Mentorship: Starting a Company Initiative  

The Express Blog has launched a new series called The Value of Mentorship for leaders and job seekers. This is part 11 of the 12-part series, so check back next week for the final installment!  

The impacts of company supported mentorship initiatives are clear: these programs improve employee engagement, enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts, and create opportunities for individual growth and success, while benefitting the company.  

Mentorship programs take time to develop, grow, and improve. Companies looking to bring mentorship to the workplace have many opportunities from mentoring groups to company programs. If you’re involved in kick-starting an initiative or looking for casual ways to encourage mentorship, these ideas can help set you on the right track.  

Mentoring Circles 

Mentorship doesn’t have to involve a company-wide program to be impactful. If your company supports social activities at work, a mentoring circle that meets before or after work, or over lunch, would offer professional development in a small group setting. Mentoring circles are typically comprised of mentors and mentees who meet regularly, with a participant acting as the facilitator to organize and lead meetings.  

One-on-One Mentorship  

As a leader, you have a unique view of your employees’ strengths and weaknesses, which allows you to identify natural pairings of potential mentors and mentees. Mentorship should never be forced on someone unwilling to participate; however, you can speak with employees to gauge their level of interest and identify individuals wishing to participate in mentorship.  

Evaluate your existing connections, both at and outside of work, to determine if someone in your network could be a mentor match for any of your employees. Understand the prospective mentee’s goals and objectives and aim to connect them with a mentor who can meet those needs. Begin by offering an introduction with no pressure to form a mentorship.  

Company Mentorship Programs 

Company mentorship programs are highly customizable to fit your company’s culture and the preferences of participants. Launching a company-wide mentorship initiative can seem daunting, but developing a few key processes can help ensure success:   

  • Registration and vetting process to qualify mentors and match mentees 
  • Checkpoints to keep all participants accountable 
  • Guidelines to maintain the integrity of the program 
  • Measures of success 
  • Defined goals of the program  

    Looking to those who have achieved what you’re set out to accomplish can be a great way to find inspiration. Mentorloop recognizes companies with the most impactful mentorship programs every year, and the Together Platform highlighted 11 companies offering mentorship opportunities.  

    Share your ideas for creating an impactful mentorship program at work in the comments!  

    Check out previous posts from the Express Blog’s Value of Mentorship Series:    

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