Friday, November 22, 2013

Mentors can make your World go Round

Working with the right mentor, can and will be extremely rewarding, on both the professional and personal front, for both the mentor and mentee. JP Morgan Chase has an excellent mentor program. One of the research programmes they ran revealed that over 87 % of protégés, reported significant career advancement, as a result of the mentoring program. They also reported massive improvements in their confidence levels and things in their personal lives improved as well.

Creating a Great Mentorship program

The first thing to remember is that a mentorship program, is never a substitute for leadership, nor is it a replacement for an appropriate training and development program, within your organisation. Mentorship is always a complimentary program to support great leadership and targeted training. 

Remember that a winning mentorship relationship is one built on trust, between two individuals. It is basically one where, the more experienced person provides insights and guidance to the less experienced one. In many cases they also help the other person make the right contacts, with the right people too. 

Make it part of the organisational DNA

To really be successful with any mentoring program within your organisation, it needs to not be something separate from the organisation. It must become an integral part of the DNA or culture within the organisation. Right from the recruiting phase, you should look to hire people, who are willing to listen and who have an appetite for teaching. Remember that a great mentor fills the role of both a teacher and a trusted friend. To really be successful, you should not only mentor a few rising stars within your organisation, but try to ensure that everyone within your organisation is supported. When mentoring is an entrenched culture within your organisation, it is far easier than you think to support and guide everyone to greatness.

Making this work in your organisationü 
  • Make mentoring part of the DNA of your organisation. It should be an integral part of what your organisation wants. As everyone within your organisation grows, so too will your business over time.
  • Identify a good passionate and driven leader within your organisation, to champion your mentoring program. This will help keep the program focused and support the program to grow and flourish.  
  • Identify people within your organisation, who are good listeners, great teachers and truly passionate about guiding and supporting others to grow. They should not mentor anyone to get a feather in their own cap, but rather for the greater good of the organisation.
  • Invest resources to train your mentors. Clearly define their roles and establish boundaries, to support both parties to make the mentor process work.
  • Nominate mentees and try to match them as perfectly as possible with their mentors. The better the fit, the greater will be the benefit enjoyed from the programme. The best fit often comes when the mentee, gets to choose their mentor themselves.
  •  Create a very clear framework for the relationship. The best results come from longer term relationships, so try to ensure that the relationship will be for a minimum of one year. Set a minimum number of meetings, which should be conducted during this period. Bi-weekly seems to work best. Once you have given them a formal platform, allow them to develop things more naturally going forward.
  • Schedule gatherings for all mentors and mentees to get together. This gives them the opportunity to connect with each other and allows them to share experiences. Quarterly meetings for mentors and mentees, is a great way to learn from each other and build on experiences.
  • Regularly measure success. As you monitor your mentoring program. Check to see if it is delivering on expectations. Are the mentees growing and improving the professional success and is the level of job satisfaction for both the mentor and mentee, where it should be?
The mentoring program, within your organisation, will be a fulfilling experience for both the mentors and mentees and will help your organisation to expand and flourish. As you know this will be a worthwhile endeavour for any organisation.

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