Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Don’t Forget to Promote Your Mentoring Program

In a recent webinar, we asked attendees the following question and received the following results:

Those results are shockingly polar between “Yes” and “Not Sure.” Our poll questions about how mentoring programs are promoted in organizations generally return a fairly high percentage of people who indicate that they’re “Not Sure” one way or the other how they’re promoting their mentoring program. This indicates the greater overall trend that mentoring programs tend to be very underpromoted in their organizations, and supports our own anecdotal evidence that there tends to be a lot of miscommunication and misconceptions in mentoring programs that don’t have a communication and/or marketing plan set up from the get-go.

But because these results are so heavily weighted toward two extremes, we wanted to take the opportunity to comment on them.

Here’s our response, no matter where you fall in that spectrum.

Yes, we promote our mentoring program as an effective way to transfer knowledge. 

Good for you! You already understand a) the importance of positioning and marketing your mentoring program, and b) how important and attractive knowledge transfer is in the current workforce’s transitional climate.

No, we don’t promote our mentoring program as an effective way to transfer knowledge. 

Targeting knowledge transfer as an objective – even if it’s ancillary to other objectives such as leadership development, skill development, onboarding, etc. – means that not only mentors and mentees, but also your leadership, are more aware of and focused on how their role in the mentoring program can help a) insulate the organization from shocks that result when individuals leave, and b) grow and strengthen the organization even through those shocks.

I’m not sure whether we do or not.

Find out the following:

  • What are my mentoring program’s current objectives?
  • How do we talk about the mentoring program to leadership?
  • How do we talk about the mentoring program to mentors and mentees?
  • How do mentors, mentees, and leadership all view the mentoring program?
You may find that there are some significant gaps in either a) your communication to mentors, mentees, and/or your leadership, or b) how your mentors, mentees, and/or leaders think and talk about the mentoring program amongst themselves.

Mixed messages can be a death sentence for your mentoring program. If you're not sure of any of the above, find out now.

Still have more questions? Try reading our article Mentoring For Knowledge Transfer.


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