Securing and demonstrating organizational support
Like any idea or program you wish to sell to management, you’ll need to put together a compelling business case for establishing an in-house mentoring program (or for re-vamping an existing in-house program). Though every organization has its own decision-making criteria, in preparing your business case you should provide as much of the following information as possible:
• Clear, explicit objectives for the mentoring program;
• How the mentoring program objectives are linked to organizational goals;
• How the program complements other talent development programs already in place;
• Additional benefits that can result from a mentoring program (for example, increased employee loyalty);
• Description of the metrics that will be used to assess the program;
• Cost analysis – preferably on a per employee basis;
• A mentoring model recommendation, including why that model is best for achieving the organization’s objectives; and
• A recommendation regarding who will manage the program.
Demonstrating organizational support for the program
Though many factors influence the success of an in-house mentoring program, clear organizational support for the program is an important factor that should not be overlooked. Indeed, participant engagement and enthusiasm is closely related to how they perceive the organization’s leaders feel about the program, so such support is essential. Here are some ways to signal your organization’s commitment to a mentoring program:
• Include top management in the program design and administration.
• Market the program to staff.
• Tout the program when recruiting.
• Encourage top leaders to participate as mentors.
• Let program participants use work time for their mentoring activities.
• Reward staff for participating.
• Hold events that spotlight the program (for example, a kickoff) and ensure that high-level management attend the events.
• Ensure the program administrator is effective, approachable, and available.