Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Your Business Mentoring Program Is Still Business

Working on a Business Mentoring Program Is Working on Business

We’ve talked elsewhere about the importance of positioning mentoring as a business strategy when you’re pitching your business mentoring program to leadership or upper management to get buy-in for your mentoring program.

If you missed it, here’s the summary: leadership cares about a healthy bottom line. Focus on your mentoring program contributes to a healthy – or better yet, growing – bottom line, and you have at least the foundations of a good pitch.

But don’t think that once you’ve won support from leadership that you can stop positioning your business mentoring program as business – especially if you want your mentors and mentees to take it seriously, and devote their time to it. Before anything else is said to your potential mentors and mentees about the mentoring program at all, you’ll need to do exactly what you did when you were pitching to leadership: position mentoring as a business strategy.

Why? Because it’s important for them to know that working on mentoring is working on business

There will be many times that mentors and mentees may be tempted to cancel or postpone meetings because they feel stressed for another work item: maybe an approaching deadline, a major project or client on the line, etc. And in these cases it may be all too easy to brush aside mentoring as a “feel good” and/or unnecessary item on their to-do list.

You know this isn’t so. Now you need to communicate it to them. Not just once, not just twice, but many times before and after the program starts.

First impressions are incredibly important, and your mentoring program is no exception. That means it has some PR work to do, especially if you want it to be a long-lasting program that both grows and recycles.

The PR work is actually a great opportunity if this is your organization’s first mentoring program. Once you start another cycle or iteration of the program, you won’t have another chance to fully control what’s said about it - and you can guarantee that your mentors and mentees will be talking about it to their colleagues. Whether it's good, bad, or neutral talk, this first opportunity to position your business mentoring program is down to you. 

Learn about how mentoring software can assist you with managing your mentoring program - including helping your mentors and mentees make time for mentoring.


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