A company who invests in its talent and employees are always attractive to job seekers. This means that it is important to build a long-term plan to train your employees and build up a talent pipeline. So how can you make the most of a mentoring scheme? How can you ensure that your employees get what they need out of the system and develop into what you need? Gareth Cartman discusses some key areas in how to make a mentoring scheme work:
- Opposites Attract:
Pairing your mentor and mentee is not like dating, if the employee is shy, the mentor needs to be outgoing, etc. Think about what skills they need to develop, and pair them with the employee who can help them in this area.
- Save the Time:
A mentoring scheme often fails due to the mentor not having enough time to meet with the mentee as other tasks take priority. The best thing to do is schedule those meetings before 9am or after 5pm so that there are fewer distractions. It is also important to make sure that your mentor doesn’t class it as “one more thing to do” and agrees with the ethos of the mentoring scheme.
- It’s All in the Preparation:
This is mainly the focus for the mentee. They, too, need to know how to get the most out of the scheme. They should plan for all mentor meetings; knowing what they need to ask and what they want from the meeting. They cannot rely on the mentor to ask all the important questions.
- It’s not Teaching, it’s Learning:
A mentor is there to help the mentee learn, not teach them. Mentoring is about direction and helping them learn for themselves through tips and techniques. It helps the mentee develop an effective mindset for the work environment.
- Make it Aspirational:
To make the mentoring scheme successful, you need to promote it effectively and maintain this. Make it interesting, even give it a name. Create events, let mentors meet up to swap techniques, and let mentee’s meet up to share their experiences. Always seek to improve the scheme also, learn from areas which may not be performing as well as others.
When someone does come through the scheme and gets promoted, that’s a sign that it is working and has been effective within the company. That employee is the proof!