A career mentoring program can help preserve knowledge and skills that the business has grown by investing in its original long-term staff. If you view salary and benefits expenses as an investment, you’ll want to capitalize on the brainpower that your employees have accumulated through the years.
So how do you create one of these successful career mentoring programs? Here’s what we recommend based on our work with clients. As a top Elmira, NY staffing service, we have seen mentoring work extremely well for companies – provided the right resources are in place.
Assign the Right People
When building a successful workplace mentoring program, it’s important to look at how it will work in terms of the business staffing hierarchy. For example, you want to pair people up within their departments – otherwise, you don’t get a lot of the direct information flowing down from one person to another. You want people in current roles to learn from people who have previously worked in those roles. And you want to capture the specific experience of senior team members.
Set Up Criteria and Protocols
To have an effective career mentoring program, think about timelines, formats, where and when mentoring will take place, and generally, how the program will work. Build something that feels natural to people and does a good job of accomplishing its goals without overwhelming a set of already busy professionals.
In a lot of cases, mentoring isn’t as easy as telling people to go talk to one another. The reality is that you get more by offering incentives for extra programs. Company executives may balk at this, saying people already draw salaries, but thinking this way can be dangerous. Program results often require an investment. The investment can be pretty small, but again, it’s an incentive for people to give it a try and value it.
Track and Measure Results
Too many companies set up these programs and then assume that some kind of mentoring was done. Instead, test the knowledge by allowing those ‘mentorees’ to talk about what they’ve learned. There are many different ways to do that this, including several stages of group work and personal interaction that will probably take place as paid staff hours. People can do reports, or talk informally to one another about what they’ve learned. This helps to reinforce the program and provide some evidence that it generated some results.
You may want to check out this blog post:
Have a question? We’re happy to help.