How to Rope in Mentees in the New Year


New Year 2013A new year always means new beginnings for all of us. It’s that time of year when we analyze our lives and make New Year’s resolutions – to improve our personal and professional lives.

But as we all know it is not easy – resolutions are easier made than kept. The truth is, we really do need the support of those around us, to work on our resolutions. The process of turning a new leaf is all the more achievable when we have someone to support us and cheer us every step of the way – and that is exactly what a mentoring program does!

So don’t you think the New Year would be an ideal time to market your mentoring program and rope in mentees?

In last week’s post, Tips to Market your Mentoring Program, we pointed out how helping mentors and mentees experience the 4 stages of ‘Awareness’, ‘Interest’, ‘Desire’ and ‘Action’; would ultimately lead to enrollment. This week’s post elaborates on the “Desire” stage. Here is how you can use the New Year to create within mentees the desire to sign up for your mentoring program.

Step 1

Be a part of the resolution making process

Around the first week of January, send out an online survey to your prospective mentees. Nothing too elaborate. Just a few “multiple choice questions” like:

  • Choose the ways in which you’d like to improve your career, in the New Year.
  • Choose how the company can support your endeavors to progress your career.

Make sure the multiple-choice answers focus on the variety of ways that your mentoring program helps mentees achieve career objectives. However ensure that one of the choices is a blank field named “Other”. This will give your prospective mentees a chance to point out other new ways in which your mentoring program can assist them.

Step 2

Show your support

After analyzing the results of the online survey, you will get a general idea of what your prospective mentees are looking for. Follow up the survey with a motivating message about how your mentoring program can make their New Year’s resolutions a reality. Explain how a mentor can be their personal guide and cheerleader at work. Also convey that the mentoring community, as a whole could be their very own professional support system.

Step 3

Create a “that could be me” feeling

Just as we explained in our post, Tips to Market your New Mentoring Program, share success stories of past participants who achieved their goals with support from your mentoring program. Successful past participants have the power to encourage prospective mentees to visualize themselves in the same triumphant position.

You will find that many of your prospective mentees have the ‘Desire’ to enroll in your mentoring program, after Step 2 and Step 3. So give them an opportunity to take ‘Action’ – give them access to the ‘Mentoring Program Application form’.

Though the above method is particularly successful in January, it can be used during other times of the year too. It will show prospective mentees that the company values their requests and is committed to employees’ career development.

Similarly, the New Year is also a time when prospective mentors take stock of their lives. In other words, it’s a good time to coax them to “give back” by being a mentor.

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