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How to Start an Online Mentoring Program

Looking to drive innovation and collective success across your company? Great! A mentorship program is the perfect way to start.

Because you’re here, you likely agree that mentoring is a proven method for retaining, engaging, and developing top talent, especially as we enter a new era in the workplace that requires deeper relationships and more intentional practices that encourage belonging.

Mentorship is so important, in fact, that:

  • 71% of Fortune 500 organizations have a formal mentoring program

  • 94% of employees say they would stay longer at a company if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow

  • Nine in 10 workers who have a career mentor say they are happy in their jobs

  • 67% of businesses reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring

  • 55% of businesses felt that mentoring had a positive impact on their profits

  • 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationship and develop greater confidence

  • 89% of mentees go on to mentor someone themselves and contribute to a culture of learning

  • Mentees are 5 times more likely to be promoted

  • In one study, mentoring programs boosted minority representation in management from 9% to 24%

  • 84% of CEOs said mentors had helped them avoid costly mistake

Those of us lucky enough to have had a mentor at some point in our lives understand how important they can be to career development, personal success, and overall well being.

At work, however, even the best corporate mentoring programs aren’t designed in only a day (but shameless plug: we’ve help set up some of our biggest clients in just under and hour). In order to implement the most valuable and efficient programs, it’s essential to remember the following five tips for the best mentoring program your organization has seen.

1. Create a Framework and Parameters

Set your program up for success by thinking about the best and most logical framework for your company. To get started, you should answer essential questions along the lines of:

  • Enrollment: Will this program be open or invite only? Which groups do you want to engage here?

  • Mentoring Style: Do you want traditional mentoring, reverse mentoring, or peer-to-peer mentoring?

  • Connection Type: Will this be a 1:1 group style or group mentoring style?

  • Duration: How long will your mentoring program last?

  • Measurement: How will you track and measure progress based on data?

The clearer your expectations are for your online mentoring program, the more productive your program will be. Implementing parameters will keep participants focused and on track. Mentoring software can help your organization deliver a wide-variety of programs that work for your teams no matter where they are located.

2. Automate the Process, Inclusively

Mentee and mentor matching can be one of the most challenging aspects of a program, but before you get overwhelmed, back away from the spreadsheets. There are mentoring platforms available that can help you automate the matching process.

For instance, The Mentor Method’s patent-pending algorithm helps users input their program participants, take a quiz, and match mentors and mentees based on interests instead of superficial attributes like race and gender.

As you know, finding the right mentors is one of the most essential steps you need to take when piloting a successful mentoring program. Strive to find a mentoring software that can help automate the process so that the process is as inclusive as possible.

3. Guide your Mentoring Program

With your participants and your program in full swing, it’s time to evaluate your efforts. After all, you’re creating this mentoring program for true impact.

To optimize and learn from your progress, it’s essential to gain feedback from your program participants. Get started by thinking about questions your mentors and mentees might have or what stories they may have to tell. As questions such as:

  • What was most helpful in the program?

  • What wasn’t helpful in the program?

  • How can the program improve?

  • What did they get out of or take away from the program?

During the mentoring program, continue to gather feedback by establishing checkpoints where mentors/mentees can report on their progress. Through feedback, resources and checkpoints, you can remain productive throughout the entirety of the program.

The Bottom Line

With the right planning and software, you can ensure that your mentoring program can become a significant value-add to your organization. Moreover, it can help you attract and retain the talent required in your growing company. If you need more buy-in from leadership, just send them this video on the importance of mentoring.

Encompassing all of these tips, The Mentor Method allows companies to build cross-functional, inclusive, and engaging mentoring programs at scale. To get started on engaging, retaining and developing your top talent, learn more about the platform.


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