Mentorship is one of those things everybody wants to have but nobody wants to work for. Like networking, it sounds like a great thing to have, something rich with benefits, if only it wasn’t so much work.
This reputation can scare off even the best mentor and mentee candidates. And that’s a shame, because the people who could benefit the most from mentorship are usually those who’d be most intimidated by the concept. Gartner has released research suggesting that mentoring is a vital aspect of all industries, and IT-focused workplaces in particular.
As a talent management professional, you already know a number of ways mentorships can be helpful, both for individuals and your business. Mentorships lead to more connected employees, higher productivity and job satisfaction rates, and increased employee loyalty. And mentorships programs are especially helpful for Millennials in the workplace.
Shy of locking your staff in a room and forcing them to develop meaningful bonds before you’ll let them out, how can you make the mentorship process go smoother? While technology can’t solve all mentorship problems, these four workplace mentoring apps might help.
How can you define mentoring?
At its most basic level, a workplace mentorship is when a more experienced, often older employee at a company takes a newer employee under their wing. The new employee may not have worked in this field previously, or has limited experience, and is in need of guidance. While the mentor doesn’t do the mentee’s work for them, they offer a helping hand and advice to clear up any confusion, and can help the mentee become acclimated and comfortable in their job more quickly.
The mentor benefits through an increased sense of job satisfaction, greater confidence in their abilities and skills, and through an increased connection with younger employees. Rather than being pushed out of the company by replacements, the mentor gets to welcome new faces in the industry. The mentee benefits not only from learning new skills, but through a greater sense of community and a feeling of guidance. Rather than feeling adrift, the mentee knows they can turn to someone for advice and help as they navigate their new job.
Workplace mentorship is a great system. If you’re interested in implementing it in your workplace, here’s four great programs that can help. These programs were chosen for their popularity with reviewers, and organized alphabetically. If you want to see your favorite mentoring software on future updates, leave a review and tell us why!
Chronus is heavily automated, so you don’t need to micro-manage to achieve good mentorships. The mentoring software evaluates all participants with a unique program called MatchIQ and sets those profiles to match up mentors with mentees to help make sure that everyone in the program gets the most out of it. Chronus also refers to their software as the most configurable platform in the industry, a claim that’s backed by white labelling, multiple forms of mentoring (traditional, peer-based, long term, session by session, etc), and a customizable workflow arrangement.
“We were up and running within weeks and have received extremely positive feedback from our end-users. The software allows administrators the flexibility to customize and tailor features to the needs of your business.”
“We’ve been using the system for over a year now and we could not be happier. The customer service is excellent—when we need it, which is rare.”
“From an administrative side, the system is just as easy to use. A major advantage of Chronus is you don’t have to create everything from scratch. They have numerous templates (reporting, connection-related, communication-related, etc.) ready to go… all robust enough to get you up and running quickly with minimal customization. Again, they definitely know what they’re doing and know what it takes to get a successful mentoring program up and running.”
Innovative Mentoring Software (or IMS) is targeted at children’s programs, but works fine as a robust, standalone mentorship system for corporate use. It’s also super affordable, with a starting price of just $25 per month. IMS also gives you the ability to fill out case reports for each person in your program, which is helpful for continued programs when you need to evaluate how a mentor or mentee performed to help them find a new match. Also, if you want to send mass-emails to your participants automatically, IMS can handle it, even at high volumes.
“This has made a lot of our tracking and reporting easier in many ways. IMS is so responsive to our needs that I only anticipate it getting better as they continue to improve the software.”
“Our mentoring program is small, but the match function is fantastic for tracking both mentor and mentee information, length of the match, etc.”
“I have been with Innovative Mentoring for about 3 months. My program went through a name change and at the same time we needed to look for new options for collecting and organizing our data. I contacted Innovative Mentoring and they were wonderful. I am not the best with technology, so I tend to need a lot of guidance. The support that I have received has been the best. They always get back to me and never make me feel like my questions aren’t important. I recommend them to anyone that wants to get their data under control.”
Sleek and intuitive in its design, MentorcliQ is a solid foundation for a new mentoring program, or an easily-integrated addition to an existing one. A feature that stands out as particularly helpful is the training they offer for new mentors, who may begin the mentorship process feeling nearly as lost as their mentees.
“Now as we prepare for our third year working with MentorcliQ, the system has been improved, and has expanded to continue meeting our needs. We appreciate the honest, genuine nature of the team, and the personal touch we’ve had to make adjustments. The mentorcliQ team is responsive and flexible, and it’s been really nice to work with people who genuinely care about helping us find success in our program.”
“MentorcliQ made it incredibly easy for me (as a mentor) to record my time spent mentoring and the topics covered. It made the process incredibly simple and virtually non-intrusive.”
“I was matched perfectly with a protege/mentee and we hit it off (and were productive) instantly. Activity tracking is a breeze and the supporting documentation was easily accessible and appropriate to the upcoming tasks.”
As an excellent option for a company looking to initiate a new mentorship program, River offers an entire book on how to kick off a modern mentorship program. They also give advice and guidance in helping you get started. Their most standout feature is the program’s ability to run multiple, unrelated mentoring programs at the same time, which is ideal for anyone who finds themselves in charge of tracking a multi-branch company mentoring program, or for any company that focuses on setting up mentorship programs for other businesses.
“River has been amazing to work with as a partner. Every encounter has left me feeling like they are invested in helping us find the right solution for us and are not just interested in selling us any solution. Their team is collaborative, flexible and very responsive.”
“The Community Manager Certification Program uses River for collaboration opportunities within our learning groups. They are able to share comments, references, polling, and other learning experiences with ease. The platform provides the social learning aspect of the program that we could not use on other platforms. Collaboration is the highest goal set for the program.”
“They were great to work with and delivered on every promise that they made. They also went out of their way to help our program succeed by investing in software development that enabled us to track real-time user experience (xAPI). Their depth of knowledge in mentoring — both formal and peer, is unmatched and this evident in the configuration of the River platform.”
What other programs help with workplace mentoring?
Mentorships are a great way to engage your employees and take advantage of social learning at its finest. And mentorship software is a quick and easy way to get started.
What does workplace mentoring mean to you? Have you implemented mentorship programs in your workplace? Tell me how it went in the comments below.
And don’t forget to review your favorite software to see more of them on lists just like this!
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