So you’re thinking about starting a Mentor Program. You’ve heard about them, and read a few articles about mentor programs in HR magazines, and your C group has indicated an interest in them.
You have questions:
- What are the most important factors in the success of a mentoring program?
- Everyone talks about the match. What’s the big deal about the match?
- Why should we do one in the first place?
Let’s start with the last question first - Why should we do one in the first place?
The short answer is – it’s good for the company, it’s good for the mentee, and it’s good for the mentor.
It’s good for the company for 3 reasons: 1) it allows a company to get the best candidates, because it gives them a leg up. Offering business coaching has value far beyond salary and benefits. 2) It gets those good candidates up-to-speed quickly. And 3) a mentor program helps keep those employees. When a person has a mentor providing business coaching in a company, they form a bond with that person who has brought them along and showed them the ropes. They’re reluctant to jump ship.
Big stuff! Not bad for a program that, if you work it right is easy to install and implement, that almost everyone can benefit from, and that they’ll enjoy.
Next question - What are the most important factors in the success of a mentoring program?
Actually, only two factors: The match, and structure. I tease groups when I speak and say there are only three factors in the success of a mentoring program: the match – the match – and the match!
But it’s true. The heart of your mentor program is the match. That brings us to question #3.
What’s the big deal about the match?
Let me see how easily I can answer this .... In a mentoring program, the match is everything!
Say that again, Bob.
I’m going to.
In a mentoring program the match is everything!
If you have quality matches in a mentor program, almost everything else will take care of itself. The partnerships will have that “click” that makes working together easy. They’ll feel that “fit” that makes it easy instead of work.
The mentee will be receiving quality Business coaching, and will be happy. They’ll feel special, and feel that the company cares.
In a great match, the mentors truly enjoy mentoring. It revitalizes them and gets many of them back in touch with the best part of themselves. We have mentors in our programs year after year, and hear over and over, “I got more from this than my mentee.”
When the match is great, everyone’s happy, the mentee and mentor both leave meetings feeling great, word-of-mouth in the company is great.
On the other hand, when the match isn’t what it should be, it just doesn’t “fit”. You’ve had relationships like that – maybe bosses like that. Maybe co-workers like that. You may have had spouses like that!
Here's the bottom line. With the right match, you don’t have to work to make it work.
With the wrong match, no amount of work will make it work.
With the wrong match, people don’t show up for meetings, they don’t have excitement about the partnership; word of mouth is not good.
As an administrator you’re constantly trying to patch things up and make things work between people that were not the best fit in the first place. You’re in that position of trying to put the best face on something people aren’t wild about - Well, you get the idea.
But there’s good news. We call our software WisdomShare™, and it solves all that. It’s the eHarmony of the workplace. Our match is based on skills, education, job level AND over 18 personality characteristics. There’s lot under the hood with WisdomShare™ that’s not discernable to the naked eye. Our little algorhythms are working day and night to be sure you’re not getting calls from disgruntled employees day and night.
Technology at it’s best is a wonderful thing, and WisdomShare™ is a good example of that. WisdomShare™ ensures great matches where quality business coaching (that would cost fortunes if brought in from outside) are taking place in your company on a daily level. It turns a company into a learning organization. And it doesn’t have to be just in one location. Ementoring allows partnering from locations as diverse as other cities to other continents.
There you have it, the high level answers to your mentor program questions. I know this has been quick, but if you have more questions, give us a call. We’d love to talk to you about installing a world-class mentoring program in your company.