It's crucial to have ideas for your mentoring program that you can test and keep the experience fresh for employees.
Finding the right activities and pairing formats can be critical to the success of the program.
Whether you're starting a mentoring program or renewing an existing one, these ideas will ensure your program is varied, exciting, and even rewarding.
This article provides more than 20 activities and pairing formats for a mentoring program. We also discuss different ways to plan your tutoring program, who should attend, and quick tips from experienced tutoring program administrators.
Let's start by describing the different ways of bringing mentors and mentees together.
There is more than one way to plan your mentoring program
When we think of mentoring, we usually think of an older, more experienced person mentoring a younger person. But in helping more than 150 organizations and professional associations launch mentoring programs, our team at Together has seen some unique ways to structure a program.
In short, there are 5 different ways to run a mentoring program. Let's look at each:
An apprentice is assigned to only one mentorfor a structured period. This mentoring program can be highly personalized and tailored to the mentee's specific needs and goals.
Group Mentoring ProgramMatch mentees with a mentor or a team of mentors. Enable mentees to learn and collaborate with multiple mentors and peers.
A maintenance contract betweentwo employees who are at a similar level or have similar experience. They support, collaborate and learn from each other in a more informal setting.
A young employee joins forces with a more experienced employeeGuide the senior executiveabout the latest technologies and digital trends. This idea aims to bridge the cross-generational knowledge gap in the workforce.
One-time or short-term mentoring between a mentee and a mentor to address a specific need or challenge.Flash-MentoringOffers are for one or more sessions only and are beneficial when you want to provide a staff member with quick, problem-focused support and guidance.
20+ tutorial activities that open new perspectives and stimulate powerful discussions
Getting to know your mentor or mentee can be a fun process. Here are some creative activities you can do together to strengthen your relationship.
Also, as you plan your mentoring program, these ideas will help encourage youemployee connections.
1. Mentors accompany their mentor
The follow-up in company mentoring is a valuable opportunity for trainees to learn from experienced employees. By accompanying their mentor for a day, mentees gain insights into the company, important roles and responsibilities, and set career goals. This process continues to workreturn, with mentors who accompany trainees to understand their world.
2. Join a conference together
Mentoring should go beyond talking. Attending a conference together, virtually or in person, can strengthen the mentor-mentee bond and facilitate learning. This can be achieved through discussions and exchange of experiences after the presentations.
3. Choose a book together and discuss it
Many books offer career and life advice that mentors and mentees can read together. There are also many features that make consuming content easier. Try audiobooks or apps like Blinkist that summarize key points. Discuss the author's point of view, the strengths and weaknesses of their perspective, and whether their advice works in a practical setting.
4. Do some volunteer work
Working together on a common cause can create a deeper connection between mentor and mentee. Pick a charity to support and spend some time volunteering with the organization.
5. Attend a networking event
A mentor helps mentees to expand their professional network and open up new opportunities. Mentors can evenSponsor trainees for new tasksand Positions Attending networking events such as the Chamber of Commerce luncheon can benefit both the mentor and the mentee.
6. Get out of the office and fuel your creativity
Taking time off work to attend creative events like art exhibitions or music events can foster a deeper connection between mentors and mentees and is a great way to stimulate creativity in the workplace.
7. Complete a project together
Mentors need to work with mentees on a short-term project (a few weeks or a month), e.g. B. Research, writing an article or participating in a works council. This collaboration can lead to new opportunities and discussions for both people.
8. Drink coffee and go for a walk
Not all mentoring meetings need to take place in the office. Sneak out for lunch or coffee and talk about non-work related things.
9. Share interesting articles to stimulate discussion
Mentors may share interesting articles, blogs, or information that they think a mentee might appreciate or learn from. They can also be a starting point for a discussion.
10. Share professional stories
people love stories. Mentors should share stories about their professional experiences, including challenges and successes. Both the mentor and mentee should speak at length about their careers and discuss the impact of previous mentors they may have had. Sharing these stories leads to a deeper and more meaningful conversation.
11. Have mentors attend a mentee presentation
Mentors should endeavor to attend a presentation where they can see their mentees in action. Later they can give feedback and training. This is a great opportunity for the mentor to see how their mentee works on a daily basis.
12. Meet with another mentor-mentee pair
Have lunch with another pair of mentors and mentees to learn from them and expand your networks. Ask them what activities they do together and see if they come up with new ideas. This is a great opportunity to see what's working with other groups.
13. Provide feedback on the work of others.
Mentors and mentees need to watch each other at work to improve certain skills, such as presentation skills and public speaking. The mentor can provide guidance and feedback after observing the mentee.
14. Take a class together.
Mentors can help mentees develop the habit of continuous learning by participating in joint classes or workshops, whether work-related or leisure-related (e.g., Toast Master). This can foster a strong bond between the two of you.
15. Mock Interviews
Train your trainees to succeed: Give trainees hands-on experience and prepare them for success by conducting mock interviews that mimic the application process. Give them practical tips to improve their performance so they are well prepared.
Offer trainees unique opportunities to experience the inner workings of different industries through immersive field trips. Let them explore the ins and outs of different organizations up close and inspire their career aspirations.
17. Case Studies
Let your students explore the complexities of real-world situations with carefully curated case studies. posethought-provoking questions— and encourage them to consider all relevant perspectives before coming to their solution.
18. Reflective Diary
Encourage learners to write down their thoughts and feelings on a regular basis to help them process their experiences and gain new insights.
19. Leadership training
Give your mentees the skills they need to be successful as aspiring leaders through acomprehensive leadership training program. Cover topics such as effective communication, decision-making, and creative problem-solving that will benefit your career.
20. Group discussion
Menees develop teamwork, speaking and listening skills by participating in group discussions on relevant topics. These interactive conversations allow learners to gain insights from one another while encouraging the development of important social dynamics.
21. Say goodbye in style
As the curtain closes on mentoring, it's a good idea to plan a celebration to mark the occasion. This can be an opportunity for the mentor to reflect on the mentee's progress.
You can also use other plans for both people to build a relationship and learning experience.
Is mentoring really that important? Yes, here's why
The survey found that today's workers are looking for career paths that help them develop their skills and expand their networks. You also want to work for companies that genuinely care about employee satisfaction. Mentoring is a powerful way to make starting a career a more rewarding experience.
- Nine out of ten employees have mentorshave higher job satisfaction.
- Almost 40% of employees who do not have mentoring relationships have considered leaving the company in the last few months.
The benefits of mentoring are hard to ignore.
Jacqueline Gilchrist, coordinator of the mentoring program at The Forum, shares ourCustomer Discussion Forumthat mentoring is important because it's better to talk to someone who was there:
"It helps to have someone on the go, and I always say:You know, family and friends can be great networks of support, but sometimes it's really nice to talk to someone who was in the position you were in and really understands the intricacies and ups and downs."
Next to,formal tutoring programsIt could be a tool that:
If an employee within an organization feels isolated and helpless, you can bet they would leave.Mentoring programs improve retention ratesProvide employees with a support network, ongoing professional development opportunities, and a sense of belonging to the organization.
This can lead to higher job satisfaction and less likelihood of employees leaving the company for other opportunities.
More engagement and productivity
Mentoring, supporting and encouraging employees through a mentoring program is an effective way to create a collaborative team atmosphere geared towards personal growth and improvement.
Kate Doyle, a UN professional development expert, argues that mentoring is a more engaging way of learning:
"That isLearning through a relationship with another personSo it's very different than being in a classroom for a one-off learning event or learning in self-paced online programs. You know, those things are nice, but I don't think they compare in any way to building a relationship with someone in your organization... and we know it.Organizations with mentoring programs have higher levels of engagement."
More Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
If your organization is struggling to outperform your competition, focusing on DEI initiatives is a great way to gain that advantage.
This is shown by a McKinsey studydifferent organizationsThey are more likely to beat their competitors in terms of profitability. Mentoring allows employees to build diverse relationships at different levels, departments and environments, and this promotes a more inclusive and equitable workplace.
Enhanced employee learning and development
According to a study by the American Psychological Association,Mentors have the opportunity to influence the behavior of their menteesthrough the development of a supportive and cooperative friendship.
This influence has the potential to facilitate social change in learners, which can ultimately enhance their learning and personal growth.
The social learning theory proposed by Albert Bandura posits that individuals acquire new behaviors and values through observing and imitating those around them.
In the context of mentoring, this theory suggests that the mentoring relationship provides an ideal platform for the transfer of knowledge and skills from mentor to mentee. Therefore, the mentoring relationship can have a significant impact on the protégé's development and learning.
Development of leadership qualities
Developing successful leaders requires a commitment to lifelong learning and the nurturing of individuals with high leadership potential. Forward-thinking organizations recognize this by engaging in development programs such asMentoring programs for executivesfor current and future leaders.
Who should participate in a mentoring program?
Mentoring has been shown to affect a wide range of individuals – those who are just starting their careers, those moving into a new role or field, those looking to move up the career ladder and of course experienced ones as well People who share their knowledge and experiences with other people.
Employees with high potential
Employees with high potential, often referred to as "High Potentials" or "HiPos", have the potential to advance their careers and take on leadership roles in organizations. These people typically have strong work ethics, high levels of competency, and a willingness to learn and grow.
But without the guidance of someone more experienced, HiPos can struggle in their careers. Mentoring helps ensure that someone is there to guide them through different career stages and boost their self-esteem. Mentoring programs forHiPo staffIt brings long-term benefits to the organization.
Underrepresentation, bias, discrimination, limited access to resources, and insecurity are all traits that grace underrepresented talent.
Research has also shown that mentoring programs are effective in supporting underrepresented talent. for example onefor the studyvon Heidrick & Struggles found that women and minorities say that mentoring programs are beneficial for their career development.
Mentoring enables underrepresented talent to move up the corporate ladder and become leaders. Interestingly, according to a Gallup study, it's black employees12x more likely to trust their organizationswhen they see leaders of their race - this can also help retain various talents.
Most organizations only focus on their onboarding system to help new hires adjust to their new role. Why an effective onboarding system is great, it's not enough to get new employees onboard.
Despite strong integration, a Gallup study showsOnly 29% of employees say they are fully preparedin their new roles, meaning more than 70% of new hires still don't feel ready after onboarding.
togetherMentoring program for new employees, they not only become part of the company's work culture, but also gain a friend at work. A friend can help them adjust to the organization's new environment and culture and guide them as they move forward.
As employees transition into a leadership role as new managers, they face many challenges in learning to lead their teams effectively. These individuals may need guidance and support to achieve organizational goals and lead others effectively.
To counteract this, pair anew manager with a senior manager for personal mentoring. The senior manager provides guidance and support for the challenges and opportunities that the new manager may face.
There are a number of concerns for organizations with teams working remotely. Concerns include work-based learning, cultural integration, lack of personal communication, differences in work styles, limited access to resources and career development opportunities.
virtual tutoringfor Remote Teams addresses these challenges by providing team members with a structured and focused way to communicate and collaborate effectively, adapt their work styles, access resources and support, and develop their skills and careers.
Quick tips for creating your mentoring program
Mentoring without careful planning and execution is likely to fail. Therefore, for effective mentoring, the organization should consider the following:
Define your goals and objectives
Setting clear goals and objectives ensures that the mentoring program is aligned with business strategy and goals.
- What are your hopes for the program?
- Are you looking to improve employee skills and development, encourage leadership, or create a more collaborative and supportive work environment?
This ensures that your mentoring program aligns with your business strategy and goals.
Once you have your goals and objectives clear, it is helpful to name your counseling program. This article will show youHow to name your tutoring programto make it compelling but consistent with the value of your business.
Identify your target audience
Identifying the target audience for the mentoring program will help tailor it to the needs of these individuals. However, you don't want to match a mentor with a mentee whose goals don't match. This could thwart the whole process and render it useless.
According to the doctor. Wendy Axelrod, executive coach, former HR manager, author, speaker and renowned mentoring guru,
“We realized that there was a need to select mentors and mentees, which cannot just be a very informal 'meeting'.
People had to understand what was needed in the program to get the most out of it. We wanted our mentors to keep coming back to us,” you can readthe matching process between mentors and mentees.
Develop a clear structure and process.
A clear structure and process will help ensure the success of the mentoring program, including selecting mentors and determining the frequency and activities of meetings. Every meeting should have an agenda, so here is one.List of various discussion topics for mentors and mentees.
Unfortunately, most mentors and mentees still don't know what to expect when they sign up for a mentoring program.
dr Wendy suggests defining the terms so they know what they are getting themselves into.
"We tell them that's what's on the show. Do you agree? And we don't want them to be surprised because things weren't really planned for them. We want them to understand that we will investigate. "Your goals, and there are rules and limits.
Provide training and support
Mentors and mentees need to receive training and support to prepare them for success in their roles. For more information on what type of training you should offer your mentors, see ourProgram Guide for Mentor Trainingdiscussed everything you need to know.
Evaluate and adjust if necessary
Regular evaluations and adjustments to the orientation program may be made based on feedback from participants and stakeholders.
Start your mentoring program with Together
If you want to start a mentoring program that will impact your entire organization, you need to do thisTogether's mentoring platform.
It's the best way to ensure that every employee is happy with our advancedMatchmaking algorithm. Likewise, it's easy to manage everything from registration and matchmaking to tracking couples and reporting on their success.
Join over 150 business organizations driving change in their target workforces.
What are some examples of mentoring activities? ›
- Create a Mentoring Plan.
- Job Shadowing.
- Attend a Conference Together.
- Practice a Presentation.
- Reverse Mentoring Meeting.
- Reading and Discussion.
- Update Resumes.
- Volunteering Together.
Attending meetings: During a mentor/mentee relationship you can find interesting meetings, events, or conferences to go to together. These events should be focused on the personal development you are trying to achieve: for example, this may include a training class on management skills.What are the 3 C's of mentorship? ›
Clarity, Communication, Commitment – the key to successful mentoring programmes.What is the most important factor when matching a mentor? ›
While you do not need to match a mentor and mentee on equal skill sets it is important to look at the skills a mentor has and how they may be applicable to potential mentees. This could be industry skills, management skills, communication skills or a whole host of other skill sets.What are the four 4 forms of mentorship? ›
- One-on-One Mentoring. ...
- Situational Mentoring. ...
- Developmental and Career Mentoring. ...
- Reverse Mentoring. ...
- Group-Based Mentoring. ...
- Peer-Based Mentoring.
- Relevant Expertise or Knowledge. ...
- Enthusiasm for Sharing That Expertise. ...
- A Respectful Attitude. ...
- Eagerness to Invest in Others. ...
- The Ability to Give Honest and Direct Feedback. ...
- Reflective Listening and Empathy. ...
- Willingness to Be a Sponsor.
The physician-researcher as mentor has at least seven roles to fill: teacher, sponsor, advisor, agent, role model, coach, and confidante (1, 6, 7). The mentor needs to customize each role to match the characteristics of the fellow.What are 3 things you look for in a mentor? ›
A good mentor is inspiring, yet accessible. They have the time to listen and also have their own successful career. They're empathetic and give honest feedback. With so many qualities to consider, it's no wonder people feel overwhelmed when looking for a mentor.How do I write a mentoring plan? ›
Write down the mentee's long-term career goals.
Identifying the mentee's ultimate or major career goal will help you to create clear objectives to work on. If you're the mentee, discuss your career goals with your mentor and then state your career goal as a main objective of the mentorship plan.
While no two relationships develop in the exact same way, mentoring relationships tend to follow five stages: contemplation, initiation, growth and maintenance, decline and dissolution, and redefinition.
How do you write a mentoring program proposal? ›
- Section 1: WHY MENTORING?
- Section 2: PROGRAM GOALS & OBJECTIVES.
- Section 3: PROGRAM ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES.
- Section 4: SELECTION CRITERIA & MATCHING METHOD.
- Section 5: PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION.
- Section 6: SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS & RESOURCES.
- Section 7: PROGRAM EVALUATION.
- Good listener/sounding board.
- Value diversity of perspectives.
- Able to give constructive feedback.
- Honest and candid.
- Able to network and find resources.
The qualities of effective mentors – as identified by participants in mentoring programs nationwide – may be organized into four general categories: attitude and character; professional competence and experience; communication skills; and interpersonal skills.What are the key goals of mentorship? ›
The goal of a mentorship program is to accelerate the personal and professional development of mentees. This is achieved by providing mentees with guidance, advice and feedback from mentors with more experience than themselves.Can you give me an example of mentoring? ›
Examples of individual mentoring include informal, goal-oriented discussions between a junior person seeking advice from their senior, as well as discussions in which the mentor is not necessarily a senior to or even colleague of the mentee, but has more experience working in a given space.What is a mentoring strategy? ›
Strategic Mentoring features elements of both informal and formal mentoring. Strategic Mentoring is created and structured by the mentoree to harness the power of mentoring to achieve specific career and professional goals.What is a mentoring model? ›
The most traditional mentoring model is where one senior person from the organization mentors one junior person from the organization. This model may be the easiest to adminster, but which model you choose will depend on the dynamics of your organization and your strategic goals.What is a mentoring activity? ›
Mentoring activities are simply any specific tasks or exercises that you and your mentee participate in together. They can be designed to help build relationships, impart knowledge, or solve problems.What does a good mentoring session look like? ›
In a mentoring meeting, it's important to put an emphasis on learning about one another. Discuss personal and professional history in order to establish a common ground. You can also talk about topics centered around leadership, situational advice and skills.What are the four pillars of mentoring? ›
Whether you're a mentor or mentee, be mindful of the four pillars of mentorship: trust, respect, expectation, and communication. Investing a few minutes to explicitly discuss the relationship expectations and communication logistics will pay dividends in decreased frustration and improved satisfaction.