If you are implementing an employee led mentoring program into your company as a means of training and advising new employees, there are several factors that you should consider when deciding on which employees to match to work together. One obvious factor is that there needs to be one mentor and one mentee. However, as a business owner or manager, you need to consider a variety of factors when pairing up employees with their mentors. This article will address how to match up your employees in the mentoring program.
1. Major Factors to Consider During the Pairing Process
There are several factors to consider during the pairing process. It is important to be as sure as possible that the employees you match are compatible and will work well together. If they are incompatible, the mentoring process will be stunted and become a total waste of time for both the mentor and mentee as well as for the management. The entire point of the mentoring program is to have a more experienced employee work with a newer and less experienced employee in order to help them develop and grow as a professional. Increased productivity is always the main end goal. Take a look at the following factors that you should consider.
- Educational Aspect – A mentee needs to be paired with a mentor who works in the same department so that the former can be trained on specific workplace duties that pertain to their area of expertise.
- Location Aspect – Not only is working in the same department important, but both employees should be located in the same building within close proximity of each other. They won’t be together all the time, but need to have easy access for mentoring.
2. Take the Compatibility Factor Into Consideration
In addition to both employees being in the same department and physical location, being compatible is one of the most important factors for success in this process. For example, if you pair two introverted employees together, they may not draw each other out as much for optimum growth and development. Consider some of the following factors regarding compatibility when pairing employees.
- Personality – Try to match the mentee with a mentor who meshes well and doesn’t clash with regard to personality. As the saying goes in relationships, opposites attract. However, sometimes they clash. It will take some time to find the right balance of personality qualities that mesh well together.
- Skillset – The mentor obviously needs to have the right skills to get the job done with regard to training. However, it would be good to pair two people together that both excel in facts and figures or reading and communication. The reason being that the teaching and learning style will mesh better together.
- Tolerance – The ability of these individuals to tolerate each other (not necessarily speaking with regard to race relations), will ensure the success of the mentoring relationship. For example, if you pair a mentee who is quiet, with someone who is completely obnoxious, there will definitely be problems with the former being able to tolerate learning from the mentor.
3. Utilize a Company Specific Pairing System
Tammy Allen is a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida and she has seen companies handle peer mentoring situations in a variety of different ways. She advised that some companies used algorithms that have been purchased from vendors to assist in matching people, similar to those used by dating sites like eHarmony. Some companies have used personality questionnaires that the employees needed to complete. Other companies have simply pulled names out of a hat and paired people that way. However, Ms. Allen suggests that you will have the most successful program if you pair people together by allowing them to have some of their own input regarding the pairing. In the end, you want the program to work, so you should match people together who want to be paired together. As Dr. Liz Selzer from The Mentoring Group suggests, “If people get along, they’ll stay in the pair longer.” In the end, you need to utilize the system that works best for you, your employees and the productivity of the company.
It may be difficult at first to pair people together and have instant results, however, with persistence and the cooperation of your employees, the productivity results of your company will amaze you.
Have you implemented an employee mentoring program in your company? Have you had any successes that you’d like to share? Share it in the comments section below.