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.
But the problem is, running mentoring programs in the workplace requires a lot of management, and they're notoriously difficult to track.
Hence why mentoring software came about...
What is Mentoring Software?
Mentoring software is a technology platform that facilitates the organisation, management and measurement of effective mentoring programs – saving HR, Learning & Development and Talent teams a lot of time and adding a lot of value.
There are many challenges that come with running a mentoring program manually, such as matching bias, managing communication, and tracking progress and success.
Mentoring software takes away those challenges. It suggests smart matches based on data, allows mentors and mentees to communicate via the platform, and tracks 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 becomes more commonplace.
Every industry can benefit from mentoring programs, 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. Some utilise 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
Naturally we'll be taking Guider as an example, so here’s a step by step guide to how mentoring software works:
1. Users make a profile:
All the program manager needs to do is send out a link to the participants they have identified to take part in their mentoring programme. Mentors and mentees can then sign up and make a profile in a matter of minutes.
The 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 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 our guide: How To Start A Mentoring Program.
2. AI-powered 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.
Guider's AI-powered matching is supported by machine learning algorithms of what makes a good mentoring relationship. In other words, the matching gets more accurate the more mentoring that takes place!
This process, that can take HR and L&D teams weeks of planning and spreadsheets when done manually, can be done in a matter of minutes with a mentoring software.
As soon as the mentees finish making their profiles, they will receive suggestions for mentors in the organisation who are most suited to their personal development areas.
3. 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 programme will see more success.
The mentee can then send a quick email straight from the platform requesting their mentorship.
4. Mentor accepts request:
If the mentor agrees that they have the skills and knowledge to help this mentee with their goals, they will accept their request on Guider and proceed to arrange an intro session.
5. 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 Guider’s integrated video chat, in person, or using another system we integrate with, 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 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. Conclude relationship:
Most mentoring programs run for a set amount of time, typically 6-12 months, in order to achieve specific goals.
The mentee can conclude the relationship within the platform, where both parties are invited to submit feedback on their mentoring experience.
This insight allows both the program manager, and the mentoring software, to get smarter and know what does and doesn’t work when it comes to mentoring!
8. Measure Success
Program managers can access an analytics dashboard, tracking insightful data such as:
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 out Guider for yourself? Schedule a demo!
Guider is revolutionising the way organisations support and develop their people with AI powered mentoring.