Increase Mentoring Program Engagement with These 5 Tactics

As a Mentoring Program Coordinator, you invest a lot of time and effort in building your program. So it only follows that you don’t want all that to go to waste because of a lack of engagement within the program cohort. Increasing mentoring program engagement is something that we’re always asked about here at Mentorloop so we’re sharing 5 tactics that we’ve seen to help get participants engaged.

get employees engaged with your mentoring program


Ah, good old gamification. As much as we all should have the self-discipline and internal locus of control to do what is best for us – we all sometimes find this tricky. We’re a little guilty of being terrible at doing what is best for us, particularly if there isn’t immediate gratification. Great mentoring takes time to develop, and the rewards are incremental. And that’s where gamification comes in.

Gamifying your mentoring program provides your participants with some immediate or short-term gratification to keep them motivated to reach the pot of gold at the end of their mentoring journey rainbow. Used correctly, gamification is an incredibly handy engagement tool.

Gamification opportunities are essentially endless. You can do things like creating incentives for engagement like giving away coffee or brunch coupons to mentoring pairs who have logged frequent meetings or entering those who respond to your requests for feedback into a raffle.

The important thing to remember is to make sure the rewards and rewarded actions align with your program goals and don’t take away from the mentoring relationships. The rewards should encourage engagement in such a way that your cohort can eventually see mentoring as the reward and no longer need the ‘carrots’ of gamification.

Leadership Buy-In

The easiest way to ensure employees get engaged with your mentoring program in the first place is to have leadership advocate for and back the program. Especially in workplace mentoring programs, people take their cues from leadership on how important an initiative is to them and their goals.

Having the CEO or a very senior level leader champion your program by speaking to how important this program is to them – and how important mentoring has been to their own career is a quick and easy way to get your participants interested and keep them engaged.

Showcasing the Benefits

We all rely on some form of proof of success in a lot of areas in our lives. Whether it’s making decisions about which supplier to go with for a big project or which restaurant to take a date to for dinner, we often look for something like portfolios or reviews. However, we sometimes forget to apply this in internal practices. It will be difficult to get people to get interested in and engage with a program if they don’t know or see its value.

Stories of success and the life-changing results that stemmed from mentoring relationships are your secret weapon here! Have your mentoring champions share their experiences with your participants. Whether you do it by sharing these mentoring stories in writing or having them speak at a launch event, these stories show your cohort what’s possible if they invest in their mentoring relationships.

Try Self Matching

Humans are funny creatures. There are a number of psychological traits that we all exhibit and adhere to – and they are often centred around appearing consistent and avoiding cognitive dissonance. You can leverage this against your employees (in a good way!) by letting them choose their own mentor or mentee. For some people, commitment bias pushes them to stick to decisions they’ve made so choosing their own matches makes them more invested in the relationship with their mentoring partner. 

If you run a Self Match program on Mentorloop, your participants are able to browse the cohort for mentors or mentees who they think will suit them based on their skills, goals, and even interests.

Drip Feed Content and Resources

Sending your cohort some helpful content and resources throughout the program not only keeps the program top of mind, but also helps your participants navigate their mentoring journey better. Content on best practices for mentors and mentees or tips on how to structure their mentoring meetings are helpful, but obviously, the goals of your program will dictate what kind of resources will be appropriate.

When participants know that they are supported, it makes them more comfortable continuing with their mentoring journey. Sharing resources relevant to their journey is a great way to do this.

If you’re running your program on Mentorloop, the platform’s Recommended Reading lists are pre-populated with helpful guides and resources to help your mentors and mentees throughout their journey. You can also add to these lists and change them as you see fit.

BONUS: Don’t forget the human aspect of mentoring!

At the heart of any mentoring program is the human connections that are made within them. In this age of measuring and analysing everything, this can sometimes get lost. Beyond the numbers and data that you collect about your mentoring program are the people who have made unlikely, life-changing connections and are moving towards their goals together.

Remember to celebrate these relationships and take some time to appreciate their stories together with your cohort. Sharing your program’s success, not just with your stakeholders but also with your cohort helps them feel like they’re part of something good and bigger than themselves. And when you do share your program’s success, remember to share stories alongside the data. The context behind the numbers is just as important.

On Mentorloop, we measure mentoring programs with Sentiment. This system makes sure that you’re getting balanced data – qualitative + quantitative. This ensures you get the full picture and can easily share it with your stakeholders and participants should you need to.

Leveraging some of these tactics is a great way to increase your chances of getting a greater return on the time you invest in facilitating your mentoring program – and a great way to ensure your cohort stays engaged with your mentoring program.

If you’re ready to engage your cohort in your best mentoring program yet, get started with Mentorloop Pro today!

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