentoring help your organisation fill gaps in skills and knowledge, it can also benefit both the mentors and mentees who take part. Mentees are able to gain valuable professional expertise, build their confidence and make beneficial connections. Mentors can grow their leadership skills, get a deeper appreciation for the value they have to offer and gain a huge amount of satisfaction from the process.

Establishing Clear Objectives

In order for your mentoring programme to be a success, it needs to have clearly defined goals. These goals will generally relate to the skills and knowledge gaps identified within your business. Align the objectives of the programme with your organisational values and vision to maximise its impact.

Creating A Mentoring Program

When creating your programme, select mentors based on expertise, experience and enthusiasm. Work to match mentors and mentees effectively. Participants will need to connect with each other and communicate well if they’re going to get as much as possible out of their involvement.

Your next challenge will be to establish a structured mentoring framework. Getting this right the first time can be difficult, so one approach can be to run a pilot programme to iron out any kinks.

Communicating The Mentoring Program

The way you communicate the programme to your team will be key to its success – initially at least. Make sure you announce the programme to everyone in your organisation. Emphasise its voluntary nature and make it clear that conversations and interactions will be confidential wherever necessary.

A good way to garner interest for the programme is to highlight success stories from your trial run. You could also use examples from other organisations or from famous mentors and mentees such as Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams.

Providing Training And Resources

Your work as the programme facilitator doesn’t stop once you’ve paired up your participants. You’ll need to provide continuing support and resources to both mentors and mentees along the way if it’s going to be a success.

Before the programme begins, offer mentor training sessions. This will help mentors to understand exactly what’s required of them and build their confidence for the main event. Ask for feedback from both mentors and mentees both after the trial run and throughout the programme. Constructive feedback can help you to continuously improve the programme to ensure all participants get as much out of it as possible.

Keep an eye out for Part 2 coming soon in which we’ll explore how to maintain a mentoring programme once it’s up and running. To learn more about the benefits of mentoring, and how we can help your team to reach its full potential, get in touch with a member of our expert team today.

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