Starting a mentoring program at work is a wonderful way to encourage office cohesion, an environment of open learning, acceptance, and feeling as if you’re all in this together. Having an office that helps each other instead of competing is such a good way to make people like their jobs and work toward company goals together.
- Define the Objectives – What are the goals you have for your mentorship program? What is the point of the program? Do you want to teach skills to new employees, help older employees, or both? You can define any objective and goal that you desire for your mentorship program.
- Choose Your Mentoring Options – You can have options such as one-on-one mentoring, peer mentoring, team mentoring, and more. You can even have mentorships where a younger person more adept at technology agrees to mentor a senior person to help them with tech.
- Set Up a Web Portal – You’ll want everything to be as simple as possible. Consider making a page of your website a portal to the mentorship program. If you don’t have an IT department, you can simply use Office 365 Docs or Google Docs, or set up a password for participation using software to block those who aren’t part of it such as aMember.com or even something like JigsawBox.com. Even though they are meant for other things, they can work here.
- Attract Participants – Once you’ve set everything up, you’ll need a way to attract participants. Make sure to send out information to each type of person who can take part in the program. Show them the benefits for all parties to the program.
- Sign People Up – You probably have some idea of people you’d like to see mentoring others. Send them some messages first to tell them about the program so that they can sign up to be mentors. That way, when you send out the notice to the rest of the business, you’ll already have some mentors volunteering. This will encourage others to do the same, plus attract mentees.
- Connect People – You can also pre-connect people by introducing them through the system if you want to. Don’t expect them to go ahead and do it, but suggest it to them and let them know why they’d be a match in your opinion.
- Organize a Grand Opening – Go ahead and have a “grand opening” of the mentorship program. Have an employee meeting during lunch where you bring in lunch free to the employees, and present the program to the entire office at once. Present first, with lunch and mixing after for the rest of the day (or at least until about 3 pm or so). Give people time to process and think about it and network.
You can start a mentorship program at work that is effective and meets your objectives. Your employees will be really glad to have it too. You’ll grow employee cohesiveness, and develop the talents of both new and seasoned employees to new levels.