How to build a successful mentoring program

How to build a successful mentoring program

As a human resource officer or professional recruiter for a staffing agency, your job involves staying up to date on the latest advancements in technology, implementing new strategies to recruit the best candidates and assessing the talent of the individuals who walk through your doors for placement. The true challenge lies in retaining that talent.

Mentoring programs have shown great results in helping clients and companies achieve higher retainment rates. A successful mentoring program will align with the overall mission of the business and help candidates, executives and employees work towards achieving long-term business goals.

Here are several important steps that will help you shape your mentoring program:

Step 1: Design Program Specifics

While there is no magical formula to apply to each mentoring program, there are some guidelines that will help you learn what will work best for each client. Getting to know the candidates is a crucial step. By knowing the reason they need this program, what benefits its implementation brings, and what the successful completion of the program brings to participants will help you with the initial structure. Here are some considerations to think about:

  • Will the program be open enrolment, invitation or application based?
  • Do all employees need it, or just new ones?
  • Consider the type of mentoring that will be provided: traditional, reverse or flash mentoring?
  • Will the program work better as a one-on-one curriculum, a group activity or a large project?
  • How long will the project last? Will it be a single-session, weekly or monthly project?

If your mentoring project should involve the community or include social aspects, you will need to formulate plans to track and report these interactions.

Step 2: Engage Participants and Track Everything

While there is often a lot of initial enthusiasm surrounding the notion of a mentoring program, attendance numbers might still be underwhelming. To avoid this, you will need to promote and encourage clients, employees, business executives and recruits to attend.

As a recruitment or HR specialist, your job is to provide potential attendees with a strong list of benefits that will encourage them to sign up for the mentoring curriculum. Provide a clear outline of the program and how it will bring attendees closer to professional and personal goals.

To truly see whether the program is successful, you should track and measure it. The same disruptive tech that has automated HR processes such as recruiting can work to your advantage. Thanks to big data and IoT, you can track how your mentoring program is doing. Track everything – from attendance, to how long it takes to learn certain parts, feedback from attendees, their connection with the mentors, etc. This data can tell you a lot about each stage of the program and whether they should be tweaked.

Step 3: Ensure That the Mentor Is A Good Match for The Company

Attendees will be coming from various backgrounds, and each person will have different learning styles and various levels of professional experience. If you will have more than one mentor running the curriculum, you can offer self-matching options.

Prospective attendees can choose the mentor they wish to learn from with a self-matching approach. Structured mentoring programs with many participants may fare better with admin-matching combinations based on schooling, job function and interests.

Step 4: Guide the Attendees

Step-by-step goals and action plans will keep your attendees thriving and progressing at the appropriate rate throughout the curriculum. Goals get the program off to a good start, and action plans hold the attendees accountable. Transparency and accessibility are vital components that a mentor must be willing to provide attendees. Reporting and tracking will assess the progress of the attendees, and a final interview can help the mentor and attendees determine the effectiveness of the program and the teaching.

Step 5: Measure the Results

When you factor in the management, monetary investments in the curriculum and the valuable time of the participants, it is vital to measure the mentoring experience. Evaluating the outcome determines future funding and support for similar curriculums. A proper evaluation also identifies trouble spots and opportunities for improvement. Programs should be assessed based on the individual learning component, the program health and the connection between the mentor and the attendees. The individual learning component can be gauged through feedback surveys completed by the participants. Evaluating program metrics will determine the overall success rate of the program. Survey your mentors and the participants on various components of the curriculum to determine the mentor connection.

Mentoring programs can help you recruit, retain, develop and engage qualified people. An effective mentoring campaign goes beyond simply matching people based on learning style and professional accolades. To have a positive impact on the growth of a company, it takes careful planning, assessing, research, implementation and resources. A well-planned mentoring program, guided by qualified leaders, can take a company from existing to thriving in no time.

Jasmine Williams

Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today's business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88

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