You’ve worked hard to build a roster of talented, effective employees. Many have been on staff for years, while others are relative newcomers. Consequently, each person has a wealth of experience that could benefit others on the team.
A mentoring program is a fantastic way to transfer knowledge among employees. Not only will this help everyone do their jobs better, it’s also a safeguard to retain valuable skills and information when people move on to opportunities outside your company. Find out how to implement a mentoring program that really works.
Five Steps to Create an Effective Mentoring Program
Define Your Objectives
Figure out what you hope to achieve from this initiative. For example, you might want to help employees improve leadership skills or ensure your entire staff has a certain skillset. Either way, setting a specific objective adds much-needed structure to the program. It’s easier to develop an effective agenda and measure results when you have a defined end goal.
Choose the Right Mentors
Some people have what it takes to be a mentor, and others don’t. The sharpest, most experienced person on your team might have a ton of knowledge to share, but if they don’t have the right personality to mentor, they won’t be effective. Keep this in mind, and remember that great mentors aren’t just people with 30 years of career experience. Younger employees also have a lot to share with their more seasoned counterparts, so don’t rule them out because of their lack of tenure.
Educate your entire staff on the benefits of mentoring. Explain the value of the program and make sure people are clear that participation doesn’t equal a promotion. You’ll also want to have a training session for mentors, so they know the best way to structure their program. Ultimately, you’ll want to give them the freedom to guide as they see fit, but this will provide ideas to plan a successful initiative.
Make Thoughtful Pairings
Initially, you might assume pairing employees based on similar personalities is the best approach, but it’s not. Of course, you want the mentor and mentee to get along, but the purpose of the program is to transfer knowledge — not make a new best friend.
Closely Monitor Progress
Make sure the program isn’t a waste of everyone’s time by keeping tabs on its value. Find a way to evaluate the progress toward your goal and periodically survey participants to gauge their thoughts on the experience. This will help you learn what’s working and what isn’t so necessary adjustments can be made.
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