Your Mentoring Program's Size Will Determine What You Need
Many potential clients come to Management Mentors for info and services to start pilot programs. These programs are typically under 25 pairs. We also receive requests from organizations with 10,000 or more people -- organizations that are hoping to launch a company-wide program with hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of pairs.
The size of your program is such an important factor that it's one of the very first things we ask you. Why? Keep on reading.
This size of your mentoring program influences the following:
- Program model. When we talk about mentoring program models, we mean one-to-one mentoring, group mentoring, self-directed mentoring, and anytime mentoring (which is a lot like coaching). Read more about business mentoring models here in our free white paper.
- Technology needed. Larger programs typically require mentoring software, like MentoringComplete. Smaller programs will still use technology like email, Skype, and IM. Web-based mentoring training is also popular (and affordable), as is web-based mentoring certification, like the one we have for program managers.
- Price: The price of setting up and executing a program for 50 pairs will be vastly different from setting up and executing a program for over 1000 pairs. A lot depends on the technology needed and whether it's a first-time program (a pilot program) or the restructuring or resurrecting of an existing program. Each brings its own challenges, and each will dictate a different price point, while also taking into account technology needs and program size.
So where does your company fall?
It will be different from company to company, organization to organization, but here's a good rule of thumb to guide you as you're researching mentoring program options.
- Fewer than 50 mentoring pairs at any given time: You probably won't need robust mentoring software like MentoringComplete, but your program could benefit from lower-cost technology options, such as web-based mentoring training. An exception to this rule: if a larger company wants to start with a couple of smaller pilot programs, knowing it's committed to mentoring for the long-term, it would be wise to invest in mentoring software like MentoringComplete now.
- Between 51 and 250 mentoring pairs at any given time: This might not seem like a significant jump from what we describe above, but if you're on the higher end of managing 250 pairs, then mentoring software can go a long way in helping to efficiently manage a program. The cost of mentoring software like MentoringComplete could be cost prohibitive for smaller organizations, in which case there are strategies for managing programs of this size using more traditional methods -- methods that Management Mentors can still help you with and guide you on.
- Between 251 and 1000 pairs This is quite a range, we realize, but this middle area often has a lot of flexibility and some very specific needs. Mentoring software can be especially helpful if, again, the company is committed to mentoring for the long term. Software can also be helpful if program members are spread out over several buildings or branches because it keeps track of everyone and everything (forms etc.) in one easy-to-access location: a web-based program.
- 1000 pairs on up. In our experience, it would almost be impossible to manage a program of this size in this day and age without technology and software like MentoringComplete. That said, sometimes the price of mentoring software causes "sticker shock" for upper management, even in organizations that anticipate having over 1000 mentoring pairs in a program. The thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to pricing is this: the cost of investing and nurturing your current workforce is less than the cost of constantly replacing employees (think recruitment and training costs to start).