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From the smallest startup to the largest multinational corporation, finding great workers is always a struggle. A solid recruiting program can help, but getting those employees in the door is only the first step of a very long process. If you want to improve performance and boost productivity, encouraging mentorship in the workplace is always a smart idea.

No matter how great their education, the employees you hire will be coming into an unfamiliar environment, and they will need extensive training to do their jobs effectively. By setting up a mentoring program and encouraging older workers to share their knowledge and experience, you can make even the most robust training program more effective. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Start with a solid plan.

Every great workplace program starts with a great plan, so think carefully about what you want the mentorship program to look like and what goals you hope to achieve.

Work hard to find good matches.

The choice of your mentor is key to the success of any mentorship program, so put on your best matchmaking hat and get to work. Finding employees who are well suited to learn from one another will make the mentoring experience a pleasant one for everyone involved.

Monitor the progress without micromanaging it.

There is a strong temptation to monitor the success of your mentorship program too closely, but micromanaging will make things worse instead of better. Instead of micromanaging the progress, set actionable goals and conduct regular meetings with mentors and mentees.

Set boundaries.

The relationships between mentors and mentees can be close, and that is generally a good thing. Even so, romantic interactions could cause real problems for your company and open it up to future legal action. Setting boundaries and establishing rules at the outset can help you avoid these thorny issues.

A formal onboarding process and robust training program are vital for every company, no matter what it’s size. Even so, those official training programs can only go so far, and sometimes the best teachers are the ones who have already been there.

Setting up a mentorship program is one of the best ways to close the training gap, especially if you establish rules and boundaries, keep a close watch on results, and do what you can to encourage participation. The tips listed above can help you make the most of your mentorship program, so new employees and old can all benefit.


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