Human Resources, Mentoring

6 Types of Effective Mentorship Programs and When to Use Them

As parsed in a notable Forbes article, modern forms of mentoring maybe the key to retaining your Millennial employees in 2018 and beyond, as well as all your other employees.

Luckily, there are different types of effective mentorship programs that your organization can explore. Here are five of them.

1. One-on-One Mentoring

In one-on-one mentoring programs, participants are matched via a formal program or they self-select who they want to be paired with over the course of a certain time period. Participants can typically choose where they want to meet, how often they want to meet, and what they want to do or discuss when they meet. In this pairing, there is only one mentor and one mentee. Some formal one-on-one programs may require participants to track their own hours, performance goals, etc., to ensure they’re gaining value from the program. This type of mentoring is more focused on relationship-building and individual skill-building.

2. Situational Mentoring

If you want your mentees to learn a specific skill or trade, you may want to pair them with a mentor to coach them as they learn. For instance, if you need to train new hires how to use a certain system or platform, you may want your more seasoned employees to mentor them until they get comfortable using the system on their own. Or, you may want your sales managers to mentor brand-new sales reps as they learn how to make cold calls.

3. Developmental and Career Mentoring

This type of mentoring is long term and typically entails managers and directors who mentor their employees as they progress in their careers over the course of a few years. For example, an operations manager may develop a career plan for and with his or her new order processors and mentor them until they are running an entire department.

4. Reverse Mentoring

When new hires possess skills and knowledge, they can also mentor their bosses and coworkers. For instance, someone who knows a new coding language or computer program can mentor their more senior coworkers in how to use it. This type of mentoring encourages knowledge sharing across your organization.

5. Group-Based Mentoring

It is possible to pair more than one mentee to a mentor, especially for situational mentoring scenarios. With group-based mentoring, group members can help keep one another on track and are also able to meet with their mentors one-on-one when needed.

6. Peer-Based Mentoring

Sometimes with group-based mentoring, a mentor may not even be needed at all. Peers can meet in small groups to help mentor one another by discussing points of interest and by sharing feedback and best practices as they’re learning about a new company, honing a skill, or advancing in their career paths.

To build and maintain effective mentorship programs at your organization, consider implementing one or more of the types of programs listed above.