Training Your MentorsMay 24, 2016
A well-trained mentor is an invaluable asset to an organization. However, that person didnít wake up ready to be a mentor. A mentor passes valuable skills, knowledge and insights on to a mentee to help them develop their career. Before the program starts, mentors need to be sure they are set in their own abilities before developing someone elseís.
What is a Mentor?
The earliest definitions characterizes a mentor as a sustained relationship between a younger, less experienced individual (mentee) and an older, more experienced individual (mentor) dedicated to achieving long term success and fulfillment. In light of current trends, this definition is quickly evolving. A mentor is an individual with specific knowledge or experience in a given area of expertise, who is willing and able to share that knowledge or experience with another. A mentor is confident in their communication and leadership development and equipped with the skill to pass along these heirloom proficiencies to a mentee.
Why Is Mentor Training Important?
Effective mentor training is key to the success of your program. When a mentor is underqualified, a mentee can typically pick up on it. This can lead to feelings of frustration and lower employee morale. A mentoring programís success is at risk if the mentor is not well equipped for their role. An underqualified mentor could instill the wrong principles and standards within the mentee. This can spur a chain of poorly trained mentees that eventually will be part of your corporate structure. A mentor is like the lead car in a convoy; you are trusting that they know where they are going. A mentor is being trusted to lead the mentee to the proper destination, and if the mentor doesnít know where they are going, the pack gets lost as well.
Is Your Mentor Qualified?
They may be a subject matter expert; they may not be the best mentor. Here is how you qualify them.
ē Provide a competency assessment that allows you to find out who in the organization has the following skills and competencies: Coaching, goal setting, influencing, motivating, adaptability, interpersonal, leadership, visionary, communication skills, relationship building.
ē Based on the assessment results, recruit the mentors that have these skills and/or decide who should be developed to improve on these skills and competencies for future mentors. Remember- if you canít find enough mentors, you can train individuals to in the specific skills they are lacking in.
The Mentor Training Structure
The benefits and challenges of e-learning are well documented. While it can be an effective means of facilitating information, there is no way to track if that information has been understood, outside of pre-designed assessments. A combination of live training to become a mentor, workshops and online materials to re-enforce the material covered.
Here are the 7 topics the training should include
1. Clarity of the objective of the mentoring program.
2. State the benefits for the mentor; they will be more engaged.
3. Provide a role profile for the mentor and the mentee. If they donít know their role, both parties can be confused. Remember the relationship is always mentee driven and mentor guided.
4. Define phases of the relationship, so they know what to expect until the end of the relationship.
5. Provide tips and ideas for the relationship, including tools to use; such as a mentoring agreement, and a learning plan. This will ensure a learning agreement takes place.
6. Highlight challenges and solutions to overcome. There are always challenges in any kind of relationship, we are only human.
7. How to transition the relationship, once the learning has been completed. The mentor should be ready to take on a new mentee.
Matching Your Mentor
Once your mentor is trained, you will need to make sure they are matched with a mentee that can fulfill their development needs. This is made easy with Insalaís mentoring software, the mentee enters their needs and the mentors select their expertise, etc.
Mentors are a valued resource to an organization and are the main conduits for knowledge transfer to up and coming employees. Remember, mentor training is the best way for your organization to mold your potential candidates to fit their role. For more information on training to become a mentor, visit Insala today.