How to Mentor New Hires
A mentorship is an excellent way to help a new employee learn the basics of your company and its culture. No matter what size your corporation, start by introducing each employee to their mentor at orientation. The employee can then pose questions to the mentor during and after the onboarding process. After the onboarding process is complete, you may be interested in having the mentee shadow, regularly talk with, or be formally trained by the mentor.
The Role of Mentorships in Small and Large Companies
In small companies, mentorships bring together experienced employees and new, often younger employees. The relationship builds the bond between people of different generations and strengthens the connections within the company. It also allows operations to proceed more smoothly. In large companies, mentorships train new individuals who would otherwise get lost in the crowd. The mentor becomes the “go-to” person for the new employee, who might not know how to approach higher-ups and may not understand complex hierarchies. In both small and large companies, the mentor acts as a resource for the new employee. The mentor remains a stable, helpful guide who anchors them in place and makes them feel at home.
Before Orientation: Do a Mentor-Mentee Match
The most important part of the matching process is making sure personalities mesh. Create a questionnaire for both mentors and mentees to determine their learning styles, typical pace, interests and attitudes toward work-related situations. Then look for mentors who are stable, interested in teaching new employees, patient, thoughtful, kind and helpful. Make sure that you decrease the workload of mentors and give them an additional incentive to participate in the program.
After Settling In: Ask for Evaluations
Ask mentees and mentors a week, a month, three months, six months and a year in what they have gotten out of the experience. Determine what could be done better and what issues may need to be resolved. If a mentor is overburdened by constant communication with the mentee, strive to shorten meetings and demands on mentors. If a mentee feels they did not receive critical information from their mentor, see if you can offer this information in the onboarding process instead of through the mentorship program.
Use the feedback to make improvements in the mentorship program and beyond. You will likely learn a great deal about how teamwork is improving and how the mentorship program has contributed to these changes.