In contrast to similar learning incentives, such as off-the-shelf curricula or prepaid courses, mentoring within a company uses the resources already in place to motivate. Thus, the functionality of the company itself is expanded for its employees. Anton Volkov, CTO Solvery, will tell you how to implement mentoring in a company and what difficulties you may face.
Internal mentoring can be called one of the most effective ways of transferring knowledge from a more experienced expert (mentor) to a less experienced one – menti. The mentor helps newcomers to get acquainted with the culture of the company, talks about horizontal and vertical lines between departments, and also helps to draw up and implement a “roadmap” that shows how to upgrade yourself and take the desired position.
What you need to know before starting mentoring
Before the start of classes, the mentor needs to carry out preparatory work in order to accurately determine the results of the introduction of mentoring.
First he needs outline goals and objectiveswho stand in front of him and his charge. They can be different: someone cannot solve a difficult case or wants to pump knowledge in their field in order to get a promotion, while the other is trying to find a balance between work and their free time. In any case, the mentor and the mentor should first get to know each other and understand if they are comfortable communicating. It’s totally okay to cancel mentoring after the first meeting.
Next is determine the number of classes… This can be a two-month meeting once a week or an express dive with sessions 2-3 times a week. It is also important to remember that mentee develops with a mentor, and over time they may become uninteresting to deal with each other. Hence the awkward rescheduling of meetings and procrastination. You can avoid this if you immediately agree on one meeting once a week for five weeks with some specific outcome. For example, all this time the mentee and the mentor were solving a work problem. Once the agreed deadline has passed, both decide how comfortable they are to work with each other, and agree on a new sprint.
From lesson to lesson, it is imperative track the growth of competencies the ward or his advancement in the assigned tasks. Otherwise, the meaning of mentoring is lost, because first of all it is to hone the skill of the mentee every time. Therefore, it is necessary to record the result of the classes, whether it is an assessment of new knowledge or a completed work task. The student will see the result of the lessons, which will increase his motivation to work with a mentor, and the mentor will be able to understand how effectively he is transferring his knowledge, and if something happens, adjust the plan.
What types of mentoring are
- One-to-one mentoring
The most common type of mentoring. In this case, the mentor perceives the mentor as a person with whom it is easy to associate. For the student, the mentor becomes a role model, because he has walked a similar path relatively recently. It is a motivational system that makes it the easiest to inspire mentee to practice.
- Mentoring colleagues
Now this type is popular in the United States. It is a fluid model in which employees change roles and help people with similar experiences. There is no clear distribution for mentors and mentors. Some people call it brainstorming – “what should I do in your situation?”
- Group mentoring
This type is aimed at improving communication in the group. For example, some companies have couples or triplets working on the same project. It is obvious that misunderstandings can arise between them. In this case, the mentor helps to establish the dynamics of the relationship between colleagues.
However, this model is not suitable for all mentors, because he will have to immerse himself in the tasks of the whole group. For this species, it is best to find a mentor who already has experience in teaching the group. By the way, this kind of mentoring is used by the American financial conglomerate Morgan Stanley.
- Reverse mentoring
This option helps to look at the process through the eyes of the actual performer. In this case, a more experienced employee acts as a student, and a beginner becomes a mentor.
Why does the mentor need it, and does he need to pay for it
The most obvious plus is the prevention of their knowledge. Responsibility for the student forces the mentor to constantly update their developments and follow the industry more closely. He will not only pass on his knowledge to someone, but he will constantly develop his skills.
In addition, if the mentor has ambitions to take the position of Teamlead, working with colleagues will help him prepare for the position of department head and improve his skills in team management. Also, mentoring helps to strengthen social ties within the company and gain the recognition of colleagues, which will also benefit the future of Teamlead.
Classes with a mentor are held during working hours, so his time is paid. But on the other hand, this is an additional load without working hours on top. Of course, there is a possibility that with financial motivation, the mentor will deal with the mentors only for money. Therefore, you can come up with a system of bonuses that can be spent, for example, on the company’s merchandise. And you can also reward the mentor for the success of the mentor with stars or points, which are then taken into account when raising.
Why is it necessary for menty
With the help of an experienced mentor, menties expand their knowledge and improve their skills. They get unlimited opportunity to ask questions without fear of sounding incompetent. In addition, they have constant support from a mentor in solving complex problems. In short: classes with a mentor help an employee to grow and develop, as a result, to move up the career ladder. For example, in one of the Forbes articles it was said that mentee get promoted 5 times more often than others, precisely due to working with a mentor.
At the same time, research shows that 97% of employees who have a mentor consider themselves valuable in the labor market. But overall, only 37% of IT professionals have such mentors.
Why do companies need it
To begin with, mentoring is helpful. identify weaknesses the whole department in general. With the help of a mentor, they can be easily eliminated or reformed. In addition, during training, the company receives a double bonus: both mentee and mentor pump their skills… Hence the growth in the quality of their work, which directly affects the success of the company. 67% of companies said that their revenues increased with the introduction of mentoring.
The pluses can also include experience sharing and cross mentoring between colleagues from different departments.
In addition, 94% of employees are willing to stay in companies if they have the opportunity to learn and develop. Thus, company leaders increase loyalty on the part of their employees, both mentors and menties. While the former solve their problems of leveling themselves up as Teamlead, the latter grow as specialists from a position, for example, Junior, and occupy the Middle position in the future.
What difficulties await on the way of introducing mentoring
The introduction of a mentoring system in a company may meet with resistance from colleagues. Imagine: you have a leader, and then a mentor appears. This can alert the employee, instill in him the idea that he is not coping, and they want to fire him.
What to do? Share your own example when you needed a mentor, tell us how it made your job better, what you got: it could be a raise or a raise in salary. If you yourself don’t believe in this idea, your employees are unlikely to want a mentor. Using a specific example, explain how this will help this or that employee: for example, employee N will become one step higher in his department if he pumps certain skills.
Create an extended questionnaire to increase the chance of a mentor and mentor matching. If the first time the mentoring attempt fails, it is very difficult to sell the idea again. Therefore, it is better to immediately make up harmonious mentor-mentee pairs. For example, the Phenom company, when introducing a mentoring system, resorted to artificial intelligence to select the most suitable tandems. At McGraw-Hill Education, the mentor recruiting system includes a questionnaire, telephone interview, and committee recommendations for each mentor and mentor. Another way might be to offer the mentor or mentee several partner options and let them choose one of them.
As one of the Solvery mentors, Lyudmila Zagitova, says, the Naumen company came to mentoring during the quarantine. Due to restrictions, the team was no longer able to share knowledge with colleagues at their in-house conferences. In addition, the management was faced with the question of strengthening ties between departments.
The developer and organizer of these conferences came to our HR and offered to develop mentoring. He was ready to take responsibility for this direction, he had enough motivation, interest, of course, he was supported. First, we created a page describing what mentoring is, who the mentoring is, what it gives to both parties, why it is needed, all the pros and cons. Then we had a mailing list with this page and a registration form for mentors and menties, – says Lyudmila.
After that, Naumen drew up certain rules and a code of ethics. It mentions what to do if the mentee is unhappy with their workplace, relationships with colleagues, or their boss. As Lyudmila explains, the company does not relieve the mentor of responsibility, but rather advises what the mentor can teach his mentor. And the next step for Naumen was to call mentors, who were informed about these rules and points of the code.
Why mentoring is needed:
- Affordable employee training
Each company, one way or another, thinks about pumping the knowledge of its team. Often, employee training is not structured and takes a lot of time from those on whose shoulders it falls. With the help of a mentoring program, training is comprehensive, and the workload is evenly distributed among many mentors. Research from the University of Guelph in Canada has shown that mentoring can help newcomers become more productive. “Companies benefit from improving the well-being of their employees. Helping newcomers to adapt at the start gives them the opportunity to realize their potential later, ”said Professor Jamie Gruman, who participated in the study, of his findings.
- Fewer skill gaps
In classes with a mentor, the mentor will be able to identify additional skills that can be an advantage for the ward and the company. These may be abilities that may not be an asset to the employee’s current role, but will help them succeed in future positions in the company.
- Reduced staff turnover
The advantages of a mentoring program include the development of loyalty among those who participate in it. As a result, this leads to a decrease in staff turnover.
When a company invests in employees through mentoring programs, the team feels that management has a stake in its success and development. This contributes to the company’s good reputation both internally and externally.