How to start a mentorship program for your ERG
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are an incredible way to foster community, develop future leaders and serve as a potential a talent acquisition channel.
ERGs also serve as an incredible opportunity to launch and run mentorship programs to develop members professionally and personally. It also provides a formalized program for executive leaders to be more involved in ERGs.
However, planning, launching and tracking mentorship programs can often be overwhelming.
As a former 5x ERG leader myself (leading Women’s ERGs, MOSAIC and Employee Volunteering ERGs), I saw first-hand how difficult and manual it is to plan mentorship programs within the company.
I’ve collected my lessons learned from my time planning mentorship programs out of spreadsheets, manual emails and arduous research.
This will be your ultimate guide to planning a mentorship program for your company ERG:
- Determine the objective and scope
You’ll want to make sure there is a clear reason for why you are running this mentorship program. It could be to support new leaders, develop peer connections or foster executive relationships.
2. Define the metrics you want to track to define success
Tracking the effectiveness of the program is crucial to prove out what the impact of the program was. You can consider metrics such as: self-reported skill levels before, during and after the mentorship program or NPS.
3. Decide the type of mentorship program you want to run (group, 1:1, reverse)
Believe it or not, there are many types of mentorship programs! You can consider the traditional one-on-one mentorship program, group mentorship, reverse mentorship…the opportunities are endless. Ensure that the format of the mentorship aligns to the objective and scope.
5. Enable your mentors and mentees — training is key!
While mentorship is a fairly common term, many individuals have limited experience with being or having a mentor. Training and enablement is key to success. Ensure that your participants understand their expectations, roles and outputs throughout the program.
6. Match your participants — this is the most important step
You are now at the most important step: matching. The match is the most important aspect of mentorship programs. Consider the scope of your program and develop matching parameters that you can collect from your mentors and mentees during onboarding. Parameters such as short-term carer goals, skill development desires, long-term career plans, etc can be great parameters to start.
7. Determine a mechanism to track success throughout the program
Now that you’ve done all of the work, make sure that you have a clear mechanism to track the success of your program!
Of course, this guide would not be complete without some lessons learned:
- The matching process is the most important step
- You need process and planning, chaos is inevitable
- The benefits and results have the potential to unlock major development, so determine a mechanism to track that
- Be prepared to see a LOT of demand, prepare a plan to manage that
With the proper planning and the right framework, you will be all set to run a wonderful and impactful mentorship program!
Dreami is a tech platform that streamlines the planning, training, scheduling and tracking of high-impact mentorship programs.
We take care of all of the administrative work of launching and running your mentorship program so you don’t have to drown in hours of manual work and spreadsheets.
Dreami is on a mission to provide everyone with the right resources they need to take their career to the level they dream of.
To learn about how Dreami can help you with your ERGs and mentorship programs, check out Dreami here.
Dreami is a women-led mentorship platform, backed by Techstars and Antler VC. Dreami has been recognized by NASDAQ, Business Insider, Girls in Tech, and Positive Planet for breaking down barriers to mentorship.