The biggest challenge for most mentoring programs is to get a sufficient number of mentors involved. To motivate mentors, there are two important factors your company should emphasize:
- Specify the value of participation to the mentor
- Outline the commitment mentoring would require
So let’s talk about the first challenge to motivate mentors:
Value to the mentor.
Over the many years we’ve been doing mentoring, mentors report that they are frequently asked “why do you to this?”.
Here are some of the comments mentors have reported to us:“I want to give back because someone helped me.”
“I need an ally in the organization.”
“I have learned better listening skills and had a chance to practice those skills.”
“I’ve had a chance to rediscover exactly how much valuable expertise I have that I had forgotten about.”
“I got valuable feedback from my mentee about my own skill sets and communication skills.”
Important to note: most mentors who mentor in a formal program will do it again as a result of their experience with mentoring.
The second challenge for motivating mentors?
Many people are unclear about what type of time commitment mentoring involves. It is important to specify what the commitment is so that potential mentors can make an informed decision about whether or not they can partake in a mentoring program.
Time involved: The gold standard is to meet every other week for 60-90 minutes. These meetings can be either face to face or via Skype, video conferencing, etc. That means the pair will have 24 sessions in a year (most programs last one year.)
Training*: If you have a mentoring program manager (MPM), the MPM should offer training for both mentors and mentorees. This should alleviate any anxiety potential mentors may have over “what will we discuss.”
*If your program does not have a training component, Management Mentors offers a terrific online mentoring training course. Click on the button below for more information.*
Now that you’ve specified the value and the time commitment involved in mentoring, be sure to personally invite folks to take part in your company’s mentoring program. This can be done face to face or via invitation.
Have you ever been asked to be a mentor? What kinds of questions did you ask before deciding whether or not to participate?
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