I am a firm believer in mentoring. Done right, it offers a safe place to ask questions, learn, and grow. But mentoring can also be disappointing. A successful mentoring program can yield tremendous results for yourself and your team.
Benefits of mentoring
- Grow your people
- Grow yourself
- Learn from questions, not just from mistakes
- Low-pressure environment
- Always learning
- Myth: mentoring is only for people who are underperforming.
- Myth: mentoring is the same as coaching.
- Myth: I do not need a mentor.
A good mentoring program
I have experienced a few mentoring programs throughout my career. From my experience, the best programs are all structured in a way that sets clear guidelines for both the mentor and mentee.
- How mentors/mentees are matched
- Sharing expectations
- Regularly scheduled meetings
- Check ins with the program
Freedom Makers mentoring program
We launched a mentoring program early in 2020 because we appreciate the value mentoring brings. We are committed to helping military spouses thrive as virtual assistants. We have also found that military spouses want to support and see other military spouses succeed. This was a great launchpad for our program.
We established clear guidelines and expectations for both our mentees and our mentors. Most important, we explained the parameters to when and how they should meet. We do not want the mentee to become a burden on the mentor so setting up established and acceptable means of communication is imperative.
We also incentivized our program through our profile badge program. Clients are able to see who serves as a mentor and who is being mentored. This is important because clients know we are an organization that wants to keep improving. We have a culture of community and growth.
Our mentoring program is a safe place where Freedom Makers can share their struggles and challenges. They might not feel comfortable coming to our internal team, but now they can discuss their issues with someone who may have had those too at one point.
In the end, mentoring is a win-win for everyone. The mentee gains invaluable advice and help in their personal growth journey. The mentor wins because they are able to share what they have learned and can even learn more by assisting our new Freedom Makers with challenges they are facing. And we at Freedom Makers win because our new Freedom Makers have a forum to grow and our clients see our desire to improve.