Mentoring programs are a fantastic way to create a more open and encouraging work environment. An effective system of mentoring can help employees to improve their goal-setting and communication skills as well as their overall work performance. So how do you build a mentoring program that can have your organization reaping the benefits of engaged and developed employees?


Here are a few useful tips for implementing a successful mentoring program in the workplace.


Promote mentorship during the hiring process


There must be marketing, planning, and training if a mentoring program is going to be effective. Many companies use shadowing as a part of their onboarding process however, often having a new employee follow someone around is not the most successful approach. Instead, a mentoring program can allow key information to be transferred more naturally. Things such as company systems and procedures can be passed along with a higher chance of actual learning and understanding on the part of the new hire. 


It’s important that managers and other leaders have a clear understanding and are knowledgeable about the program. Begin to promote mentorship during the recruitment process so that new and prospective hires understand that it will be a part of their position at the company. 


Establish expectations and responsibilities of the distinct roles


Consider creating a questionnaire to be used for matching people. Have new and current employees who are interested in mentoring fill out a brief list of questions. Ask things such as what their career objectives are, what they are looking for in a mentor/mentee, and sort of communication style they prefer, and what they hope to gain from the experience. Use the questionnaires to then successfully pair mentor-mentees with similar personality traits and interests. 


Implement goal-setting


If an employee has a clear understanding of the objectives of the business it is much easier for them to align their goals. Make your employees feel that they are supported professionally by providing training and giving feedback. When people feel like they are receiving recognition for their good work they are more satisfied. Furthermore, when companies provide their employees with opportunities for growth they have a much higher probability of retaining their top talent.


A mentoring program is a two-way street. Those who are being mentored can receive great advice and perspective from seasoned professionals in their industry and the people that are doing the mentoring have the chance to hone their leadership skills. Mentoring is an incredibly useful tool that can help any business thrive.