Mentoring programs are a vital part of any 21st century workforce. Studies show that workers who participate in mentoring programs are more likely to:
- Experience greater job satisfaction
- Receive pay raises
- Stay at their jobs longer
Mentoring provides benefits that reach beyond the company’s ROI. These types of training programs are also effective at significantly boosting the promotion and retention rates of women and minorities.
Building a successful mentorship program for the business requires three essential elements:
- Successfully matching mentors and mentees
- Conducting mentorship programs during work hours
- Tracking worker progress
In this article, we’ll show you how to build a mentoring program that benefits your organization. You can use the information as a blueprint for starting or improving a mentorship program in your workplace.
Matching mentors and mentees in the workplace
According to recent research by Clutch, a quarter of workers (25%) say that managers should help employees build new skills.
Matching managers with employees who have similar interests helps build strong professional relationships and gives the mentee a role model to emulate.
You can match mentors and mentees in one of three ways:
- Self-matching: allowing workers to choose their mentors
- Admin matching: pairing mentors and mentees yourself
- Preliminary matching: working with employees to select mentors
Tools such as MentocliQ can help companies pair mentors and mentees with software that suggests best matches.
However you choose to match people, try to guide mentees toward people with similar interests and aspirations. This helps motivate both parties and can boost the results of your training efforts.
Encourage mentorship to take place during work hours
Employees shouldn’t feel they have to show up after work to grow as professionals in your company.
According to the same research from Clutch, 70% of employees say they enjoy workday job training opportunities during working hours the most, and over half prefer learning new skills in-person.
Mentorship programs meet worker preferences by providing in-person training during work hours.
When mentorship takes place at work, it also makes professional development feel like a part of an employee’s daily tasks.
Track the progress of mentorship programs using tangible metrics
Understanding the effectiveness of your mentoring program requires you to track progress over time.
While qualitative measurements such as job satisfaction and employee engagement are helpful, evaluations should emphasize tangible milestones that measure job performance over time.
Employers can track and measure a worker's performance in several ways:
- Observe: Watch employees execute their daily tasks to determine how well they perform their jobs.
- Ask employees to provide a self-evaluation: Regularly hold conversations with employees, asking them to summarize their actions and progress toward preset goals.
- Help employees use self-monitoring tools: Checklists, activity logs, and project tracking tools help employees track their performance and document their improvement.
- Audit employees’ work at random intervals: Regularly check in on your employees by spot-checking records or drafts, or visually assessing the growth of their work product.
- Gather reviews from coworkers and customers: Ask around to learn what other people think about how well an employee is doing their job, focusing on performance details over general impressions.
By tracking concrete performance details over a period of months and years, employers can measure the effectiveness of employee training programs such as mentoring. Tools such as MentorLoop can help companies measure and track the performance of mentoring programs.
Understanding how your mentoring program affects your company’s ROI helps you develop and adjust your training methods over time.
Starting a mentoring program for your business
Mentoring programs in the workplace tend to improve the job performance of both mentor and mentee, increasing your company’s productivity and improving employee retention rates.
When building a mentorship program, match mentors and mentees wisely, allow them to learn during business hours and track their progress consistently over time.