Managing a successful organisational mentoring program often has one secret ingredient. Top-performing programs always uncover their ‘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, to encourage and motivate others to get involved in mentoring.
Having someone in your organisation 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.
Mentoring programs with a ‘Champion’ have higher engagement and an improved ratio of Mentors to Mentees. It provides a better understanding of what is required by participants and gives a personal touch to get participants over the line.
They can be called upon here and there to inspire, rally and wait for it, ‘champion’, your 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 organisation on the successes of the program and reaching out to new potential participants
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.
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 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 to one of our mentoring specialists.