Was this articleHelpful ?

How to Create a Strategy for Your Mentoring Program

Mentoring programs are a great strategy to help promote growth and spread knowledge within your business. Read on to find out how to craft the perfect one!


What Is A Mentoring Program


A mentoring program is a business strategy used to allow experienced employees to mentor and to give less experienced employees a mentor to help them develop their skills. A successful mentoring relationship can positively affect both the mentor and the mentee. This is because the mentee benefits and can develop from the knowledge and experience of their mentor, allowing them to become more efficient in their role. In contrast, the mentor develops management and leadership skills that will serve them well as they progress to more senior positions.


How To Plan A Mentoring Program Business Strategy

Now let's take a look at some business strategy development tips to help you devise mentoring programs that will help build a healthy work environment while giving your business a competitive advantage.

Consider What You Want To Achieve With Your Mentorship Program (And How You Will Measure Its Success)

Any good business strategy should consider what you are setting out to achieve. Factor this into your strategic planning. A good mentorship program can have various positive effects on your company. Still, it is essential to know precisely what you want it to achieve and to be able to measure it through key performance indicators.


Make a list of what you would like your mentoring programs to achieve and how you plan to measure their success in each of these key performance indicators. This could be things as simple as employee satisfaction and retention to measurements of employee performance before and after the implementation of your mentoring program. Be sure to measure these things before you implement your mentoring program. This will make developing strategy to show tangible results more straightforward, and you can measure these same things regularly during your mentoring programs to gauge results.


Consider conducting a SWOT analysis of your company. A SWOT analysis examines your business's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. After compiling this data, you can formulate your strategic plan for your mentoring program around it, allowing you to quantify its effect on your business. This measures the impact of your mentoring program on a macro-level while conducting employee surveys to gauge their satisfaction with it can help you understand its success on an individual level.

Keep It Simple For New Hires

The need to have your mentoring program show concrete results and the tendency to get bogged down in highly-involved strategy development can lead to your mentoring program being overwrought and overcomplicated. Remember that simplicity is often the most effective.


An overcomplicated mentoring program can do more harm than good. Research suggests that most new employees prefer a buddy system rather than a micro-managed mentoring program from a senior employee. This would indicate that a more organic mentoring relationship benefits new hires.


So, keep it simple. This does not mean you can't quantify whether this kind of mentoring program is beneficial. Simple things such as employee satisfaction surveys and monitoring new hires' retention rates can let you know whether this mentorship program is helpful without the need for micromanagement. Then you can move on to more involved programs.

Consider Tailored Programs For More Senior Employees

Employees who have been with your business for longer, however, and are looking towards career development are more receptive to a more involved mentoring relationship with a strategic plan and quantifiable aims.


This kind of mentoring program can be tailored to the employee more precisely. Here, the mentor and mentee can engage in some strategic planning to develop a vision statement together based on their specific needs.


This benefits the mentor, as it can help develop their strategic planning skills. It can also help them learn to set realistic goals for their subordinates and provide support to help achieve them. Conversely, the mentee develops their strategic planning skills by learning to set targets for themselves, work closely with a senior colleague and achieve specific goals according to their business strategy.

Devise A Reward Program

An organisational commitment to a reward program is a great way to increase employee engagement with your mentoring program. Reward programs are an excellent business strategy that can help incentivize employee engagement and, as such, are always worth factoring into your strategic planning.


Make sure your employees are aware of what their goals are when participating in your mentoring programs. While being a mentor can be rewarding in its own right, it always helps to have a clear and definable set of goals for your mentor and mentee to work towards together. This can help increase the bond within the mentoring relationship and help both parties do their best, as they are working not just for themselves but for each other.

Consider A Reverse Mentoring Program

A great strategic plan to help improve the relationship and understanding between senior employees and newer or less senior employees is reverse mentoring. This entails an employee in a less senior position mentoring someone 'higher up' in the company than them.

This may seem strange at first, but there are numerous benefits. Often, junior employees are younger and may be more familiar with technology than their management team or senior executives.


 Reverse mentoring can entail younger employees helping older ones become more familiar with technology and software. This can help improve overall efficiency within the company and give younger employees good experience in mentoring, which will benefit their professional development.


Reverse mentoring is also a wise business strategy creation as it can help bridge the gap between junior and senior employees. Sometimes, those allocating or delegating work do not know the whole story of what completing this work entails for those who complete it. Understanding what is done at the ground level, how long it takes, and everything it involves can result in senior members of staff setting more realistic targets for their team as they have a better understanding of what is required to complete these tasks.

Empower Your Mentors & Be Flexible

Empowering your mentors means giving them freedom to make their own decisions regarding what is best for their mentee. Setting a rigid, dogmatic mentoring program strategy may seem like the most efficient way to go about things, but not all mentors or mentees are the same. One of the great things about a mentoring program is that it allows mentors to grow as leaders, but they may struggle to do this if how they manage is micromanaged.

It is important to stay flexible when devising a mentorship program; be willing to adapt to what your mentors do best, and what your mentees respond to. As your goal is to create a healthier, happier and ultimately more productive working environment through the use of supportive mentoring relationships, you should always be willing to allow the organic aspect of these relationships to flourish. In doing, you will allow your mentors to grow into their role, and their mentees will receive mentorship that is tailored to their needs, rather than being prescriptive.


Conclusion


There you have it! Some of the key factors to consider when devising a strategic plan for your mentoring program. These are general principles and ideas that will serve you well when factored into your overall mentoring program strategy. However, remember to stay flexible and adjust to what works best for you, your business, and your mentors and their mentees. Before long, you will have mentors with rapidly developing leadership qualities and

Join Local Tales

We offer a great range of ways to advertise your business as a member.

SIGN UP

Frequently asked questions

    • Why Should I Use A Mentoring Program?

      Mentoring programs are highly effective ways to both create a healthier workplace environment and help both your mentors and their mentees develop their skills. The mentor is able to take steps towards growing into a leadership role, and the mentee is able to learn from a more experienced colleague. It also helps build trust and a more supportive environment.

    • What Is A Reverse Mentoring Program?

      A reverse mentoring program is when a junior member of staff mentors a senior member of staff in some way. The most common reason for this is those younger members of staff are generally more familiar with new technology and software than older members who are more likely to be in senior roles.

    • Why Is A Reverse Mentoring Program Useful?

      This kind of mentoring is useful as it can help senior members of staff improve their efficiency with things like technology and software that younger staff are more familiar with. It can also help managers better understand what is involved in the work they assign to their team, so they can set more realistic targets when assigning work.

Relevant Articles

Our newsletter is coming soon

Register for future updates