How Matching Software Can Benefit Your Mentor ProgramMarch 21, 2016
|Mentor Matching Software is a tool that can be implemented to assist your organization in your perfect mentor program. There are a lot of questions that could be posed when starting a mentor program, one of which is how do mentees find the mentor that will suit their needs? For insight in the benefits of using a mentor matching software we turned to Stephen Grindrod, the Managing Director for Career Services here at Insala. Insala has cornered the market place when it comes to SaaS Mentoring software, and Stephen has been implementing mentoring programs for 7 years. Based on his vast experience in the field, we asked him some questions on starting a mentor program using a mentor matching software|
Q: What exactly does a mentor matching software do?Mentor matching software goes beyond just matching mentors and mentees. The biggest point of using a matching software is its ability to strategically match mentors and mentees based on their development needs and the mentorís expertise, it matches participants based on the overall objectives of the organization. For example, if your objective is leadership development, the software would be configured for leadership development skill gaps. The mentee would choose which gaps they have and the mentor would choose which areas they could appropriately fulfill. It also manages the availability of the mentors within the program. For instance, if you decide a mentor can handle two people, then the system will adjust for said situation. Some other perks include reporting, content to support the needs of the relationship, and email communication triggers to remind mentors and mentees to take specific action.
Q: When should a business use a mentor matching software?Once an organization decides to launch a mentoring program , specifically a size of over 40 mentees, then the organization should consider having a software solution in place. There are also some benefits worth mentioning; for example he ROI on the time saved spent on the software is worth it. Not to mention the use of a matching software also creates better, more efficient matches. It also measures the success of the program, enables mentoring even across different locations. Even if your organization is just starting out with a mentoring program, use the technology as a pilot to get feedback from everyone to see how the program is working. A lot of our pilots are normally in the finance department, they have a greater need for mentoring since they request more career development opportunities.
Q:How is the appropriate criteria for the organization defined?Obviously there is a need if they come to us, and there are certain steps that can be taken to identify how to properly configure the program to fit an organizationís needs. We provide mentoring planning workshops to assist with this. For example we make sure that all the stakeholders can come to an agreement on the business objectives. Not all stakeholders may be aware of the objective, our job is to ensure they focus on their objective that can be achievable through mentoring. Then, later we help them measure of the objectives to make sure the program was a success.
Q: What would be the benefit of a mentee choosing their own mentor through the software versus having the administrator assign the match?If the mentee chooses the mentor, there is a psychological element to it. Since itís their development, they get to choose their own resource (the person), the technology really just helps guide them to choose the most qualified mentor available to them to suit their developmental needs. Plus giving them the option to choose a mentor ensures that they donít feel forced into choosing one that isnít qualified.
Q: What if the administrator assigns the mentee to a mentor?Well in that case, the admin might not always get it right. To begin with, itís more work for the admin, when it could be assigned using our system to save time and efficiency. The admin may not always know the developmental needs of a mentee, and might not understand the personalities either. Which could be a potential recipe for a undesirable match. We recommend the mentee chooses from the most qualified list of mentors through our software.
Q: What is the role of the administrator during the matching process?The admin does quite a bit during the process. They ensure that the matching application is aligned with the business objective. The admin will recruit enough qualified mentors for the program using marketing campaigns through the organization, and once they have enough mentors they open the program up to the mentees. Admins monitor the number of relationships being made, and if there are not enough, we recommend they come up with a plan to get more matches because they are the ones responsible for making the matches happen. If a mentee canít get a mentor, the admin will aid them in the process and also ensure the mentee and mentor are properly trained . The administrator will normally check back to make sure the pair are working smoothly together, and if not they are the resource to go to. They need to run reports to see if the objectives were made, through sending out surveys and questionnaires. Once the program is finished, the admin recognizes the help the mentors have put in sending out emails thanking the mentors.