Don’t Bog Down The Mentors

The EPIC Mentor Network Blog for companies.
Avoid these 3 mistakes with your mentors in your corporate mentor program, and they will serve you and their mentees better. Their commitment to the program will be stronger.
It’s very important to track process and progress in a corporate mentor program and mentors play a role in reporting. Be careful with your time requests on mentors.
A goal and benefit of a mentor program are mentee growth and achievement — measured in many different ways depending on the company and what they do. Tracking mentee objectives and progress in Mentor-Mentee sessions is important. The tracking shows the benefits.
These benefits translate into ROI for the company in the form of improved employee retention, productivity, effective and efficient on-boarding and training — knowledge transfer from the baby boomers and/or high achievers to younger or newer employees, and improved information and communication flow resulting from team collaboration.
Mentee growth, achievement and loyalty happen in a formal mentoring program because mentees are forced to write down their goals and report progress to the mentor.
Gail Mathews of Dominican University did a study on goal writing and being accountable to another person. “Research conducted by Matthews shows that people who wrote down their goals, shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend, were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals.” (Source)
Do you want your employees to be 33% more successful in goal achievement? As T.Harv Eker would ask, yes or yes? A formal mentor program incorporates the concept of having mentees write down their goals and being accountable to someone.
Keeping mentees on track and accountable is key but:
1) Don’t bog down the mentors with filling out session forms. Typically mentors are senior employees or high achievers in the business. They are very busy people. Anything that can be done to reduce their time required to participate in the program is helpful.
Have the mentee fill out the session forms and simply get the mentor to sign off. This gets the mentee in the habit of writing down his or her goals, which is a great thing. After sign-off, have the mentor forward the form to someone for filing in the employee coaching file. These session forms are helpful to have during the employee’s annual performance review. With the FindAMentor Easy Start Mentor Program we suggest having a legal file for employees as well as an employee coaching file, which is reviewed annually in the performance review.
2) Avoid asking mentors to do program evaluations or surveys more than once a year. In the first year of the program you might ask for it twice, in an effort to adjust program structure after program implementation. These evaluations are important but don’t have mentors do them too often.
I think it’s important to have mentors come together once a year with the other mentors and program administrators in a meeting to discuss the effectiveness and best practices of the program from the mentor’s perspective, so adjustments can be made to program structure.
3) Don’t make Mentor meetings too long. Make sure the mentors are given agenda’s and a planned time frame for the meeting. Make sure you provide a strong meeting chairperson to keep expectations of the mentors met.
I hope these suggestions help you improve the commitment of the mentors in your corporate mentor program.

Mike Garska,
President, FindAMentor

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