Building a mentorship program that runs itself and scales

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

One conversation can change everything. Blocked? Need a fresh set of eyes from someone who’s been there before? A seasoned teammate will have the answers, even perhaps serve as a lifeline in certain high stakes situations.

Usually, mentorships are thought to be for a select few. But we believe that it is a lost opportunity not to tap into years of on-the-job wisdom from people who have something special to share—a hyper-specific company understanding that one can’t quite find anywhere else. These are your company’s heroes. 

Where most mentorship efforts fail

Usually, it’s a discovery problem. Mentees need an easy way to discover available mentors and book time with them. Mentors want to make themselves available, but don’t always know the best way to communicate their availability, topics of interest, and openness to help others. Additionally, they would like to have a record of people they met with so that they can understand their impact.

Too often, mentoring programs:

  • Are poorly set up and lack ownership — despite how tempting it is to stitch together this program with Google Calendar, Sites, Forms, and Sheets, they require constant babysitting to be successful, which is really hard and often falls apart at scale.
  • Are full of friction — mentoring is not your employees’ primary job. There’s often low tolerance for dealing with necessary logistics. Emails get buried. Slack messages get missed.

People are busy. This is volunteering. Manually scheduling times and tracking results is asking too much.

Find the right person. Show up. Connect.

Yes, it should be that easy. Here’s how PlusPlus ‘breaks the ice’ and makes mentoring happen in all the little, yet key, ways:

Mentor Discovery – it starts with mentors signaling their intention to help, areas of expertise, and availability. Mentees can browse relevant mentor profiles and initiate a session without it feeling awkward. Filter by department, skills, bio, or by who’s in your time zone that may fit your schedule best (also called ‘Friendly to My Time’)

Ratings – both mentors and mentees can now rate a mentorship experience and provide feedback, which is the best way to continuously improve.

Session reminders – friendly reminders are automatically sent, notifying mentees of upcoming sessions scheduled. 

Bringing it all together

Mentoring, in the context of your organization, enhances both the shared understanding and your company-building culture. The more you invest in both personal and professional growth as a cultural norm—the type of culture that’s more connected, more engaged, and filled with teammates who want to grow within the company—the better your company will be attracting (and retaining) the best talent to meet challenges now and beyond.

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