How To Develop a Mentoring Plan (With Benefits and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 17, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Helping incoming employees transition into a company and learn its culture can help you establish a productive, amicable work environment. Some managers organize a mentoring plan to give new hires an opportunity to receive direct guidance from an experienced employee who can provide them with helpful resources and advice for their new position. If you're interested in creating a mentoring plan for your workplace, it's often helpful to learn some common strategies for this process.

In this article, we discuss what a mentoring plan is, how to develop your own mentoring plan for incoming employees, the benefits of this program and tips for developing an effective one.

Related: Why You Should Become a Mentor at Your Workplace

What is a mentoring plan?

A mentoring plan is a comprehensive strategy employers use to guide new employees as they begin working in a new position. Typically, mentoring plans involve assigning an experienced staff member to an incoming employee so they can ask questions about their new job responsibilities and become more comfortable with their colleagues. A successful mentoring plan may help new employees better learn a company's protocols and adjust to a new work environment. It can also have a positive effect on managers, as they can both track an employee's job performance and develop their leadership abilities.

Mentoring plans often involve a matching period, where a supervisor evaluates the work ethics, strengths and overall characteristics of a new hire to see which staff member has the appropriate professional background to help them succeed. Managers can also assign a new employee to a mentor who exhibits different qualities, as this approach can often help a staff member learn new professional skills.

Related: How To Make the Most of Your Mentor Relationship

How to develop a mentoring plan

Here are some steps you can follow when developing your own mentoring plan for new employees:

1. Determine the goals of the mentoring plan

Identify the objectives of a company's mentoring plan, including its optimal results for both professionals in this working relationship. Consider using the company's mission statement to structure your plan so you can better emphasize its primary goals to new hires and explain how to achieve them. For example, if you work for a retail company, the main goal of your mentoring program may be to teach new hires the importance of quality customer service.

2. Look for current employees interested in becoming mentors

Survey current employees and determine which of them are interested in serving as mentors for the incoming hires. Consider connecting with staff members with expertise in their field and high-level knowledge of a company's protocols, as they can serve as a worthy role model to your incoming employees. Depending on the goal of your mentoring plan, you can filter through your potential options and decide which options can offer the most valuable advice, such as tips on how to stay productive or approach conflict resolution.

3. Match new hires with mentors

Once you have a list of participating mentors, you can evaluate your new hires to determine which mentors have compatible work styles and personality traits. Consider sending out a survey to new hires or using notes from their job interviews to identify key characteristics or career goals that can help you match them to an existing employee. For example, if a new hire for a marketing company is interested in becoming an art director in the future, you can pair them with a senior-level manager in the creative department who can offer useful career guidance.

4. Train your mentors

Before you can start a mentoring program, it's important to develop a training process for mentors to ensure they're qualified to assist the new hires. Consider outlining specific benchmarks you want the mentors to help a new employee meet, like how to clock into work by the first week or meet a weekly production quota by the fourth. You can also create individualized milestones depending on the position and interests of the new employees so mentors can better address their needs.

5. Create an evaluation system

Develop a system that allows you to measure the progress of the new hires as they work with their mentors. This step can help you observe both the job performance of a new hire and the mentoring abilities of an experienced staff member. Consider having new hires fill out weekly surveys or questionnaires where they can elaborate on what they learned and how they can apply it to future tasks in their position. Mentors can also fill out evaluations, where they can discuss a new employee's improvements during a certain timeframe and establish future goals for them.

Related: Thank You Letter To Mentor (With Samples and Tips)

Benefits of a mentoring plan

There are several benefits to establishing a mentoring plan for new hires, including:

  • Increases communication: New hires may feel comfortable asking questions or bringing up concerns to their mentors, as they have an established relationship with them. This can benefit the entire company, as the new employees who feel supported by their work environment may offer valuable inquiries and insights.

  • Enhances a company's training programs: Mentoring plans allow new employees to learn directly from an experienced colleague alongside their supervisor. This can often help a new hire learn how to complete job responsibilities more efficiently, as they can observe how a mentor handles various workplace situations, completes assignments and overcomes challenges.

  • Fosters a comfortable work environment: By pairing up new employees with mentors, you can help develop a healthy work environment that values teamwork, feedback and positive colleague relationships. An effective mentoring plan can provide new employees with the resources, guidance and confidence to succeed in their work endeavors.

Related: 14 Mentor Qualifications To Develop for Success

Tips for developing a mentoring plan

Here are some tips you can use when developing your own mentoring plan:

  • Prepare one survey for mentors and new hires. If both professions fill out the same survey, you can cross-examine their answers to determine who's most compatible.

  • Check in with participants regularly. Find a time to meet weekly with both professionals so you can determine both employees' progress and request feedback on future mentoring programs.

  • Ask mentors and new hires for their communication preferences. Knowing whether each professional prefers one type of medium, such as phone calls or emails, may streamline conversations between them in the future.

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