The Management Blog
Tips & advice to help you improve your performance
As a manager, you do everything possible to empower your team.
You learn about the most effective strategies to promote a collaborative working environment, and know that one of the best tactics to do so is to create a mentorship programme.
Yup – we’re still planning and launching your mentoring program. Today I want to talk just a little bit about how to actually, formally start the mentoring plan. It’s actually very easy.
You’ve already decided who is going to be a mentor and who needs mentoring. Those in need of mentoring have filled out their self assessment forms to help determine what career path is best. Upper management has committed to supporting the program. So what’s next?
Start by letting the entire organisation know that you’re launching a mentoring program. Let everyone know – not just the ones you’ve chosen to receive initial mentoring. The more people who know about the program the more likely they are to support it and they may just become interested in participating later.
Let your mentees know which mentor they’ve been partnered with and then give them their first challenge. The mentors are not allowed to reach out to the mentees to set up their first appointments. The mentees must take control of their futures from the start and must take complete responsibility for setting up that meeting.
Make sure the mentors have copies of the self assessment sheets their mentees completed. The mentors will use those sheets along with the information they gather at the first meeting in order to begin making a plan.
Make sure the mentors and mentees are setting regular meeting schedules to track progress and make changes, if necessary. Don’t let them make excuses about not having time and don’t let them stall after one goal is met. Progress is a lifelong committment.
Setting up and launching a mentoring program is much more work than maintaining it once you have it off the ground. Don’t give up. Remain as committed to your team and their growth as you want each member to be to himself. Eventually you’ll begin to see great results!
Last week we started talking about the importance of mentoring and the development of a mentoring plan for your organisation. Today I’d like to take a minute to talk about some of the things you need to do in order to evolve that plan from a simple idea into a reality.
The first thing you need to do is identify which individuals within your organization would make great mentors. Set up a training program so that they understand their goals as mentors and give them the tools they need to understand their new responsibilities as active mentors. Give them training and ongoing support so that they can meet the company’s mentoring goals.
The next step is to determien which employees need mentoring. You can do this by giving each person a self-assessment form to complete. The assessment form will help them to determine which career paths are actually best for them based on their skillsets and goals.
Finally, you need to get some sort of formal committment from upper management to support the mentoring program. Ask them to ensure there is money in the budget to support the program and ask them to make some sort of formal announcement that lets the employees know that they are supportive.
In many instances, the company HR group will set up a mentoring program but in other instances management is responsible for that task. Don’t panic if you find yourself responsible for setting up a mentoring plan for your group. After surveying the options and making a plan you’ll find the implementation of a good mentoring program is easier than you imagined it to be.
Now that you understand the importance of having a mentoring plan in place it’s time to start building one. In order for any mentoring plan to be successful two things have to happen. First, you employees need to realize they are responsible for their own levels of success. Second, you must have support from upper management in the development and implementation of your plan.
Once you have commitment and support you can start building a mentoring program for each of your employees. You have a choice. You as a manager can do the mentoring work or you can hire a third party who will focus on mentoring full-time. No matter what you choose to do you must make sure your organisation understands the following points:
Is your organisation willing to make a few changes in both mindset and procedure in order to help foster the growth of your current employees? They should. After all, it costs less to keep an employee than it does to hire a new one. Keep that in mind.