The Importance of Training Your Mentors
A great mentor is a priceless asset to an organization. They pass valuable skills, knowledge, insights, and culture onto a mentee to aid them in career development. However, most people aren't naturally ready to be a mentor.
Before your mentoring program starts, you need to be sure your mentors are prepared to invest in the improvement of their mentee as well as the organization. A great way to ensure mentors are ready is through mentor training.
What is a mentor?
A mentor is an individual with specific knowledge or experience in a given area of expertise, who is willing and able to share their knowledge and experience with a mentee. Mentors are confident in their communication and leadership development skills, and are equipped to pass along their knowledge and experiences to their mentee.
A common misconception about mentors is that they are always an older, more experienced individual dedicated to achieving long term success and fulfillment of a younger, less experienced individual. However, this is not always the case.
Keep this definition in mind as you're developing role profiles, planning training, and qualifying participants.
Why Is mentor training important?
A mentor is like the lead car in a convoy. You are trusting that they know where they are going. They are trusted to lead the mentee to the proper destination, and if they don’t know where they are going, the pack gets lost as well.
When a mentor is ill-prepared of the role of mentor, a mentee can typically pick up on it. This can lead to feelings of disappointment, frustration, and lower employee morale.
Effective mentor training is the key to avoid getting lost. Training gives guidance and maps out the path to a successful relationship.
What should mentor training include?
When planning the content of mentor training, also consider the format of the training session(s). Self guided courses are an efficient way to provide information, but you do not have the assurance that the material is covered and understood. Consider live training or a supplemental workshop to make sure all mentors are familiar with the program administrator, processes, and clear up any misconceptions mentors may have.
7 topics to include in mentor training
- Clarity in the objective of the mentoring program. Business objectives should be decided early on and kept in mind throughout the whole program.
- Promote the benefits for the mentor. When mentors know what they’re getting out of their mentorship, they are more engaged and invested in their role.
- Provide a role profile for the mentor and the mentee. If they don’t know their roles, both participants can be confused. Role profiles offer clarity and guidance throughout the relationship. Remind them that the relationship is always mentee driven and mentor guided.
- Define phases of the relationship. Defined phases and checkpoints for the mentorship let the mentor know what to expect and set the pace.
- Provide tips and ideas for the mentoring relationship. Give your mentors tools and direction for their mentorship. This will ensure a learning agreement and goal setting session take place. We have a couple of blogs you can share with your mentors and mentees:
10 Tips for Being a Good Mentee
7 Tips for Being a Good Mentor
- Highlight challenges they may encounter and provide solutions. There are always challenges in any kind of situation, so don’t try to skip over them. Let your mentors know what they may face and give them solutions to use.
- Discuss how to transition the relationship once the learning has been completed. The mentor may decide to continue the relationship unofficially or take on a new mentee.
Mentors are a critical resource to an organization and are the main conduits for knowledge transfer to up and coming employees. Training mentors is one way to ensure quality control for your mentoring program. Learn how Insala can help you develop your mentoring program or train participants today.