Follow these steps to create a mentorship program – Times News Online

Creating a mentorship program can benefit a business by increasing employee retention and job satisfaction.

Mentorships help employees develop new perspectives by sharing information with each other, learn skills together, and connect better across generations.

It’s really important,” said Kirsti Coghlan, human resources director of Mauch Chunk Trust Co.

Start by deciding on a goal. There could be several depending on the number of mentees in the program.

Select an executive sponsor in the company, such as a senior manager who can help encourage managers to get involved in the program.

Appoint a program manager. This person will own the process and have the authority and responsibility to get things done and get things done.

The Program Manager will also create the process, manage the budget, market the program, develop support activities, troubleshoot issues, and handle anything that arises unexpectedly.

The program manager should also be supported by a steering team.

A steering team is a cross-functional team that oversees the process. They may be involved in defining the scope, objectives, direction and deliverables of initiatives, as well as the training involved, people needed, processes, measures and results, and evaluation at the end of the project.


Now is the time to select mentors and mentees.

Determine who the target employee populations are, market the program, and recruit participants.

“It’s like an interview process. You want to make sure you get the right fit,” Coghlan said. “Let everyone interested know the details, benefits and time commitment of the program.”

The last thing anyone should do is allow a mentor or mentee to think that mentoring is about ticking some boxes and earning a certificate with minimal effort, if it isn’t.

“You will create frustration on both sides. You’ll have someone who’s not really motivated in the program and someone who’s really motivated wasting their energy and spinning their wheels,” she said.

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Coghlan suggested that mentors and mentees fill out profiles about themselves with information about their work history, hobbies, special skills and personality types.

Consider hosting a buddy workshop, so they can meet, have a conversation, and see if there’s someone they can work with right off the bat.

“Match people by matching preferences, but not necessarily behaviors,” she said. “You might think you want to put together two similar personalities, but in reality, that might not be the best fit for the organization or the project,” she said. “You might want to find opposites, an introvert and an extrovert. That way when one pulls, the other pushes.”

Provide training

The format of the training may depend on the resources available. Prepared programs are available for use as support. Mentors and mentees should receive training on how to use it.

Also check that there is a balance between the number of mentors and mentees. Don’t overload it one way or the other.

“A mentor cannot have 15 mentees. There just isn’t enough time in the day and the mentor will burn out,” she said. On the other hand, you don’t want one mentee dealing with 15 mentors.

The mentee should have a mentor and other resources to prevent the development of conflicting priorities and projects. They need someone to be their trusted person.

mentoring agreement

“That’s the key,” she said. “The objective will define the purpose of the relationship such as the knowledge and skills that each intends to acquire.”

Set the timeline, so that expectations are maintained. Establish program duration and checkpoints along the way.

Decide how often mentors and mentees should meet, as this can affect the goals of the mentorship and the overall duration of the project. Accept it from the start and adjust it as needed.

Pick a meeting time and place that works best for both parties. It should be a place where interruptions are minimal and both parties can have a candid conversation.

The agreement should also spell out how the mentorship will end and the steps that need to be taken for it to end.

Coghlan said that by signing the agreement, the parties are made aware of these milestones, which can be adjusted later if necessary.

“It provides an initial framework,” she said.

Program monitoring

Make sure the relationship works, not just the project you’re working on while mentoring.

Survey the dating periodically, for example on a monthly basis.


At the end of the mentorship, survey the participants to find out where the program can improve.

“It can always get better. That’s not a bad thing. Don’t take that as a criticism. It’s actually constructive,” she said.

Ask everyone to go back to their goals and measure their results.

“The benchmarking is phenomenal, especially if you’re going to continue this program,” she said.

And celebrate the success, Coghlan said.

“Share successes and results, so everyone can celebrate,” she said. “These are achievements on both sides.”

Ryan H. Bowman