Who is the ‘Mentoring Champion’ in your organisation?

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Managing a successful organizational mentoring program often has one secret ingredient.

Mentoring has become a popular tool for personal and professional development, especially in the workplace. It’s no secret that a good mentor can help you navigate the complexities of the business world, overcome obstacles, and achieve your goals. But who can fast-track driving a culture of mentoring within an organization?

Top-performing programs always uncover their ‘Mentoring Champion’.

What is a ‘Mentoring Champion’?

Here, we’re not talking about a master of gladiatorial combat or a sporting brand. We’re talking about someone in a position to influence, encourage and motivate others to get involved in mentoring.

Mentoring Champions can be described as advocates for your mentoring program. They often are mentoring program participants (mentor or mentee) or people of influence in your organization who exhibit enthusiasm, have a positive impact on others, and exhibit an attitude of support and connectedness. These Mentoring Champions assist in promoting your program, and the impact it has, and they share their experience of mentoring with others.

Why should we elect a ‘Mentoring Champion’?

Having a handful of people in your organization champion mentoring helps potential participants understand the benefits of mentoring from a personal perspective. It gives participants an example of someone who has experienced mentoring in the past and is wanting to pay that forward. Like mentoring itself, it’s often about someone sharing their personal experience.

Read more about 5 Things You’re Missing When Promoting Your Mentoring Program.

What can a ‘Mentoring Champion’ do for my program?

Some examples of the benefits provided by ‘Champions’ can be:

Launch assistance – providing potential participants with a second opinion on why they should participate in your mentoring program
Mentoring evangelism – giving participants insights on what past mentoring relationships have provided the ‘Champion’ and how they hope to pay this forward
Ongoing promotion of the program – communicating with the broader organization on the successes of the program and reaching out to new potential participants

The Benefits of Having a Mentoring Champion

While many organizations have established mentorship programs, the success of these programs often hinges on the virality of the program: the number of people who advocate, promote and invite others into the program.

Mentoring Champions assist in driving enthusiasm, engagement, and participation in the mentorship program. These individuals are naturally passionate about helping others succeed and are role models for good mentorship practices in the workplace.

Some of the benefits for organizations:

  • Ensures that the mentorship program remains a priority rather than just an afterthought.
  • Invites more participation from employees who may have been hesitant to join the program.
  • Provides visible recognition for employees who are leading the way in mentorship, and this incentivizes others to follow suit.
  • Demonstrates what mentorship could/should/can look like for those who might not have much exposure to mentoring before
  • Mentoring Champions can also help to identify potential mentees and mentors within the organization tailored to the program’s goals or outcomes.

Who makes a good ‘Mentoring Champion’?

There is a tendency to look to senior executives to champion your mentoring program. This can have a mixed outcome as it can be seen as ‘the boss handing out instruction’. The secret here is vulnerability. By encouraging your Champion to share a real, positive experience that is authentic, can help break down that wall and present a story that is both relatable and inspiring.

If you lack senior executive buy-in when selecting a Mentoring Champion, look to your participants. Scan your Highlights and Sentiment data on Mentorloop for compelling stories, feedback and 5-star Mentoring Quality Scores. Here’s where you’ll find enthusiastic participants willing to share their experiences with others.

Creating a Culture of Mentorship in Your Organization or Community

One of the most compelling side effects of identifying your mentoring champions is it naturally creates a culture of mentorship within the workplace or membership base. This means creating an environment that encourages mentorship at all levels of the organization in a variety of non-traditional ways (such as peer mentoring or reverse mentoring).

In a corporate setting, having a mentorship program that aligns with company goals ensures that employees see the value in participating and that business leaders see the value in supporting it. A mentoring champion may often collaborate with senior management to ensure that the program’s goals are aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives.

When creating a culture of mentorship, an important aspect is to provide training and resources for both mentors and mentees. This can include workshops, online courses, and access to relevant books and articles. By providing these resources, employees will feel more confident in their ability to participate in the program and will be better equipped to develop meaningful relationships with their mentors. If you’re using a platform such a Mentorloop, this is already taken care of.

A Mentoring Champion is a Mentoring Program Advocate

As an advocate for mentorship, they should more often than not, demonstrate their commitment to the program by being actively involved themselves. This could include acting as a mentor or mentee, participating in relevant training or professional development opportunities, or providing feedback to the program leaders.

Mentoring Champions are best deployed by promoting the program both within the organization and externally (where applicable). This could include creating promotions, sharing success stories, or hosting events to celebrate program participants. The goal is to make the program as visible and appealing as possible.

Do you have examples of what a ‘Mentoring Champion’ can provide?

A recently launched program on Mentorloop sent out some launch communications from their designated ‘Champion’ along with those sent by the Program Coordinator and Mentorloop. The program experienced unprecedented engagement securing almost 100 participants within a week of launching – leaving very few on the sidelines.

Below is an example of what the Mentoring Champion sent out:

We’re excited to announce the introduction of our new mentoring program.

I love mentoring and I’ve been lucky enough to have benefited from great advice and careful listening from a range of mentors over the years. My past mentoring has been through informal arrangements but I know how we all benefit when something is a bit more organised. A highlight of my career has been spending time with others, talking about their work and career and I am a true believer that a good Mentor can change someone’s life.

Mentoring relationships do require a time investment to ensure you can adequately prepare and communicate thoughtfully. Mentoring relationships provide a great learning opportunity for both the mentor and mentee.

For mentees, mentoring is an opportunity to get to know an employee who’s at a different, more senior stage in their career, and is keen to engage with you based on their unique experiences in a supportive and confidential environment as you work through challenges or opportunities you encounter in developing your career.

For mentors, it’s a great opportunity to hone your management and leadership skills, and reflect on your development and growth and share your experiences.

Some examples of topics covered in a mentoring relationship are leadership skills, goal setting, career planning, and networking. It also serves as a chance to talk through your current challenges or potential approaches you could have taken to inform future scenarios.

Our new mentoring program will be run through Mentorloop, an online platform that matches you with a mentor or mentee and supports you on your mentoring journey by providing best practice tips, tools and resources to get the most out of your mentoring relationship.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the program and can act as both a mentor and mentee concurrently.

As the champion for our new mentoring program, I strongly encourage you to get involved in this great program.

Have a great week,

Know who your Mentoring Champion would be? Sounds like you’re ready to launch your own successful mentoring program. Get started today, with a 15 min chat with one of our mentoring specialists.

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Emily Ryan
Emily Ryan
Head of Marketing at Mentorloop. Observing tens of thousands of mentoring relationships, she is passionate about helping people get the most from their mentoring experience. When not writing, you'll find her brewing beer or globe-trotting.

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