The 5 don’ts for a successful company mentor mastermind program (MMP).
Do you have a mentor program working in your business? Is it working as well as you wanted? If you’re thinking of implementing a mentor program there are some key things to avoid, to make sure you realize a ROI:
If senior management doesn’t fully support the program, it will likely be discarded. Don’t bother starting it. Get buy in and participation from senior management first. There are some key benefits to starting a mentor program that management needs to be aware of in the beginning.
Get at least one member of senior management to participate as a mentor. Get at least one member of senior management to be a part of the mastermind team that is responsible for implementing the program.
The program champion or administrator must provide reports on how the program is providing ROI. Compare past retention rates to new ones year over year. Include retention rates on new hires. How many stay how long? Compare hiring costs yr. over yr. How many new hires? How many are replacement positions? How many are new positions? How much are you spending on training for employees yr. over yr.? (Include internal training soft costs — how much time are managers or other employees spending on training, and external programs) You can hire a consultant team to help you with measuring ROI for a mentor program. Follow suggestions in item 5 on this list.
- Don’t start without a system to implement and manage the program. If you leave the mentor program up to chance and just encourage it without providing clear guidance for the participants, it will likely fall by the wayside. Set up systems to match partners as well as guide and track mentor sessions. Either get an online system to do it for you and provide reports, or build a manual one tracked within a file system. Create your own reports for the management and the participants. Let people know what’s going on with the program. Track ROI.
- Don’t start without providing mentors with training. Mentors often don’t know how to mentor. Train them. Hire an external trainer or make some online courses available to them. FindAMentor.com offers ISO 17024 Certified Mentor Training.
Don’t start if the company culture doesn’t support mentoring. You can do a culture assessment to see if the company is ready for a mentor program.
Who are the senior management people that see value in the program? Will one or more of them participate? Do you have people capable of mentoring that see the benefit in mentoring? How many? When we’ve implemented mentor programs for companies, there haven’t always been enough mentors that are willing to participate or that see the value. Often it’s because they have no idea how to mentor someone. They want and need a format and structure guidelines to follow. Don’t make people mentor someone if they don’t want to.
There have always been mentees willing to participate and who look forward to the program. People like to learn and increase their perceived value to the workplace. They often see having a mentor as a way to grow their value.
- Don’t start if you’re not willing to track results and effectiveness and make changes. Measure and adjust effectiveness of matches and sessions. Rate mentees progress and compare to other mentees in program. Use surveys and one-on–one inquiry sessions to see what participants think about making the program better. Do it over time. Give your program 2 years to evolve and make adjustments every six months and minimum once per year. Measure the things for tracking ROI in item 1.
See the 4 Key measurable benefits of a mentor program that provides ROI — tracking and measurement is required . Check other blog posts.
FindAMentor.com can help with culture assessment and effective implementation. We help you with mentor training. We can help you measure program effectiveness and employee satisfaction with our surveys. Fill out the form at FindAMentor MMP to get a free consultation to help you with your existing mentor program or to see if you’re ready for our mentor mastermind program now.
Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful day.
Mike Garska, President.