How To Prepare & Rollout A Mentorship Program

Last week, you learned why mentorship training is necessary for recruitment, retention and job satisfaction of your workforce.  Today we are going to discuss the core steps you'll need in order to deliver an effective mentoring program and the steps you need to make it happen.

Step 1: Get buy-in at all levels

The bottom line is always get buy-in at every level of the organization first.

One such example is a mentoring program, whose idea is straightforward but requires careful execution to be effective over the long term. Business leaders, senior managers and all levels of the workforce must overcome these obstacles in order to support and have buy-in to the long-term investment in mentoring.

Here are some questions you should consider in order to have a successful mentorship program:

  • What results are you hoping this mentorship program would produce?
  • What goal does it help the organization achieve?
  • Where are the mentors and mentees in their professional journey?
  • What does organizational and participant success entail?
  • What value do we want to add as an organization?

Aligning the answers to the questions above will facilitate a cohesive buy-in to the mentorship training program from all levels of the organization.

Step 2: Have your HR department be accountable to the mentorship program

Accelerating mentees' personal and professional development is the aim of a mentoring program. This is accomplished by giving mentees direction, counsel, and feedback from mentors with more expertise.  The results will be significantly better recruitment and retention of your workforce.

HR professionals and People Leaders need to be involved in the training programs as the first 90 days are the most crucial for new employees.  Community Healthcare Services Foundation (CHC) data from its pilot mentorship program with New York-based home care agencies proved that for new hires, agencies had an 89% retention rate in the first 90 days of employment, a 27% improvement over agencies without a mentorship program.

HR departments need to integrate mentorship training programs into their organizations so it becomes the culture of the organization.

Step 3: Recruit your 1st mentor volunteers

Below are tips for recruiting and retaining your mentors:

Communication: Any specific need the mentee may have should be disclosed to mentors by the providing organization in a way that is suitable. Mentors should also feel free to share any issues they may be having so that your organization and your volunteers can collaborate to find solutions.

Incentive:  Provide mentors and mentees incentives to participate in a mentorship program.

Appreciation:  Both their mentees and your organization should express their sincere gratitude to mentors on a regular basis.

Respect:  Mentors should be greeted warmly and with respect each time they come to mentor. 

Enjoyment: Mentors should have a good time mentoring and should look forward to being with their mentees.

Step 4: Incorporate your mentorship training into your new hire orientation

Because it allows employees the chance to grow and become more proficient in their professions more quickly, mentoring is crucial to onboarding. It also provides them with a support network that is necessary for seeking potential future career prospects. Incorporating mentorship programs into onboarding has four major advantages.:

  1. Getting them up to speed quickly
  2. Meet the team and adjust to the company culture
  3. Set them up for success so they don’t turnover
  4. Sets the cultural tone with all new hires 

Once the mentorship process is in place with assigned mentors, planned check-ins, and progress updates, the next important step is to measure the program's success.