Mentoring Activities In The Workplace – Most HR and L&D professionals agree that a mentoring program improves organizational performance and supports employee development. In fact, the Harvard Business Review states that mentoring programs are so beneficial to organizational growth that they should be mandatory.

But not every mentoring program will be suitable. The key is to start a mentoring program that is easy to use, engaging and effective.

Mentoring Activities In The Workplace

Mentoring Activities In The Workplace

84% of Fortune 500 companies and 90% of Fortune 250 companies in the US have mentoring programs. However, not all mentoring programs produce real impact. Many start with good intentions but end up failing.

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We’ve simplified the process into a 5-step guide below, which you can download as a “Sparknotes version” or read on. The best part? This guide is a compilation of steps developed by experts who successfully run their own mentoring programs.

The best advice for starting a mentoring program comes from experts who have already started a mentoring program. From top tips to best practices, it’s all in 5 steps.

Step 1     | How to Determine the Goal of a Mentoring Program Step 2     | How to Choose the Type of Mentoring Program Right for Your Goals Step 3     | The process of inviting employees to become mentors or mentees Step 4     | A scalable way to match mentors and mentees Step 5     | Several ways to report and evaluate the program

You hope to achieve. This will help you build a proposal for a mentoring program for decision-makers in your organization.

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In other words, a key step in starting a mentoring program is establishing the purpose of the program. Think about why you want to use a mentoring program and what you hope to achieve.

For example, your goal might be to “improve employee retention,” and your KPI might be the difference in retention rates between employees in a mentoring program and those not in the program.

Retention rates are just one example. The exact program goal and KPIs may vary depending on the context in which you are creating a mentoring program. It’s also possible to have multiple goals and KPIs, such as attracting top talent or developing leadership skills.

Mentoring Activities In The Workplace

Once you have defined your strategy, consider how you will achieve it. To do this, answer the following questions:

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“Know what the goal is, and then build the program around that goal…once you figure out where that need is and how you plan to support it, make sure you have the support of the organization: people who want to talk about it, participate in it, to be speakers.”

“Know what the goal is, and then build the program around that goal…once you figure out where that need is and how you plan to support it, make sure you have the support of the organization: people who want to talk about it, participate in it, to be speakers.”

Dr. Axelrod has a lot of great advice on effective mentorship programs. Watch the full conversation between Dr. Axelrod and our CEO, Matthew Reeves, as they discuss what separates successful mentoring programs from those that fail.

The traditional image of mentoring involves a more experienced person imparting his or her wisdom to a less experienced person through informal conversations and guidance. While informal mentoring has its benefits, a formal mentoring program helps maximize the benefits. There are different types of mentoring programs, so choose the one that best suits your organization’s needs.

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Traditional 1-on-1 mentoring is the most popular mentoring model that most people think of when they hear the word “mentoring.”

In this program, each mentee is assigned a mentor – usually a senior employee or expert – with whom they will meet regularly to discuss their career goals, get advice and build a relationship.

The key to the success of this program is finding mentors who are willing to meet regularly with their mentees and provide them with honest feedback and guidance.

Mentoring Activities In The Workplace

In a group mentoring program, mentees are placed in small groups (usually 3-5 people) with a mentor who leads discussions and activities around a specific topic.

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It can also be easier to maintain and monitor from a business perspective, making it a great option for organizations that want to start an enterprise mentoring program but don’t have the bandwidth to support a large number of 1-on-1 relationships.

Read our guide to group mentoring to learn about group mentoring and how to implement it in your workplace.

Peer-to-peer learning (also called social learning) is an effective way to share knowledge and best practices within an organization.

In this type of mentoring program, employees are matched with someone who performs a similar role. They work on projects together, observe each other and provide feedback, thanks to which the mentee can learn more about their role.

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There is also real value in creating equal relationships between employees, and learning from each other is a great way to achieve this.

Reverse mentoring is based on this idea. In a reverse mentoring program, a more experienced employee is paired with a less experienced employee who can give him or her a fresh perspective.

For example, a senior employee might be paired with a younger employee to learn about social media marketing, or a senior executive might be paired with an entry-level employee to learn about the day-to-day operations of the company.

Mentoring Activities In The Workplace

For example, an ERG for women in technology or engineering can provide mentoring and support to female employees working in male-dominated industries. Alternatively, an ERG for first-generation college students can provide guidance and resources for workers who are the first in their families to receive postsecondary education.

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Instant or rapid mentoring is a type of mentoring program in which mentors and mentees participate in short, focused sessions.

Flash mentoring sessions typically last 15 to 30 minutes and can be conducted in person or virtually. The key is that they are shorter and more focused than traditional 1-on-1 mentoring relationships, where the conversation can sometimes lack real direction.

One advantage of flash mentoring is that it can be less time-consuming for both mentors and mentees. This can be helpful for employees who are already busy with work and other responsibilities.

Another benefit is that it can help connect employees with a variety of people, leading to a more diverse range of perspectives and experiences. Sometimes a mentor may seem like the right person just because the employee has never experienced such a relationship.

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Interested in starting a flash mentoring program in your organization? You’ll find all the details in our flash mentoring guide.

To promote your mentoring program, we will use the advice of MentorStrat, a mentoring program consulting company. We interviewed Mary and Jodi from their team to find out what aspiring mentor program managers need to know to succeed.

We covered a lot during this conversation and summarized 14 things managers can do to attract more mentors. The overarching advice is to develop and implement an effective program communication strategy.

Mentoring Activities In The Workplace

The form of your communication strategy will vary slightly depending on the context of your program. However, there are a few rules of thumb:

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This could be in the form of a pre-launch email campaign or senior leadership discussing the issue at organizational events.

Host a special launch event or have the launch coincide with another event if it makes sense (for example, some professional associations hold annual conferences, which is a great time to launch a mentoring program).

Your employees are busy and signing up may require one or two additional points of contact.

As for the response rate you can expect, it depends on the context of the program. However, as a general rule for volunteer programs, you can expect participation rates ranging from 25 to 45% of your organization upon initial enrollment.

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Be prepared. More often than not, we find that program administrators get a higher response rate than they expected. Take diversity mentoring programs for example:

Once mentors and mentees are paired up, your job as program manager is not over. Mentoring programs last 6 to 12 months, so program managers have plenty of time to help mentors and mentees develop meaningful relationships.

Starting a mentoring relationship can be awkward. Program managers can help mentees and mentors get started in the program by providing session agendas or discussion topics or tips on how to be a great mentor or mentee.

Mentoring Activities In The Workplace

Together’s mentoring platform provides program managers with several session guides on goal setting, problem solving, job tracking, networking, and more to keep conversations on track and fruitful.

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Similarly, Together has handbooks for mentors and mentees that provide useful tips on building strong mentoring relationships.

One of the first steps for mentors and mentees is to establish clear guidelines for how the relationship will work.

The expectations of the mentor and mentee may not always be clear, but some basic guidelines can help develop the mentoring relationship. It is acceptable for a mentor to share information about themselves, including their background, skills and expertise.

This gives the mentor a starting point to consider how they can improve the mentee’s experience in the workplace.

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You can’t just let a program run without constantly monitoring it. Regularly, at least once every two weeks, ask both sides of the relationship for feedback. This will help you tailor the program to your needs and identify any issues that may arise.

It also allows you to conduct briefings


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