Today I want to talk to you about the internal mentoring program at your job.
We had one set up through the corporate office where I worked, there was someone set up to represent our office area, but they really weren’t a mentor. In fact I didn’t hear back from them when I reached out about the program.
I’ve seen a number of well meaning programs and I’m not a fan of the Internal, “forced” mentor programs. I don’t care what criteria or althorithm you use to connect two people, there has to be a sense of chemistry that I don’t think is accounted for.
One challenge with the forced programs is that the mentees who participate can feel bad when they try to connect with the mentor after the assigned time and the mentor is giving them the cold shoulder. That’s not mentorship, that’s completing something on your annual review or something you have to do because all senior staff in the company are required to. Not cool.
Nope, I don’t think they should do away with the programs. I think there are a couple of things you could experiment with.
2 Things We Can Do To Make Things Better
Use your current criteria to find someone on a list of possible mentors and let the potential mentors and mentees spend some time together before things are formal. After mentors have spent time with several mentees and vice versa, have mentees privately select their top three mentors and for mentors have them select their top choice for mentees. Where there is an obvious match, make the connection and work your way from there.
2. Stop calling it Mentorship:
Mentorship is a big responsibility and it goes beyond just the narrow checklist we may provide during these sessions. Instead of calling it mentorship, call it what it really is, advising.
When you use the word advising it loosens things up a bit and it makes it feel ok to have several of advisors. You have one for organization structure and understanding, you have one for marketing, you have one for finance, you have one for career development. You don’t have to have just one but focus on building a candidate pool of Advisors that folks can choose from and work from there.
Remember, you don’t have to leave your job to leave a mark. I’m here to help. Signing out, your ambassador, Mike Ambassador Bruny.
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