How To Develop a Management Mentorship Program in 6 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 8, 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.

When employees earn promotions, they often become managers, which are roles that require extra responsibilities. It can be beneficial for new managers to participate in management mentorship programs as they establish their leadership styles and increase their confidence in fulfilling higher-level positions. Understanding how to appoint qualified mentors and design effective programs can allow you to guide new managers to success. In this article, we state the definition and significance of management mentorship and list the steps to build a program to develop organizational leaders.

What are management mentorship programs?

Management mentorship programs are procedures that help professionals adjust to their new positions in leadership. The programs pair recently promoted employees with experienced managers who can provide guidance on making decisions, supervising teams and spearheading projects. The purpose of management mentorship is to ease the transition from a lower-level role to a higher-level role. New managers, or mentees, can develop their leadership skills and receive support as they grow accustomed to their extra responsibilities. They can also increase the confidence that can enable them to be successful in management.

Related: The Definitive Guide to Mentorship

Why is it important to provide new managers with mentorship?

It's important to provide new managers with mentorship so they can learn how to be leaders. Although an employee may have performed well in an entry-level position, it may take time for them to achieve that same level of competence after the promotion. Having a mentor to rely on while navigating management can have a positive impact on the employee's ability to overcome challenges. The expertise the employee shares in management may be the same as their previous role, but the responsibility to direct a team may be new and different, and the professional may benefit from receiving extra help.

Management mentorship programs can also benefit the organization. The more comfortable a manager feels in their leadership, the more employees may trust the manager to lead the team in the right direction. Trusting relationships and employee engagement can inspire productivity in the workplace, which can keep the organization running smoothly. Effective leaders can boost employee retention rates and attract qualified professionals to the workplace.

Related: 24 Reasons Why Mentorship Is Important

How to develop a mentorship program for new managers

Follow these steps to design an effective management mentorship program for new managers:

1. Outline goals for the program

The goals of the program represent the professional growth you want to see in the new leader while they're undergoing management mentorship. Tailor the goals to the employee's specific role and the organization's vision. For example, if the employee is now a software development manager, then the program goals may be to plan and execute the production of a new mobile application. Make sure your goals are specific and measurable, which can make it easier to analyze the program's success once it finishes.

2. Identify a teaching style

Think about the relationship you want the mentee to share with a mentor. Find a teaching style that can be most helpful for the new manager to learn how to lead. For example, if there are multiple employees who are adjusting to new managerial roles, then you can opt for group mentoring, which allows them to learn from one mentor as a unit. If there's an employee who holds the same position as the new manager, then you can suggest peer mentoring. Additional options are reverse mentoring, where an employee guides a supervisor, and one-on-one mentoring, the standard style.

3. Appoint a mentor for the new manager

Appoint a professional to serve as the mentor for the recently promoted employee. Make sure the mentor has experience in leadership and has traits in common with the mentee. Compatible personalities and shared expertise can make it easier for the professionals to establish a connection and work together for the duration of the program. For example, a qualified mentor for a new marketing director may be the senior vice president of marketing, since they work in the same industry and have similar specialized skills. You can also ask the employee who they want to learn from to identify mentor candidates.

Related: 12 Skills for Successful Mentors

4. Deliver resources for mentorship

Once the new manager meets their mentor, share the goals you've established for the program. Consider delivering a timeline for the mentor to follow, which can help them monitor progress and ensure the mentee feels prepared to lead on their own when the time is right. Conduct research about effective leadership in your industry to start the program. For example, you can learn how to facilitate conversations with the new manager to discover their current skill set and compare it to the proficiencies they may need to be successful leaders. Encourage the mentor and mentee to create their own plans.

5. Schedule follow-up meetings

Now that you have a timeline for the management mentorship program, you can schedule meetings to evaluate progress in the new leader's growth. The meetings can take place at consistent intervals to give the participants time to analyze and report their progress. You can inquire about accomplishments the new manager has made since being under the advisement of the mentor. Consider asking about challenges they've faced and characteristics they like and dislike about the program and the chosen teaching style. Use the meetings to acknowledge and resolve issues and track how much the mentee is learning.

Related: How To Create a Mentorship Program in the Workplace

6. Develop an evaluation procedure

Use your goals to create a protocol to evaluate the success of the management mentorship program. Set parameters to illustrate how helpful the employee found the program as they transitioned into their leadership role. For instance, you can compile a survey of questions that ask how comfortable the new leader is in making decisions on behalf of a team and delivering feedback on employees' job performance. Prepare yourself to analyze the differences in the organization's operations before and after the program to see the effect the mentorship had on the employee's ability to lead and engage members of a team.

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