What is Mentoring Software? | Guider

December 3, 2019
Nicola Cronin

Mentoring software is a technology platform that facilitates the organisation and management of effective mentoring programs, including matching mentors & mentees, scheduling sessions and tracking progress. For organisations looking to successfully scale mentoring, mentoring software will become pretty essential.

Here's all you need to know...

Mentoring is a highly effective personal and career development practice, where somebody supports and guides another person towards their goals, sharing their relevant advice and experience along the way.

Mentoring has a number of benefits, for both the person receiving the mentoring, and the person giving it. So it's no surprise that 71% of Fortune 500 companies have formal mentoring programs.

But the problem is, running mentoring programs in the workplace requires a lot of time and resources, and they're notoriously difficult to track.

Hence why the need for mentoring software was recognised...

What is Mentoring Software?

Mentoring software is a technology platform that facilitates the organisation, management and measurement of effective mentoring programs, including matching mentors & mentees, scheduling sessions and tracking progress. Mentoring software saves Learning & Development, HR, Talent and People teams hours of time and resources, allowing them to effectively scale their mentoring initiatives.

There are many challenges that come with running mentoring programs manually, such as matching bias, managing communication, tracking progress, and measuring success. Mentoring software takes away those challenges. It suggests smart mentor matches based on data, allows mentors and mentees to communicate via the platform, schedule their sessions, and track goals and other KPIs to help program managers measure success and prove ROI.

Mentoring software also enables virtual mentoring in organisations, which is particularly important as remote working is here to stay in many organisations.

Every industry can benefit from mentoring, which is why corporate mentoring software is so popular. With more and more emphasis on businesses investing in their people, mentoring is something that’s come to be expected, particularly in large organisations.

If your company is not yet running a mentoring program, find out why they should be.

How Does Mentoring Software Work?

There are different types of mentoring software serving different purposes. For example, some will have a marketplace of external mentors, while others focus on the talented people already in your organisation.

However, most mentoring software will be able to:

  • Manage the sign up process
  • Match mentors and mentees
  • Enable communication
  • Book mentoring sessions
  • Measure progress
  • Report impact and success

A further benefit of working with a mentoring platform is having an informed team to support you with strategy, program promotion, and feedback.

Naturally, we'll be taking Guider as an example for this article, so here’s a step by step guide to how mentoring software works:

1. Employees sign up from a custom landing page

To speed up the recruitment of mentors and mentees, all they need to do it follow a link to Guider from a custom web page built for your organisation. This page can be used as the main source of information for people to sign up, including benefits, quotes from colleagues, and the vision for the program.

From here they can easily become a mentor or a mentee with the click of a button.

2. Users make a profile:

From the Guider mentoring platform, it takes less than 10 minutes to create a profile and find a mentor.

Mentors make their profiles first, submitting their experience, skills, interests, and areas they believe they could support somebody with.

Then the mentees sign up, highlighting areas they want to work on, and any goals they want to achieve.

It's that simple!

💡 We have tips on how the program organisers can encourage sign ups to the mentoring scheme in our guide: How To Recruit Mentors & Mentees.

3. Mentor matching:

Collecting data from both mentors and mentees around skills, interests, strengths, weaknesses, experience and goals allows the mentoring software to make highly accurate matches.

This process, that can take L&D or HR teams weeks of planning and spreadsheets when done manually, can be done in a matter of minutes with a mentoring software.

Ivy Wong of Legal Geek told us how she used to manage her mentoring program cohorts before Guider: 

In the first three cohorts I did all the mentor mentee matches myself. I set up a Google form for people to sign up to the program, and based on their geographic location, professional interests and role, I matched mentors and mentees using post-it notes on my kitchen table. It took many many hours, and was a really labor-intensive process.

Hear more from Ivy's experience in this short clip: 

As soon as the mentees finish making their profiles on Guider, they will receive a short list of suggestions for mentors in the organisation who are most suited to their personal development areas.

4. Mentee selects a mentor:

Importantly, Guider does not automatically assign the mentees a mentor, but gives them top suggestions and allows them to choose. They can browse their profiles, skills and experience, and reach out to the one they would most like to mentor them.

In order for mentoring to be effective, the mentees need to be passionate about their personal development, and so rather than pairing them with a mentor, it is better to give them a choice. This way, they will be more invested in the relationship and the program will see more success.

The mentee can then send a quick email straight from the platform requesting their mentorship, and book in an intro session.

5. Intro session:

The mentor will see the mentee's request in their dashboard, and can accept the invite to the intro session.

An intro session – or chemistry call – is the important first call or meeting that deciphers whether or not the mentoring relationship is relevant and beneficial. Ultimately, mentoring is about human connection, and so rather than diving straight into mentoring, it's necessary for the mentor and mentee to meet and get to know each other to see if they get along well enough to proceed in a mentoring relationship.

This intro session can be scheduled and carried out over one of the integrated comms tools, such as MS Teams.

💡 For mentors: check out our guide to running a successful intro session with your mentee.

6. Plan future sessions:

All being well, the mentoring relationship will formally begin! The mentor and mentee will agree on how often they will meet, as well as set their expectations and goals for the relationship.

They can manage their entire mentoring relationship via the mentoring software, including sharing calendar availability, booking future sessions, setting goals and reviewing progress.

This keeps everything in one place and allows the program manager to see quantitative data (typically near impossible to access) such as how many sessions have been had, how many goals have been set and completed, and much more.

7. Measure Success

Program managers can access an analytics dashboard, tracking insightful data such as:

  • how many matches have happened
  • how many sessions have taken place
  • how many goals have been set
  • how many goals have been completed
  • skills mentees are requesting
  • skills mentors are offering

You are also able to filter by department, job roles, locations and more, and so begin to identify skills gaps and improvement areas within your organisation.

Without mentoring software tracking this data, mentoring programs can be almost impossible to measure! For a more in-depth guide to measuring the success of mentoring programs, read this.

Keen to try Guider out yourself? We'd love to hear how we could help. Book a demo today!

Read more...

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Top Mentoring Challenges and How to Overcome Them
8/12/2021
Mentoring programs don't come without their challenges. Whether you're a program lead, a mentor, or a mentee, here are some ways to overcome the top mentoring challenges.
How to Maintain Mentoring Momentum
8/2/2021
One of the top reasons mentoring programmes fail is they run out of momentum. This guide features tips for organisations and participants to make sure mentoring doesn't run out of steam.
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