Learn from Ellen Ensher, best practice examples of techniques to institutionalize your mentoring program. Review why formal mentoring programs matter and provide encouragement for learners to get started.
- LAST is an acronym to help you remember how to make your mentoring program sustainable. Designing a mentoring program is a lot of work, and your raise hopes and expectations with your program. So, let's examine how to make your mentoring program LAST. L is for Linkages. Link your program to your mission, values and existing programs. In other words, jump on board the budget train for programs that are already funded and institutionalized.
These might include programs like onboarding, employee affinity groups, leadership development and/or any other learning and development initiatives. In order for your mentoring program to thrive and survive, it must be funded and institutionalized as part of the culture. A is for Ambassadors. To start a new mentoring program, you must have both top-down and bottoms-up support. You need your executives to show up to training and mentoring sessions, both physically and financially.
To sustain your program, you also need wildly enthusiastic members of your organization who will serve as ambassadors of your program. The best way to make this happen, is to set yourself up for success by growing your program gradually, so that your mentors and proteges become your ad hoc program recruiters and trainers. S is for Selling your program. You need to market your program to potential mentors, proteges, and decision makers.
A big part of selling your program to mentors and proteges, is to integrate rewards into the program, both intrinsic and extrinsic. Formal recognition of mentors and proteges is one way to answer the crucial, What's in it for me? question for mentors and proteges. T is for taste. Make your program a reflection of your organization's taste and culture. In this course, I've outlined some ideas for designing a formal mentoring program and pointed you to a number of organizational examples.
However, I encourage you to make your mentoring program a unique exemplar of the best or your organization and its members. For more support and resources, you're welcome to visit my site, ellenansher.com. Designing a formal mentoring program is important work, as the structure you create can make people's work lives better and happier, and your organization more successful.
- 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