Increased knowledge transfer, development of leadership skills and better teamwork are just some of the benefits to building a culture of mentoring and continuous development.
Over the years I’ve had plenty of conversations with clients about how they want to achieve these things but never quite know how to facilitate it in the real world. So, I’m sharing three simple and practical tips to get you started straight away.
Finding a mentor
Think about how your employees are going to find someone to mentor them, a skills and mentoring directory is a really good first step. Try putting together a shared spreadsheet where your employees who want to be mentors can sign up, write a short bio of what they can offer a mentee and list out their skills.
This can be quite a time consuming first task, so having a learning experience platform where people can search for skills and roles straight away will take this step out and make your life much easier.
Start the conversation
Make mentoring a topic of conversation. Use it more day-to-day, add it to your line managers one-to-one sessions with their team and make it visible and accessible on your learning platform.
Asking questions like “Do you think you’d benefit from having a mentor?” or “Have you ever thought about being a mentor?” will remind your learners and teachers that mentoring is a viable option in your organisation, encourage more education about the benefits and empower continuous peer-to-peer learning and development.
That’s why making it a part of the conversation is so important. You can rally volunteers, but no one will actually use it unless they understand the outcomes and know it’s an option.
Break the ice
Now you have a collection of people in your organisation who say they want to be mentors or want to be mentored and a shiny new directory. How do you get them to connect?
It can be quite daunting asking someone you may not know via email or instant message, so a really fun way to connect is what I like to call “speed mentor dating”. You get people together in a room (or you can do it virtually) and you pair up mentors and mentees in appropriate skill categories to chat in 5-10 minute sessions. Afterwards get them both to list their top two or three choices and from that you can then work out the best matches.
That’s it! Three simple first steps to encourage more mentoring, what do you think? I’d love to know how you get on with them, find me on LinkedIn and share your stories.
See how THRIVE encourages collaboration, sharing and learning to drive a mentoring and continuous development culture. Speak to one of our THRIVE Tribe and see for yourself.