How to Start a Robust Mentoring Program

Start a mentoring program
March 24, 2023
Table of Contents

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably looking for a way to efficiently leverage your mentoring expertise to help clients upskill or retain their workforce. Starting a mentoring program allows you to apply your expertise at scale. 

However, building an effective, robust, and sustainable mentoring program requires meticulous planning and strategizing. If you are unsure about how to start a high-impact mentoring program, we give you a detailed overview of the 5 stages involved. Here’s how you may start a mentoring program: 

1. Define the goal and the objectives 

Your first step towards crafting an effective mentoring program is to do your research well and identify the goals of your target clients — employee engagement, talent retention, upskilling, becoming leaner, and so on. To begin with, you may want to narrow in on one goal, ideally one where you feel you can add the most value with your experience. 

2. Design the program structure 

Designing a mentoring program is not as easy as it seems. You must keep in mind certain key choice-based factors like whether it will be for group mentoring or 1:1 mentoring, open enrolment or invite-only, the duration of the program, how many sessions it will involve, the medium via which you’ll hold it, and so on. 

Why not put everything in a flowchart to help you consider various options? The trick is to be as specific as possible and map out your whole mentoring program, then earmark areas where you might require support. When you start a mentoring program, you can also subscribe to mentoring software in order to be more productive and create more effective outcomes.  

With Simply.Coach’s Journey feature, you can build a framework for your mentoring program and then replicate it as many times as you’d like, while making customizations if needed for different clients. 

3. Market your program well 

A mentoring program can work well only if mentees are engaged from the very beginning. Hence, a critical step when you start a mentoring program is to make the benefits of the program clear in the marketing itself. You should also offer a sneak peek into some of your sessions as part of your promotion strategy. And cherry on top: If you can manage to get some influencers onboard, you are already halfway there! Once you have clients onboard, make some effort in the onboarding phase to kick off the program. Remember, a great start to onboarding can go a long way in keeping clients engaged throughout your mentoring program. 

Are you using social media to market your business yet?

Check out our 7 strategies to social media success!

4. Pair up mentors with the right mentees 

Now this is where it can get tricky! You may have mentors and mentees from various backgrounds, with disparate needs, and with diverse profiles. How will you best match your mentors to the various mentees? Certain mentoring software that can help you overcome this challenge. For example, by offering a handy listing of your affiliated mentors (coupled with a search and filter tool), Simply.Coach allows you to use data in matching the right mentors with the right mentees. 

5. Regularly check in with the participants 

Mentoring is a process. If you think designing your program and onboarding users is where it ends, think again! If you don’t engage regularly with your participants, they can easily lose focus, momentum and drive. You already know your mentee’s goals/objectives, so ensuring all mentors conduct periodic check-ins with your participants can help you establish a personal connection, track progress, and factor in feedback that can further improve your program. A pre-determined amount of 1:1 time with you can also work as a highlight of the program. Using digital mentoring software can help you connect via email, newsletters, one-on-one video sessions, and so on. 

6. Measure program success and ROI  

As the program manager, your final step is to measure progress and gather feedback on how successful the mentoring program has been in achieving the set goals and adjectives. Measuring the success of the program and whether it has achieved the desired ROI can be done based on two key aspects: 

  • If the mentoring program has helped achieve the pre-defined metrics and KPIs from the management perspective 
  • If the mentoring program had the desired impact on the participants and if it has helped them attain their personal goals 

With Simply.Coach’s 360° feedback tool, you can prove the ROI achieved through the mentoring program. You may typically run the tool twice throughout the program—once when you start a mentoring program and again at the end of the journey—and put out the difference between the two results as the ROI achieved via the mentoring program. Simply.Coach also allows you to track engagement metrics and measure outcome metrics with ease. 

A well thought out mentoring program has myriad benefits in an organization. It helps retain talent, cultivate meaningful communication and relationships across the organization, foster self-development and enhance performance, increase minority representation at higher levels, and much more.  

Sources: Chronus, Forbes, Guider 


1. How do you start a mentoring program? 

Start a mentoring program by defining the goals and the objectives first. Further, a high-impact mentoring program should always have a well-built design. Attract participants (mentors and mentees) by clearly marketing the benefits of the mentoring program. It is equally important to maintain the momentum of the program via regularly checking in on the participant’s progress. Finally, measure the success and the ROI of the program. 

About Simply.Coach

Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF-accredited and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.  

About the author
Content Specialist  @Simply.Coach

Jayashree Mukherjee is a content specialist by day and a content junkie (on OTT) by night. Passionate about traveling, street food and overturning the underuse of em dashes — she would have been a globe-trotter if she hadn’t been so lazy.

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