Developing a Successful Mentor Program

Today’s labor market is holding around a 3.5% unemployment rate, and the demand for skilled talent is higher than ever. As a result, employers should be taking action to retain their existing talent and positioning themselves better to attract top talent to the organization. Keeping employees engaged in their work and providing growth opportunities is essential in attracting and retaining talent. One way of showing employees their value and presenting them with opportunities is through a mentor program. Mentor programs are typically designed to help employees feel more connected to the organization and present them with sound advice and opportunity for growth.

Here are 6 tips for developing and maintaining a strong and successful mentor program:

1. Defined Roles

Both mentors and mentees should know exactly what their role and their counterpart’s role is in the relationship. Understanding roles in the relationship can help both parties understand and fulfill expectations.

2. Purposeful Relationships

Whether employees select their own mentor, or a mentor is assigned, it is important there is purpose behind the selection. Employees should think about their work and the goals they want to accomplish over the next year and select a mentor that could best help them achieve those goals.

3. Guidelines and Expectations

Most people enter the mentor and mentee relationship with the best of intentions, but people are busy and oftentimes meetings are delayed or skipped because of client work and deadlines. Successful mentor programs should have clearly defined expectations regarding meeting frequency, duration, and topics to be discussed.

4. Monitor

As with any good program, it needs to be monitored to ensure everyone is following the rules and meeting expectations. It may be a wise decision to have a specific person or group of people schedule and document mentor meetings. This does not need to involve a ten-page checklist but utilizing a simple form to track key topics of conversation can go a long way in monitoring the value and progress of meetings.

5. Evaluate

Evaluating your mentor program is vital in gaining buy-in from employees and keeping all involved parties engaged and committed to the program. Successful evaluations should allow both the mentors and mentees to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the program. Employers should be ready and willing to discuss feedback and make changes as necessary.

6. Tools and Training

Whether provided internally or through a third party, employers should be providing mentors with tools, training, and guidance on how to be an effective mentor. Many employees are just looking for the opportunity to help others in the organization succeed; they may just need a little support and guidance to get them going.

Do you have a mentor program that has gone flat? Do you feel a mentor program may be right for your organization but don’t know where to start? Whatever your needs may be, Porte Brown can help you identify the perfect solutions for your needs. If you would like to schedule a conversation, please reach out to Adam Hoffman at 847-956-1040.

We Help You Get to Your Next Level™

Get in touch today and find out how we can help you meet your objectives.

Call Us