Mentoring Software Saves the Day
- Scalability (or Lack Thereof). When a program is managed by a spreadsheet, scaling to accommodate growth is too difficult to manage. As a result, most programs end up staying small and having to turn away would-be mentees and mentors. But this is the last thing companies should be doing! Employees what the opportunity to be challenged in their work, and they want opportunities to grow in their skills and knowledge. They look to their employers to provide those opportunities, so when organizations limit their mentoring program to just a handful of people (because that is all the administrator can handle), they are also cutting off a prime opportunity for extended employee growth and development.
The challenges with paper-based mentoring programs can seem dire, but fortunately, there are a number of technology-related solutions to make the mentor/mentee program more effective and easier to manage. Below are a few benefits that technology can offer when it comes to your mentoring program.
2. Better Use of Time
When using mentoring software, time commitment can be established early when the mentor and mentee connect. They have the opportunity to determine if they will be engaged for a shorter period of time or if a longer time-frame is preferred. Scheduling future meetings is also easier, since most mentoring platforms have built-in calendars and scheduling tools. The program administrator can use the mentoring software to run reports to see if the mentor and mentee have kept their commitments and met with one another per their scheduled appointments. This gives a level of accountability and responsibility to the participants, which can potentially strengthen the engagement.
4. Tracking and Reporting
Using mentoring software and technology allows for various types of tracking and reporting capabilities. For example, you can track who your popular mentors are, or which participants are more active than others. You can also track such things as how long it takes people to find a mentee or mentor, or what their feelings are on effectiveness of the relationship and progress made. You could even track and report on where you have a gap in mentors for a particular skill and/or competency, where the demand is high but the number of experts is limited. This could help you (the administrator) then find other mentors to address the gap and ensure that your workforce is getting their developmental needs met.
It’s clear why we are long past the days of managing traditional mentoring programs by spreadsheet and limiting the numbers of participants. There are affordable technology solutions out there that are capable of growing and scaling with you—even if you start small.