Emelo offers some pretty practical ideas to think about when preparing to roll out a modern mentoring program within an organization
Focus on Competencies & Interests
Don’t make the process rigid and complicated by throwing up barriers. Make the process of modern mentoring a practical tool that learners can access at anytime by focusing on competencies and interest alike. This establishes the foundation for how learning interactions will be. Remember, the focus is on creating collaborative relationships and enabling people to tap into the right individuals that have the expertise/interest to help in a particular area.
Be Inclusive, Not Exclusive
Make it available to everyone! No selection, no specialization, everyone is an active an equal participant in the program. Don't worry, it can be done. Specialization of any kind creates social injustices, and we want to stay away from fostering that cultural mindset in the workforce. Broaden the scope and be ready to tap into the knowledge, creativity, and skill sets you had not known existed right in your organizations!
Keep Your Purpose Simple
Simplify the scope and message. Modern mentoring is about putting the right people in connection with one another at the right time. Sharing a simplified message aids in the buy-in and simplicity of the program use and application.
Advocate for Andragogy
One of my favorite bits of advice Emelo gave…let the people decide. As program planners, administrators, facilitators, and the like, we have such a tough time letting go. We need to let the principles of adult learning lead the process. Allow learners to determine what they advise on, and for learners to determine the knowledge they need, and when they need it. We know that the principles of self-directed learning foster commitment and ownership of the learning; very powerful tools. Tap into that, and learners will acknowledge the trust the organization has in their workforce.
Food for Thought
Have you implemented a modern mentoring program in your workplace or advised on one for a client?
What did that look like and what challenges did you face?
Any thoughts on keeping it traditional versus modern?