Is a Mentorship Program a Good Idea For Your Business?

By: First Union


Is a Mentorship Program a Good Idea For Your Business?

Mentoring is such an important part of the training and education of today's younger workforce. Rather than just throwing those newly graduated into the deep end of the pool with no experience whatsoever, mentorship programs allow them to get their feet wet little by little. This way it's not such a shock than when they do get that first job.

As a thriving small business, one great thing you can do in terms of nurturing younger talent is to set up a mentorship program within the company. But how exactly do you go about doing this? Below we offer a few tips for businesses interested in mentoring today's younger generation of professionals.

  • Start by training mentors. With mentees coming in looking for guidance and structure, you want to make sure that those who will be responsible for their training understand what they're doing. The mentors thus need to be trained in terms of teaching, critiquing and communicating.

  • Establish who fits together. Mentorship is a partnership in many ways. Pairing the wrong mentor and mentee can result in a very disappointing overall experience. You might develop a questionnaire, matchmaker style, to determine whose personalities work well together.

  • Institute Structure. There's nothing worse than a mentorship program that lacks organization. It's not about randomly sending pairs off to try and figure out "something to do." Have set guidelines in place, predetermined tasks, and responsibilities, in other words, a well-crafted plan for your mentormentee pairs to follow.

  • Have a feedback system. The mentees are going to want to know how they're doing. By the same token, the mentors will want to know as well. Before you launch the program figure out exactly how they will be evaluated and then offer structured and relevant feedback.

Establishing a mentorship program can be a valuable and worthwhile endeavor. That said, you may find you lack the resources to do it and do it well. First Union can help! We'd love to discuss your funding needs. For whatever type of project you have in mind, our loan programs are flexible and fast. Call today!

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