Why not use the beginning of the new year as an opportunity to revive your mentoring programme. Look at your programme design and see if there is something that should be changed and upgraded. Even well-working mentoring programmes need to be refreshed once in a while.
We have gathered a list of 5 ways to refresh your mentoring programme.
Share why mentoring matters
Though each mentoring story is different, they are all inspiring. Sharing stories from the mentor/mentee pairs help communicate the benefits and empowering effect of mentoring. Publish the stories internally in your organisation to help brand your programme among your employees. This will help when you need to recruit new mentors and mentees for future programmes.
Share inspiring meeting ideas
As a programme manager, can provide your mentor/mentee pairs with new inspiring ways of holding their mentoring meetings. If they are working in the same location, they can go for a “walk-and-talk” and experience how the surroundings influence the intensity of their conversation. If they are in different geographical locations, they can go for a walk while talking over the phone or using Teams or other platforms. Through their phones they can show their mentor/mentee their surroundings, their office, the factory or whatever could be relevant for their relationship. They can also just walk and talk online without watching each other – the less visual cues in the conversation, the more intensity in the listening and talking.
Create inspiring touch points
Is it enough to encourage your mentor/mentee-pairs to have inspiring meetings? There are many other inspiring touchpoints that your programme can include, for example:
- Master classes for mentors – diving into topics specifically relevant to your mentoring programme
- Workshops for mentees – with inspiration for role models, inviting top executives to share their career stories and be available for questions, providing mentees with the opportunity to learn from each other etc.
- Peer mentee mentoring groups – for mentees to mentor each other and build a strong network
- Peer mentor mentoring groups – for mentors to network and learn from each other
Consider also, how to use online meetings as brief but effective touchpoints to keep engaging mentors and mentees in the full network of participants.
Upgrade the existing toolbox
Do your mentors and mentees have access to inspirational tools? By providing your participants with the relevant learning resources, you support their learning process, help them dig deeper into their learning topics and provide variation in their conversations and collaboration. Without a framework and tools, the pairs may experience “relationship droop” around midway through the mentoring programme and have difficulty finding topics for their conversations. Maybe they are too diplomatic to dig deeper on their own, maybe they have not connected well enough to dig deeper, maybe they could have used more preparation to feel ready to dig deeper. However, a relevant toolbox will make the easier and help them engage and continue their learning journey.
Surveys or focus groups are a great way to collect feedback from the participants. You can use this feedback to adjust the programme design and get inspiration to create future touchpoints. When you are including touchpoints – whether as physical meetings or online workshops – you can devote part of the time to group work where mentors share learnings and prepare feedback to the mentees. Likewise, the mentees group work can share learnings and prepare their feedback to the mentors. All this feedback will also be inspiration for you to consider new themes to bring into the mentoring programme. Additionally, this will give you insight into how well the mentoring relationships are progressing.