7 Best Practices for Matching Mentors and Mentees

March 14, 2016
Matching mentors and mentees is the core activity when managing a mentoring program. Without starting with a sturdy match as your foundation, the structure of the mentor relationship could prove futile. Here are 7 tips to get your program off to a great start.
  • 1. Identify the business objective for the mentoring

    There are various reasons why your organization could have a mentoring program. The objective might be for career development, leadership development, improvement in onboarding, or for improving diversity. Identifying the specific business objectives for mentoring program will clarify the reason for it, provide clarity for all stakeholders and will make it easier to measure the success of the program. Make sure all stakeholders are clear of the business objectives once agreed.
  • 2. Pinpoint the specific criterion you need to fulfill the business objective

    For example, if itís providing career development to employees you want, make sure you match mentees with mentors at their next logical career level. If you match mentees with mentors at the same career level, it can be somewhat redundant, because the mentor will not have the experience to support the mentee with their next logical career path. If itís leadership development, include the skill and competencies required to be a great leader. We recommend to use around three to six criterion to keep the process simple and allow mentees to be matched easily. Each criteria should be weighted, so make sure you decide which has the highest importance. We recommend skills and competencies be the highest weighted, since learning is going to be taking place. Finally, we recommend that mentees are able to see potential mentors' career profiles to find out more about their educational and work experience.
  • 3. The application process

    How will you go about getting the mentees needs and the mentors expertise matched at the right level? For a smaller organization, use a spreadsheet, but for larger scale programs (40 plus mentees) you will want to use a mentor matching software. This will automate the process, save you time and increase the ratio of better matches.
  • 4. The matching process

    How are you going to match mentors with mentees? The mentee could pick their own mentor, or they can be assigned a mentor from the program administrator. Statistics show that mentees that pick their own mentor tend to have more successful outcomes.
  • 5. Challenges in the matching process

    There is potential for a few flaws if not properly forecasted in the planning phase. For instance, what if you donít have enough mentors? Insala offers insight to recruiting qualified mentors, watch this on demand webinar on best practices. The bottom line is you need a great marketing plan to recruit qualified mentors. What if the mentee is dissatisfied and not receiving the proper help they need? What if the mentor is not responsive, or leaves the organization? Donít worry, there are plenty of ways around these minor obstacles. We recommend having a program administrator that can manage these challenges.
  • 6. When should an organization upgrade to a mentor matching tool?

    Smaller corporations use more traditional means of matching mentors and mentees, such as Excel, online surveys and interviewing potential mentors. However once an organization reaches a certain size, it would be impossible to keep track of all the applicants. Insala offers a mentor matching software program for that very purpose. Once an organization reaches a pool of 40 plus mentors and mentees, it is advised to consider implementing such technology for a successful mentor matching.
  • 7. After matching, ensure the mentorship is going to be successful

    There needs to be a way of ensuring the mentor and mentee are receiving all the help and resources they need. Provide enough training to both parties so each know their role in the relationship. A mentee and mentor needs to understand their role, you wouldnít recruit an employee without a job role, so why not as a mentor or mentee? For example the relationship is mentee driven and mentor guided. Donít assume each member of the relationship knows this already. Click here for Insalas mentor training program

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