20 Ideas for Workplace Mentoring Activities
Follow these 20 tips to help you create a positive and helpful mentoring relationship in your work environment:
- Identify goals
- Create a mentoring action plan
- Address mentee challenges
- role play
- Job shadow
- Provide networking opportunities
- Provide oral feedback
- Provide written feedback
- Read up and share your thoughts
- Share career history
- Review your CVS
- Suggest other reading
- Team up and network together
- Create a vision statement
- Be a coach - focus on strengths
- Regularly review goals
- Discuss interpersonal skills
- Be a coach - target weakness
- Consider volunteer work
- Close the loop
4 Tips For Retaining College Graduates
Here are four ideas to help you turn your newly-hired college gradutes into successful employees through mentoring:
1) Set Expectations - "By approaching onboarding using personalization, employers can better teach college graduates about the organization during their first crucial days as employees."
2) Continue Their Learning - "Lessen confusion and make the transition earlier by assigning a lead contact for all educational needs. New college graduates will appreciate the consistency and support as they grow both professionally and personally with learning opportunities."
3) Give Individualized Attention - "If setting up meetings between new hires and your company CEO isn’t always possible, sit down with company leaders to decide who would be best to meet initially with each grad. While employees will feel important and "heard," the company itself will be better prepared to help each person reach goals through specific training and mentoring."
4) Measure Results - "Talk to team members about what they found most important, challenging and even frustrating during the onboarding process. Use their answers to guide what metrics you'll subsequently use to measure recent grads’ satisfaction and assess how they’re perceiving company goals, expectations and culture."
From "Stop Chasing College Graduates Away: Instead, Employ These 4 Tips" by Heather Huhman from Entrepreneur.com. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295924
If You're a Mentor, Be Like Yoda
From "6 Things Great Mentors Do Differently" by Sujan Patel:
Great mentors invest in the success of their mentees and, often, that means pushing them beyond their expectations. An article from Kauffman Entrepreneurs ties this one back to one of pop culture's greatest examples of mentorship, the Star Wars character, Yoda:
"Yoda sets out one challenge after another for Luke to help Luke manage himself better, hone his skills and more fully appreciate his responsibilities to use The Force for good."
Takeaway: If you're a mentor, be like Yoda. Always expect more from your mentees. They may not know what they're capable of otherwise.
Read more here: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289021
Maintaining Dignity, Respect, Professionalism and Ethical Treatment in a Mentoring Relationship
"Maintain high standards of ethics and professionalism: Mentors and mentees must strive to uphold appropriate ethical behavior as professionals."
Best practices for ethics and professionalism in a mentoring realtionship:
- Promote mutual respect and trust
- Maintain confidentiality
- Be diligent in providing knowledge, wisdom, and developmental support
- Carefully frame advice and feedback so it is well-received and constructive
From Amy Greil's "A Story of Mentoring" found online at http://www.kenoshanews.com/news/amy_greil_a_story_of_mentoring_493097750.php
Taking Initiative to Plan Meetings
In your mentoring relationship, try to take initiative by contacting your mentor or mentee first to plan a meeting. Once your meeting time is set, don't change it unless an emergency arises. This shows that you respect the relationship, and that you value your mentor's/mentee's time and presence.
Mentee: Listen. Ask if you can observe your mentor’s practice if he/she is local.
Mentor: Engage in your own learning while you are mentoring, collaborate on projects, ask questions and experiment.
(From "Ten Tips for a Successful Mentor/Mentee Relationship" https://www.amtamassage.org/mentor/Ten-Tips-for-a-Successful-Mentor-Mentee-Relationship.html)
Mentoring People Who Aren't Like You
"It took me years to understand this basic dynamic: Those who look less like me might find it hard to share their concerns with me or ask for help. They might feel uncomfortable raising their hand if they aren’t sure I will identify with them. And it’s on me, as the leader, to help close that gap."
-Richard Farnell in his article "Mentor People Who Aren't Like You" from the Harvard Business Review
Helping your Mentee Trust Their Own Judgment
"Being a sounding board for your mentee, allowing them to discuss the situation with you, then helping them to think through the situation by asking them questions to draw out the consequences of various actions, is always more empowering for a mentee than advising them what to do. It helps them work through the issue and come to their own conclusions. By doing so, you ultimately help them to learn to think through issues themselves and trust their own judgment, both valuable life skills."
-From "10 Ways to be a Good Mentor" by Blue Sky Coaching.
Read the full PDF version here: https://www.blueskycoaching.com.au/pdf/v4i10_mentor.pdf
At the beginning of a mentoring relationship, make sure to talk to your mentee/mentor about your expectations, and what you would like to get out of the relationship. This will help you decide whether or not the relationship will be well-suited and mutually beneficial. However, keep in mind that you can learn things from your mentee/mentor that you may not have expected!
Verbal and Nonverbal Messages
Make sure to observe your mentee's nonverbal body language, but do so respectfully and carefully. This will help you understand what they are thinking and feeling, apart from what they communicate to you orally.