Had a very interesting meeting last week with Norsk Gründerforum (www.norskgrunderforum.no).
We discussed how we could do a mentor program for entrepreneurs. We know the interest are there so we just have to find the right price, trainings, meetings and mentors etc.
We will start to put out some questionaire about this to over 5 000 entrepreneurs in Norway.
More of this will come.
I have been to UIS a couple of time now, the first time to interview the students and the second time to train both the mentee and the mentors.
I will later talk some more about how I interview them and also put out some pictures.
Coming home from two days of meetings / conference in Sweden. Very nice people and good topics.
Tomorrow I’m going to Stavanger for mentee interwiev. 15 mentee for the mentor program at the university in Stavanger. I’m looking sooo forward to meet them and listening to their great plans for the future.
— Post From My iPhone
Answer: Have a face-to-face meeting when you start the relationship
Distance relationships can be very productive. Breaking the ice and establishing rapport is so much easier, face-to-face.
Begin with a function that brings participants together. The investment outweighs the cost of a failed relationship.
If you cannot get together use videocalls (such as Skype), which is better than email or an ordinary phonecall.
Extra work is necessary to ensure the viability of the long-distance relationship. Extra contact and newsletters help. You may wish to provide participants with regular Mentoring Works Articles? You will find a lot of them here at this blog.
A group of mentors were at the end of their twelve month mentoring program. It is a moving experience to hear them share their outcomes.
It was clear that mentors as well as those mentored had gained significantly from the process. They increased skills and confidence, had courage to apply for positions, and were able to think "outside the square".
All were very positive about themselves, their colleagues and their organisation – despite the fact that a staff freeze is impacting on career opportunities right now.
You may or may not have to put a dollar value on your mentoring strategy but you will need to identify some success indicators. Here are a few thought starters.
- Staff retention
- Return to work after maternity leave or injury
- Representation of target group in grade, roles, positions, locations
- Percentage of applications for internal jobs or promotions
- Number in the target group who won a position or promotion
- Number who participate in training, education or development opportunities
- Number of external (target group) applicants for jobs
- Benchmark comparison, industry average, other organisations
Some of these are easy to put a dollar value. For example, mentoring programs specifically designed to attract and retain graduates. Recruiting graduates is expensive and there is no ROI if you lose your new person within two years. Gen Y has been notoriously career-oriented and mobile. Some organisations, such as government agencies cannot pay big dollars to get or keep graduates, so mentoring is a cost-effective strategy attractive to the career development focus of this group.
Likewise, many organisations are not ready for the exodus of experience when baby-boomers retire. Being mentors can help keep them, engage them and increase their productivity while facilitating knowledge transfer.
You can probably find some figures within your organisation or industry regarding the replacement cost of staff. Obviously it varies depending on the role. But a ballpark estimate of around 2-3 times annual salary per person could be a starting point. You can’t ignore this kind of money. That’s why one of our major banks was a trailblazer twenty years ago, with mentoring as part of a suit of programs for women on maternity leave. They realised that the cost of losing their talent and experience, long-term, was unacceptable and avoidable.
One way to evaluating ROI is to look at the cost of not having mentoring. Last year one of my clients launched a career-focused mentoring program. However, the GFC meant that the program coincided with a job freeze! Yet because of the mentoring, participants spent twelve months enthusiastic about their employer and confident about their future instead of succumbing to disenchantment. That’s how mentoring works!
Look here, this is big. The maybe worlds most powerful women, is talking about mentoring. This is an article from "The Washington Post".
Emotional’ Michelle Obama announces White House mentoring program for girls
By Robin Givhan
In her own version of "Pay It Forward," first lady Michelle Obama, who has often talked about the influence of role models in her life, announced a year-long mentoring program at the White House for area high school girls.
Monday afternoon, thirteen young women gathered around a polished wood table, austerely set with water glasses and blue folders, in the State Dining room for a get to know you conversation with the senior women from the White House staff who will serve as their mentors. That list includes a who’s who of fancy titles and impressive resumes — among them, senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, domestic policy advisor Melody Barnes, Obama’s chief of staff Susan Sher and social secretary Desiree Rogers.
To read more:
In the time-poor environment that we have created, mentorees are very concerned about wasting their mentor’s time. Mentorees are often hesitant to contact their mentor or schedule meetings when they have no burning issue to discuss. This is a mistake.
You might feel there’s no point meeting at times when you have no problems. When you are working toward longer-term goals and are progressing but have no current actions or outcomes to discuss, a meeting may seem unnecessary. And it’s easy to skip meeting if you are very busy with day-to-day activities and haven’t focused on your personal development since the last mentoring conversation.
It is good to have an agenda for mentoring conversations, even if it’s just a few bullet points, because it shows respect for the mentor’s time, it helps maintain focus and provides both parties with a sense of accomplishment and completion. However, a lack of an agenda should not stop a mentoring conversation. Mentors may need to take the lead to reassure their partner of their commitment because mentoring conversations when it seems "there’s nothing to talk about" may be vital.
Mentoring conversations are not just about solving problems or making decisions. They are about the availability of a person, with whom to have a conversation that provokes creative and critical thinking. A key benefit of mentoring is the relationship. However, the relationship needs to be established and well maintained if problems or important decisions are to be confidently shared when they do arise.
Conversations about what is going well are extremely useful too. Celebrating success is not simply a feel-good exercise. The purpose of mentoring is to create and capture insight, then use it. Reviewing positive outcomes and satisfaction will reveal and reinforce the constructive behaviours that led to success and clarify personal values and priorities. By listening and questioning a mentor can facilitate much greater awareness and positive actions that will enhance the mentoree’s life.
People often use mentoring to identify career direction and work towards it. These goals are not usually achieved over night but as a result of specific actions over time. So naturally, there will be pauses between. In a mentoring program over a finite period, the early momentum can come to a halt after initial action steps are implemented. Some mentoring relationships can survive long gaps between contacts but some won’t. People wonder how best to get value in the interim.
It is useful to have a "default agenda" a standard format that produces constructive conversation. This could be as simple as reviewing the week/fortnight/month’s highlights and low points and accomplishments. The mentor may ask a series of questions that prompt reflection and learning, such as: "what’s working well for you, right now?" and "what could be improved?" My mentor asks: "what is your greatest challenge, right now?" A new, short-term goal and actions, or at least awareness and focus, often result.
No matter what qualifications, age or career stage one has achieved, on-going personal development is a must. Even if an individual development plan negotiated with a manager, linked to performance appraisal and formalised, taking personal responsibility for self-directed learning and development is essential. It is easy, to let the demands of day-to-day work and hectic life style get in the way of personal aspirations and our growth as a human being. If we lose sight of what is truly important, if we have no sense of purpose, life can become a meaningless round of chores interspersed with moments of instant gratification.
Mentoring conversations are all about discovering meaning and purpose – for mentors as well as mentorees. The mentor might share his or her own life-lessons and insights that led to personal development. This can be immensely valuable to both parties .
The social support offered by relationships, should not be underestimated in the too-busy life so many of us lead. When you don’t have time, or have nothing to talk about may be exactly the time to have a mentoring conversation! Investing time really communicating another human being, taking time out to pause and reflect or simply stoping to smell the roses (or the coffee) is never a waste of time! That’s how mentoring works.
Mentoring program coordinators need to have ongoing communication with participants to stimulate engagement, motivation and answer questions or concerns. But how do you keep up the contact in a useful and interesting way? Many successful programs send regular Mentoring Works Tips.
Mentoring Tips could be one page, easy to read and practical. They should be designed for mentors and suitable for mentorees and managers. Consistently delivering Mentoring Tips:
- Provides mentors with information, tools and motivation
- Keeps mentorees engaged in the process
- Informs managers of mentoring techniques and benefits
Last week my latest book for the mentee was finished and came from print. I use "print on demand" and www.lulu.com
The book looked very god in the new design, and I have started on translate it to english. I have a good friend in the US who will do it for me. As a lawyer, writer and trainer he knows what to do.
Bur for now the book is in norwegian, just send me an email if you want to order.
The price is Euro 16,25 + shipping.
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