Here, Ellen Ensher examines how to celebrate mentoring program successes and use these as a vehicle for future recruiting and marketing, and defines and describes your definition of mentoring program success.
- You did it, you're done, you made it, you're through, oh, what a great moment, now what will you do is a quote by author Sandra Boynton. Sometimes when I'm wrapping up a class or a mentoring program, I like to use a quote that says it all. Concluding your mentoring program is both an opportunity to celebrate and plant seeds for your future programs. I will share three ideas to help you wrap up your mentoring program. These three ideas are showcase, recognize, and celebrate.
First, showcase the accomplishments of your mentors and proteges. If your mentors and proteges completed an action learning project together, then conclude your program with an event that enables the proteges to present the projects. For example, I had an engineering client that paired senior engineers with junior engineers. One of the action learning projects completed was to develop a community learning outreach program to promote understanding of water infrastructure.
As a result of this presentation, the executives in the audience were so impressed that they agreed to turn the ideas presented into a company-sponsored project for the summer interns. Second, recognize the accomplishments, not only of the proteges, but also the mentors publicly and formally. For example, I worked for a mentoring program for teachers and they created the Golden Apple Award, which was actually an apple made out of gold and crystal.
This award was passed from proteges to mentors in recognition of something that they learned about teaching from their mentor. At the final event, proteges stood up and shared their new learning and presented their mentors with the golden apple. Of course, recognition is a great way to sustain the momentum of the program, so document the recognition, so that you can create future marketing materials. Third, celebrate with a lunch, a dinner, or an event that enables people to enjoy each other socially and perhaps share their skills professionally.
For example, I had a newspaper client that created a mentoring program for summer interns from the editorial department. At the conclusion of the mentoring program, we had a fiesta with a taco truck and gave everyone a chance to eat and mingle. Best of all, the professional photographers put together a montage of their award-winning photos taken over the years to share their work, which was a huge source of inspiration for the proteges. However, what really brought the house down is when the photographers shared a photo montage that included every single summer intern.
The photos were gorgeous and I can tell you this newspaper had no trouble recruiting proteges on the next round of the program. Make showcase, recognize, and celebrate fit your culture, your company, and your budget, and with pizzazz, as remember the next generation of mentors and proteges are right around the corner.
- The benefits of formal mentoring programs
- The types and purpose of mentoring programs
- Designing a framework and a needs assessment
- Creating a mentoring culture
- Ensuring organizational support
- Choosing participants
- Training essentials for mentors
- Concluding and celebrating your program
- Evaluating your program
- Making your mentoring program last