Common Mistakes to Avoid While Designing a Mentoring Program

The benefits of a well-designed mentoring program have already been experienced first-hand by thousands of organizations. Not only does it help the mentee develop their professional and personal abilities, thereby helping them advance their career, but it also has tons of advantages for the organization itself. From employee onboarding and engagement to retention, a mentoring program can boost many organizational measures.

However, some organizations may find that their mentoring programs do not bear the results they expected. In most cases, this is due to poor designing of the program. As an entrepreneur, here are the most common mentoring program design mistakes you should avoid:

  • Failing to communicate goals and expectations clearly

Participants of the mentoring program need to know how they can benefit from the program. Only then will they be interested in investing their time and energy into it. This means that you need to clearly communicate what both the mentor and mentee can take away from the experience. Equally important is making sure that participants are made aware of their roles and responsibilities. Each mentoring program is different, so you cannot assume that they will simply intuit what they are expected to do.

  • Not gaining executive support

A huge part of a mentoring program’s success depends on executive support. Even if executives are not directly involved in the mentorship program, it doesn’t mean that they are exempted from providing their support. Executive support is critical to the success of a mentoring program because only then can you have access to the money and resources to design, launch, and monitor the program. Besides, if you have executives who support the program, it becomes much easier to navigate political waters and overcome internal barriers.

  • Poor matching of mentors and mentees

Mentor-mentee pairing is one of the most important aspects of any mentoring program. If the mentor and mentee that you’ve paired do not get along well together, the experience will not be beneficial for either one of them. Compatibility of participants is an important factor that can make or break a mentoring program, so it’s essential that every measure is taken to make sure the mentor and mentee are paired well. With Mentor Cloud’s multi-parameter based matching engine, you can be assured that each mentor and mentee will be compatible.

  • Treating the mentoring program as a one-way street

A common mistake that many startups and budding entrepreneurs make when it comes to mentoring programs is that they see the program as a one-way street. In other words, they think that the mentor will teach and the mentee will learn and that’s the only way it can be. This approach is wrong and in reality can be very harmful. The truth is that a mentorship program is a learning and teaching experience for both the mentor and mentee. While the mentee will definitely learn from a more experienced senior, the mentor also learns a lot from a younger professional with a fresh mind. Understanding and accepting this is a game-changer that will yield the desirable results.

  • Failing to monitor and measure results

A grave mistake that way too many companies commit is not monitoring the mentoring program and failing to measure results. They think that once the program is launched and is in motion, the work is done. They fail to realize that mentoring is a continuous process that’s part of an organization’s culture of knowledge sharing.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur or a startup that’s planning to implement a mentoring program in your company, make sure to avoid these common mistakes to have a higher chance of success.


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