16 Oct The Lost Generation: Incorporating Mentors who Missed Onboarding
So you’ve finally got a new onboarding program on its feet, complete with mentorship, and you’re proud of it? Congratulations! Your executive level team members feel good about becoming mentors and shepherding the newbies? ¡Felicidades! Your entry level team have become sponges, ready to learn and bat for your team? Mazel Tov!
Sounds like you’re pretty on top of your game. But wait. Is that, could it be, the faint crying of a middle child? The haunting gaze of a lost generation caught between mentor and mentee? Why should they be left out just because they started at your office before you launched your incredible onboarding program?
Now that you’ve got things running, your next step is to set them up for continued success as well. Losing middle management can hurt a company in a particularly serious way. These are the folks whose eyes may be starting to wander. They are also the teammates who often carry a heavy workload.
Here are a few tips for incorporating your folks who did not receive the initial foundational program that you’ve developed
Use media. Make videos or presentations to show the expectations of the mentorship program. These will be handy in the future to have at the ready and to demonstrate the specifics of your mentorship program to anyone who may be questioning its value.
Empower unconventional mentors. In past eMentorConnect blogs, we’ve talked reverse mentoring. Your forgotten intermediate team members are perfect candidates for this approach. Let new mentees who have just gone through the program share what they’ve learned as mentors to those who didn’t get to experience the new onboarding process. In order to avoid making those in middle management feel like they’re being replaced, encourage them to give feedback and identify components of the onboarding mission that could be improved.
Allow them to shine. Ask these folks who missed the initial program to participate as mentors in specific skill-set partnerships. You should also ask them to participate as mentors and share their expertise on a particular topic or a skill set they developed from a specific project. On the flip side, they can also become mentees to pursue new knowledge or skills that they may have not had the opportunity to improve.
By using these techniques to get a buy-in from your mid-level team, you’ll get the whole group on board with mentorship and ensure future executive level mentors in those that move up from that group. Plus, some of your most valuable colleagues will feel more involved, engaged, and appreciated.