One of the biggest HR trends we've seen over the last decade is the trend towards streamlining manual processes. It makes sense, of course, since HR people tend to be extremely efficient.
That said, HR pros are sometimes surprised when we tell them it is possible (and preferable) to streamline the organization's mentoring program, especially the creation/development phase.
If you work in HR, here are six signs your mentoring program is in serious need of streamlining.
1. You have mentors and mentorees filling out questionnaires by hand. It's 2015. 'Nuff said.
2. You have mentors and mentorees filling out questionnaires by computer, but you have no way of tallying results. OK, so the questionnaires will be easier to read, but still time consuming to compile if you have to read each one and take notes.
3. You're still manually matching mentors and mentorees. This system might be OK for smaller programs (although it's still a time consuming endeavor), but for larger programs (anything over 25 matches), manual matching can become a nightmare and eat up precious office hours (and evenings and weekends).
4. You're using software like Excel to keep track of matches. Excel is a program, but it's not the best software for creating and managing a mentoring program.
5. You sometimes wonder if there might be a better match than the one you made. If you're using manual matching, you rely on the "best you can" approach when it comes to pairing up mentors and mentorees. But even the most diligent person might overlook a strong potential match.
6. You believe in the power of mentoring, but you dread launching new programs because of the work that's involved. As an HR pro, you understand the many benefits that mentoring provides employees as well as the organization. But the sheer amount of work that goes into developing and maintaining a program over the long haul leaves you feeling overwhelmed.
Does any of this sound familiar? If it does, then it's time to invest in mentoring software that allows you to streamline and automate certain tasks. Now, I know automation can sound impersonal, but it doesn't have to be. It simply needs to make your life easier by taking care of the grunt work for you.
Good mentoring software should provide…
- Forms that mentors and mentorees fill out online. The forms should include questions that the program can easily measure (e.g. scales, multiple choice) in addition to questions that require written answers (which humans, like yourself, can review).
- A proven algorithm that successfully matches mentors and mentorees based on people's answers. The algorithm is critical. You want to work with a mentoring software program that does the initial matching for you.
- Several suggested matches based on the results. Ideally, the software should serve up two to three matches, all of which could work, in theory. Your job will be to review the suggested matches and choose the best one.
- The ability for you to compare a mentor's and mentoree's questionnaires side by side so you can take a deeper look. This is where the human component—meaning YOU—is important.
- A way for you to override the system, when necessary, as you make your matches. For example, you might decide to override the software's first choice, once you realize the second choice is actually the better match, based on your knowledge of the people involved and/or other factors.
- Strong security measures. When prospective mentors and mentorees fill out the online forms, they'll want to know their answers and privacy are secure.
- A way to view everything online with a few clicks. The only thing you'd need to manage the program is a browser and Internet access—you'd be able to use the software from your desktop, laptop, phone, and tablet.
- An easier work life. You want the mentoring software to be intuitive, and you want it to make your life easier—not something else you need to learn how to master.
The best way to get a feel for different mentoring software is by requesting an in depth demonstration of the product. We love showing people MentoringComplete and our proprietary Precision Matching tool. Contact us today to set up an appointment!