Tips to Keep Mentors and Mentees EngagedAugust 23, 2019
Many individuals know the benefits of participating in a mentoring program, but there are times that the benefits may not be enough to keep them engaged. A lack of motivation, time, or energy leads to the disengagement of mentors and mentees. Often times, these mentors were ready and willing to put in the work needed to reach their career and leadership goals.
A loss of program engagement can be detrimental to the overall program advantages. Itís important that organizations, and especially mentoring program administrators, work to keep their participants engaged and help them succeed.
Here are 6 tips on how you can keep your mentors and mentees engaged in mentoring.
Position Mentoring as a Business Strategy
When you position mentoring as a business strategy, you are showing every individual in your organization just how important this program is. Itís essential to have participants set objectives and goals for their mentoring relationship at the beginning. This will give something to work towards.
Use these goals and objectives to remind them that when they are meeting, they are working. This will help them become more engaged in the process. Also have the mentors continuously track and update their goal completion progress. This can be done with mentoring software.
Communicate the Benefits and the Challenges
It may seem like a ďno-brainerĒ, but communicating the benefits and challenges to your participants is important for engagement. You would be surprised at how many individuals are unaware of the challenges and benefits of mentoring. By explaining these benefits to them, you are giving them even more reason to commit to the process.
But itís not all about the benefits. Itís also important to be up-front about the challenges of mentoring and how to overcome them. This will take away a lot of the excuses that participants may have when they become less engaged. A good time to education about mentoring challenges is during mentor training.
Get the Managers Involved
Involving the managers is something that is often overlooked by mentoring program administrators. Have buy-in from your mentor and/or menteeís manager is a great way to keep the participants engaged.
Not only will they have another person checking-in on the progress of the relationship, but the manager will need to be understanding of the time set aside for mentoring. This will avoid managerial pressure to skip or shorten scheduled mentorships.
Involving managers can go beyond the managers of the mentors and mentees: leadership development can occur through management mentoring. With managers acting as mentors, you can develop your organizationís leadership skills from the top down.
Require a Mentoring Agreement
Having a mentoring agreement should be standard for any mentoring relationship. This agreement doesnít just lay out the specifics of the relationship, but it can also provide a solution to challenges before they arise.
By having a mentoring agreement, participants are already stating when, how, and where they will meet. This will keep them engaged because they know what to expect and will make it part of their routine. It will also reduce the likelihood of skipping or cancelling mentoring sessions.
Check-in Throughout the Program
Because the mentor and mentee can get side-tracked and put off their mentoring relationship, it is important to check-in with all participants throughout the program. This will keep the momentum going and even re-engage the participants that may have started to ďcheck-outĒ of the program.
Again, check-ins can happen in person, or digitally through mentoring software. Keeping track of all mentorships in the program with mentoring software make managing check-ins much easier. It is also especially beneficial if there are multiple admins checking in on mentorships.
Be Ready to Facilitate Change
Things happen, and you must be prepared to step in when necessary. This could be a mentor match that isnít working out or an emergency that takes one of the participants out of the program. Either way, your mentors and mentees will need you to navigate them through the changes.
Be prepared for change at all times. This can help your program, and the participating individuals, be more successful. A good way to be ready if change happens is to create a mentoring plan before you implement the program. Not only will this minimize the likelihood of change occurring, but it will give you a plan if it does happen.
Admins intervention when mentorships arenít working will prevent loss of engagement by affected participants. Quick adaptability will also create a good company culture within and outside of the mentoring program.