Can You Run A Mentoring Program With Just 30 Minutes Per Week?

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One of the things that might stop someone from running a mentoring program is the time commitment. Sometimes, the job of running a mentoring program is given to someone who already has other day-to-day jobs to do. That makes it really unattractive to add another to-do in the form of an entire mentoring program. 

So, let’s try a little exercise: If you want to run a workplace mentoring program with Mentorloop Pro in 6-month cohorts of around 100 participants using blended matching, with the first cohort being used as a pilot, and only have about 30 minutes per week to dedicate to management, will it be doable?

With Mentorloop, you sure can! 😉

Let’s get to it.

Planning Your Program

After you’ve done all your research and you’re ready to present your case to leadership (if needed), here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Download our mentoring program proposal template (1 minute) and fill it out (15 mins).
  2. Present to leadership (if necessary)
  3. Once approved, set up your Mentorloop Pro account and go through the Program Builder where you’ll be able to choose your program theme, matching style, and set up your sign-up form.
  4. Check out the demo data to get familiar with Mentorloop.

Things to do before you launch:

Week 1

  • Prepare your emails, Slack messages, posters, etc.
  • If you want to, you can create some posters, flyers, or banners using tools like Canva. Alternatively, you can just ask your marketing department to do this for you! 😅 (Remember: although it’s nice to have these things, you don’t necessarily need them.)

Week 2

  • Send out your comms! Get those emails and Slack messages sent and put up and distribute your posters and flyers if you have them.
  • If appropriate, it’s also a good idea to announce the program on your website or intranet.
  • You can also have a quick meeting with team leaders to encourage them and their teams to sign up.

Alternatively, if you have a list of participants you’d like to invite, you can upload that list in CSV form via the bulk invite feature on Mentorloop when you launch instead.

If you want to dive deeper into mentoring program marketing and recruitment, download our guide.

For more on marketing your program using assets that are accessible to you, check out this video:

Week 3

  • Send some follow-ups and invite questions from potential participants. Spend some time answering their queries.

Week 4

  • Send your final reminders about the program launch date.
  • Customise your settings on Mentorloop. Make sure you’ve sorted out your recommended reading, introduction message, and integrations.
  • If you’re on Mentorloop Pro (as opposed to Mentorloop Enterprise), now it’s time to subscribe and launch! 🚀

For more on launching your mentoring program, check out our guide:

Things to do once you’ve launched your pilot:

Week 5

  • Now is the time to shout from the rooftops! 📣 Send your launch comms with your sign-up link or upload your list of participants to Mentorloop via the bulk invite feature and let Mentorloop send those invitations out for you.
  • Make time to answer any questions and offer support.

Managing your program in the early days:

Week 6

  • Check on your new sign-ups. Use Mentorloop to find participants who may be stuck in the sign-up process, haven’t sent any match requests, or have way too many active requests. Reach out with bulk messages to see if they need assistance.
  • Browse through your cohort’s profiles and see if any of them stand out as great matches. You can then match these people. We recommend that you also send them messages introducing them to each other and telling them why you thought they’d make a great match.

If you used the bulk invite feature on Mentorloop to send your initial invitations, you can also use it to track who hasn’t created their profiles yet and send follow-ups to those people only.

Week 7

  • Send your final marketing & recruitment comms. Let everyone know that matching is happening and they can still get in. Sometimes, the sense of urgency and fear of missing out may just be the push some potential participants need. 😉
  • Ask for feedback! You might think it’s early, but knowing how your cohort found the sign-up process and what their experience was like as they went through matching will set you up nicely for making sure everyone has a good time. 
  • Hype up your Recommended Readings!
  • Continue monitoring sign-ups and providing matching support.

Week 8

  • At this point, you can end your marketing and recruitment campaign.
  • Continue monitoring sign-ups and providing matching support.

Week 9-10

  • Continue providing matching support.
  • Check for early issues that need troubleshooting.

*For more on troubleshooting, head to Mentorloop Academy.

Week 11

  • At this point, if you have participants who haven’t met or communicated with their mentoring partners yet, send a bulk message to offer support or just encourage them to take the initiative.
  • Troubleshooting

Things to do as your program runs:

Week 12

  • Momentum management
  • Troubleshooting
  • Ongoing feedback collection and program measurement

For more on managing your program’s engagement, check out this video:

Things to do when your program is coming to a close:

2 Weeks to Close Date

  • Inform your cohort of the close date
  • Encourage mentoring pairs to exchange personal contact information (if they want to) so they can keep in touch afterwards

1 Week to Close Date

  • Send more reminders about the program close date
  • Export your reports

Close Date

  • Send your final comms for the end of the pilot.

Preparing to relaunch your program:

When the time comes to launch your new mentoring program, you can just rinse and repeat the tasks from the top of this list, and have the same time commitment. Easy peasy!

For more on making sure your pilot mentoring program is ready to scale, check out this video:

Running a mentoring program, especially if you’re unsure about the time commitment needed, can seem daunting and difficult – and it definitely could be. But if you run your program with Mentorloop, you cut down the admin into super manageable chunks, allowing you to run a successful program even if you only have 30 minutes per week to do it! 😉

Ready to run your best mentoring program yet? Let’s get to it!

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Grace Winstanely
Grace Winstanely
Content Marketing Manager at Mentorloop - dedicated to making content that helps make mentoring more accessible to all and helping Program Coordinators deliver the best mentoring experience for their participants. She's also a keen cook, amateur wine connoisseur, Aussie rules football fanatic, and lover of all things tropical.

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