Refresher Training for Your Mentors and Mentees
Let’s take a snapshot of a mentoring programme model and the systems and processes you can (I would say ‘should’) incorporate to ensure success, quality outcomes, return-on-investment (ROI), and longevity of the programme:
- Mentoring is a strategic initiative, built in to your organisation’s strategic plan for business growth, productivity and sustainability
- Mentoring – and your mentoring programme – has a champion/sponsor at the senior management level
- There is a robust mentor selection process underpinned by an Ideal Mentor Profile
- There is a process for identifying and confirming mentees
- Mentoring training is provided for the mentors and mentees
- A programme coordinator or coordination team is established to oversee the programme and look after the mentoring participants
- A Community of Practice (CoP) for mentors – and mentees ideally – is an integral component
- Evaluation processes are integrated throughout the programme time-frame
- Reporting on the impact, outcomes and implications for future programmes occurs regularly
Looking at this pretty comprehensive list, you could safely say that there are various mechanisms within the programme model that provide extra support for mentors and mentees – such as the CoP, and the programme coordinator/s. But there are other initiatives you can include which strengthen and help sustain good mentoring practices.
Here’s a question for you – “What are you doing to keep mentoring fresh and alive in your organisation?” For example,
- What mechanisms are maintaining the mentoring skills and knowledge of your mentors?
- How are you retaining your mentors?
- What is encouraging mentees to become mentors and therefore build your mentor pool?
- How are you supporting mentees who are becoming mentors?
Providing refresher training is an effective way of maintaining and continuing to develop your mentors – and the mentees who are now keen to step up and take on a mentor role within the programme. This may be in the form of a half- or whole-day workshop or using one or more CoP meetings as mini training sessions. Whatever format you use, the point here is that ongoing professional development of your mentors and mentees is a key way to maintain and keep building the momentum of mentoring in your organisation.