Starting a mentorship program can be as easy as pairing a few people with someone who has experience or expertise to share. But, if you want to start a program that will last, take some time to plan out your program and assess what you need. This assessment will work generally with any mentorship program but will focus on programs that help newcomers to Canada adjust to their work and life in Alberta.
Some key factors that can help you create a sustainable mentorship program include:
- Make a Plan: Take time to plan your program and link it to your organizational values and culture. It should reflect your organization and community.
- Have Ambassadors: You need people to support the program in the community, in your organization, and with potential participants.
- Set Expectations: All program administrators, partners, and participants need to know what they are responsible for, the process, and the time and resources that are required. When people know what is expected, they are more likely to stay.
- Keep Evolving: A program won't work well if you set it up and leave it. It will need to be managed. Try new things and keep making it better.
- Measure Often: Evaluation does not need to be complicated, but decide what is important to your program and choose measures to make sure that you are meeting your goals.
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These three books can be useful in-depth guides for planning a mentorship program:
- Designing Workplace Mentoring Programs: An Evidence-Based Approach by Tammy D. Allen, Lisa M. Finkelstein, and Mark L. Poteet
- Mentoring Programs that Work by Jenn Labine
- Bridging Differences for Better Mentoring by Lisa Z. Fain and Lois J. Zachary