Mentoring programs have been around for centuries, but today’s workplace is more diverse than ever before. To ensure that your in-house mentoring program is successful, you need to use the right tools and strategies. Here are eight tips that will help you launch your own in-house mentoring project.
1. Set Clear Goals – The first step to launching a successful in-house mentoring program is to set clear goals. Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve will help ensure that your program meets its objectives. So, first very clearly establish the purpose of the mentoring program. What do you want to accomplish? What does the wider organisation want to gain from the mentoring program? Do you want the mentors and mentees to gain any specific skills or knowledge?
2. Consult the intended mentors and mentees. This is imperative to the success of the program. Ask both parties what they would like to gain from the mentoring relationship, what they need to feel confident with the mentoring process, and what they don't what to see, feel, think or experience during the mentoring journey. I would also advise that you consult a professional mentoring consultancy, like The Mentoring Lab, experts in how to ensure your program does not fall into common pitfalls and dead ends. Capture what is said and embed the findings into the structure of the mentoring program.
3. Put Together A Program Structure – Now it’s time to create a structure for your program that outlines what the overall mentoring program will look like and how the mentor and mentee relationship will work. This should include things like the duration of the program, expected outcomes, meeting times, frequency, topics of discussion, and any other details relevant to the project's success. Consider using templates or existing structures from similar programs as a starting point if needed.
4.Establish the safetyand boundaries of the program - Let's remember that we are all simply human, able to get things wrong sometimes. Establishing first the program boundaries and then the boundaries of the relationship to ensure the program is able to keep everyone safe. Although safety is point number 4 in this blog, you should always think Safety First!
5. Establish Communication Protocols – Establishing communication protocols is key for any successful mentorship project as it allows all parties (mentor, mentee and the organisation) to stay on track with their goals and objectives throughout the process without any miscommunications or misunderstandings the way. Some ideas for communication protocols include regular check-ins between mentor and mentee; setting expectations around response times; using virtual tools like video calls or instant messaging; setting up feedback loops; etc.
6. Identify Mentors – Once you’ve established your goals, it’s time to identify potential mentors and mentees who can benefit from the program. You may also want to consider external experts, like The Mentoring Lab, who can offer valuable insights into topics related to the program’s objectives. When selecting potential mentors, look for individuals who have demonstrated leadership, strong communication, and an eagerness to share their knowledge with others.
7. Monitor Progress and Celebrate Successes – Last but not least, be sure to regularly monitor progress throughout your in-house mentoring project so that you can make adjustments where needed and celebrate successes when they happen! Track metrics such as engagement levels between mentor/mentee pairs, time spent on tasks assigned by either party, overall satisfaction levels with the program, etc., so that you can get an accurate picture of how things are going overall while still being able to zoom in on individual successes along the way!
A round of applause for mentoring programs
In-house mentorship programs are great ways for organisations of all sizes to foster growth among their employees while also creating meaningful connections within their teams! By setting clear goals from day one; identifying mentors and mentees who fit those goals; putting together a structured plan for your program; establishing communication protocols; monitoring progress regularly; and celebrating successes along the way—you too can launch a successful in-house mentoring project at your organisation! Good luck!
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Coping with the Loss of a Mentee to Street Violence
Losing a mentee to street violence is an incredibly difficult experience, and I wouldn't wish the loss on anybody. I have lost two mentees, 2 family friends and 2 neighbours to street violence. All were under the age of 19.
As mentors, we are responsible for helping young people stay safe and make good choices, but unfortunately, violence is sometimes unavoidable in today’s world. This post will provide guidance on how to cope with the loss of a mentee due to street violence.
Express Your Feelings
It’s important that you take the time to process your emotions when dealing with the loss of a mentee. While it may be tempting to avoid thinking about it or try to push down your feelings, it’s important that you take the time to acknowledge your pain and express your feelings in healthy ways. Writing in a journal or talking to family members or friends can help you work through any difficult emotions that come up during this difficult time. Additionally, if you need extra support, consider reaching out for professional help from a therapist or counsellor.
Mentoring is a rewarding journey, but it can be challenging. Seeking counselling to help you navigate your mentoring practice is an excellent way to gain support and insight into yourself and others. Counselling sessions can provide the tools and resources to develop healthier relationships with those in your mentoring program. Additionally, many counsellors also offer training on topics such as communication, problem-solving, self-care, stress management, and goal setting. If you feel that your mentorship practice could benefit from professional guidance, consider seeking out a qualified counsellor or treatment provider today.
Honour Your Mentee’s Memory
One way to cope with the death of a mentee is by honouring their memory in some way. Whether it’s organising an event in their honour or writing a tribute piece, there are many ways that you can remember and pay homage to them. It will also be helpful for other loved ones who are grieving as well. You could even start a scholarship fund in their name at their school or college so they can continue to have an influence on other students’ lives even after they have passed away.
Stay Connected With Other Mentors
Losing a mentee can be especially difficult for mentors because we often become deeply connected and invested in our mentees' lives and futures. That connection doesn't just disappear once they pass away—it's important that we find ways to process our grief and stay connected with other mentors who are also dealing with similar losses. Consider joining the NYA or The Mentoring Lab, or other mentor communities, where mentors can share stories about their mentees and support each other during this difficult time.
Gone by not forgotten
Losing someone close is never easy, but it's especially hard when it's someone you've been teaching and guiding for some time—like when losing a mentee due to street violence happens. It's okay if things don't seem okay right away; healing takes time, sometimes years, with everyone responding differently after experiencing such tragedy. It's important that as mentors we take care of ourselves so we can best serve those around us—including our fallen mentees whose memories live on forever in our hearts and minds.
If you suspect your mentee is being groomed, escalate your concerns to your Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately. Listen to what they say about how to approach the situation, you could even contact St. Giles Trust, experts in supporting young people engaged in gangs. Offer support and don't make assumptions or judgments. It's important to stay open-minded if your mentee reveals anything concerning.
If they share details of who they are speaking to online or in person, report this information to your Designated Safeguarding Lead, who would have been trained to call the police. Don't fear and Don't delay; sharing your concerns or conversations is your professional duty and can protect not only your mentee but potentially other children too. Make sure your mentee knows it’s ok to come to talk about their experiences with you - it’s essential that they have a trustworthy support system in place during difficult times; this is also when they are most at risk.
Keep an open dialogue with your child and set boundaries that allow them to reach out if they feel uncomfortable. Communicate the message that no one has the right to ask them to keep secrets and that it's ok to reach out if they have concerns. Reassure them that despite circumstances you are always there as their mentor to talk about any issue.
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Qualifying as a Youth Mentor - Make It Your Priority!
With the growing need of all young people, it's imperative that we upskill, treating youth mentoring as a practice, used by professionals, and not merely a soft skill that we all possess and can easily do.
Below are two reasons why you should get qualified as a youth mentor.
1. The Power of Guidance
Youth mentoring involves providing guidance and advice to younger generations. As a youth mentor, you will help guide them through difficult times and provide them with the support they need to make informed decisions. Mentors are role models and provide not only emotional support but also practical assistance such as helping with school work or job applications. And while it may seem daunting, it’s important to remember that this is all done with the best of intentions - to help young people grow into responsible adults who can successfully navigate the world around them. This role shouldn't rely on a guessing game, or be offered on a whim. Learning 'how to deliver guidance safely, can save lives, especially when working with vulnerable and marginalised youth.
2. The Benefits of building integral relationships
In addition to being an incredible opportunity to give back to your community, there are many personal benefits associated with being a youth mentor. For starters, it’s an amazing way to develop meaningful relationships with those you’re mentoring and gain invaluable insights into different perspectives and lifestyles. Additionally, mentoring can also increase your understanding of yourself and the world around you - something that no amount of money can buy. Furthermore, being a youth mentor has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels and improve overall wellbeing - so it really is worth taking the time out for! In order to build integral relationships, we must remember to maintain professional boundaries, reflecting on our own past trauma and experiences. Putting ourselves as youth mentors last is harder than it seems, and maintaining critical boundaries, supporting mentee through mental health difficulties even more so.
Meeting the increasing need of young people
Given the importance of this role, there are certain qualifications that must be met before someone can become a youth mentor. Depending on where you live, these requirements may differ slightly; however, generally speaking you must have completed high school or equivalent education, have experience working with children or young adults in some capacity (e.g., coaching sports teams or volunteering), pass background checks/drug tests (if applicable), maintain an acceptable level of professionalism at all times, be patient and tolerant when dealing with challenging situations etc. On top of this there may also be additional training courses required which certify mentors in areas such as conflict resolution or crisis management – depending on the organization/location where you plan on working as a mentor.
Youth mentoring training shouldn't be a tick-box exercise!
Becoming a youth mentor is an incredibly rewarding experience if done properly – so make sure that qualifying as one is your priority! There are numerous benefits associated with this role – from developing meaningful relationships to gaining valuable insights into different perspectives/lifestyles – but most importantly it allows us as mentors to give back by helping our younger generations become successful adults who are capable of making informed decisions in life! So what are you waiting for? Start exploring your options today!
Get qualified. Contact us today
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Meet Our Corporate Volunteers: Diego
In 2022, Diego approached us wanting to do something more fulfilling with his free time.
He first supported our Saturday Game Time sessions, and once settled into The Mentoring Lab 'way' he then supported a 17 year old called Tade. For 3 months, once a week for a couple of hours on a Saturday, Diego supported Tade through career and progression mentoring.
Mentoring Black Youth: A Guide for Those Who Want to Help
With the current state of racial injustice in our country, it’s more important now than ever to support and mentor black youth. But how can those outside the black community best provide guidance and mentorship? Here is a guide for adults who want to help young people of colour grow, learn, and succeed.
The most important step to mentoring black youth is listening. Listening allows us to understand the barriers they face and what they need from us as mentors. Listening also helps us become better allies by educating ourselves on their experiences. When talking with a young person of colour, be sure to ask questions that demonstrate your interest in learning about their perspective on things like racism or inequality. It’s also important that you allow them enough space to speak without interruption - this will show them that their voice matters and encourages an open dialogue.
Step 2:Provide Resources
Mentors can provide resources such as books, websites, or organizations that can help young people of colour get ahead. This could include resources such as scholarships specifically designed for black students or other initiatives created by non-profits focused on improving access to education in the black community. Additionally, mentors should be aware of any local events or programs specifically designed for black youth so they can attend together.
Step 3:Be Patient
Mentoring black youth requires patience because there may be times when they don’t want to talk about difficult topics such as racism or oppression; they may just need time and space away from it all. That being said, it’s still important not to let these topics go unaddressed - instead allow the conversation to come up organically when possible and remind them that you are there if they ever need someone to talk with about these issues or any other ideas or struggles they may have.
Conclusion: Mentoring black youth isn't always easy but it is incredibly rewarding! With some patience and understanding, adults can provide a much needed source of guidance and support for young people of colour in our society today. Through listening, providing resources, and being patient we can help create a brighter future for everyone - regardless of race! By taking these steps we can make sure every young person has a chance at success no matter where they come from or what challenges life throws their way!
Step 4:Don't try to be a hero
Be yourself, and ensure your way of helping others does not operate from a God or Hero complex. Allow the young person to feel comfortable leading the mentoring discussions, pace and goals set. Yes, you are a mentor, there to help, guide and encourage, but you are not there to supervise, dictate or manage. Leave that for work. If a young person see's that you are consistently creating a space 'for them' not for you to always talk and share your experiences over their own, they will see you as a trusted adult, feel safe being vulnerable and respect the time you give to help them.
If you're looking for ways to further support consider donating directly through our Local Giving fundraising platform.
As a leader, you understand the importance of creating a culture that encourages diversity and inclusion. But how do you ensure everyone has access to the same opportunities for growth and development? One way is the mentorship of young people furthest away from advantage and from Global Majority backgrounds.
Simply put, mentoring is a powerful tool for ensuring everyone has equitable access to professional growth. Here’s why mentoring is critical for supporting young people in navigating structural barriers.
Mentoring Can Help Identify Structural Barriers
One of the most difficult aspects of navigating structural barriers is identifying them. This is where mentorship can be especially helpful, as it allows young people to gain insight into their own experiences and those of others. Through conversation, mentors can help mentees identify patterns in their careers shaped by unconscious bias or systemic discrimination and advise on safe and progressive strategies for overcoming those barriers. For example, if a young person is being passed over for promotions due to their gender or race, a mentor may be able to guide how they can advocate more effectively or address any issues around the familiar lack of confidence, imposter syndrome or the more complicated issue of systemic racism.
Mentoring Can Foster Career Growth in Unconventional Ways
Another way mentoring can help navigate structural barriers is by providing career guidance outside of traditional paths. Too often, certain roles are closed off to individuals based on ethnicity, religious beliefs or cultural practices, preventing them from accessing job opportunities that others take for granted. Mentors can offer support by providing advice on alternative pathways that will allow young people to explore new areas and develop new skill sets outside of traditional routes. They can also serve as advocates in situations where a young person may feel like they’re facing unfair treatment because of their background or identity—a strong mentor/mentee relationship can act as a buffer against this kind of discrimination.
Mentoring Helps Build Networks & Connections
Finally, having a mentor opens up access to valuable networks and connections which are often inaccessible due to structural barriers such as race or class. By leveraging these networks and connections, young people can better expand their career options and find potential mentors who specialize in particular fields that interest them—such as technology, finance, law, etc.—which gives them more opportunities for advancement than going it alone would provide them with. Additionally, having a mentor who understands young people's challenges when trying to break through structural barriers gives young mentees the confidence they need to succeed despite these obstacles.
Mentoring is a great resource for helping young people navigate structural barriers in their professional lives—but organisations must encourage this practice so everyone has equal access to opportunity regardless of background or identity. With proper guidance from experienced professionals who understand the unique concerns faced by young people attempting to overcome these types of obstacles, anyone can achieve success despite them! Creating an inclusive environment starts with fostering relationships between mentors and mentees; so don’t wait—start connecting today!
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Join our amazing team of volunteer corporate mentors today, call on 02081588500 or complete this register of interest form to kickstart your onboarding process.
Learn more about Corporate Volunteer, Diego's journey with The Mentoring Lab
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Youth Mentoring Training
Fourth coming youth mentoring training dates are
Fri 10th Feb 2023: Introduction to Youth Mentoring | 10 - 2pm | Online
Wed 15th - Fri 17th Feb 2023: Level 3 Certificate in Youth Mentoring | 9-5pm | Online
For more information, explore our full range of training dates here
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Office Number: 02081588500
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2023 Youth Mentoring CPD Training Dates Announced
Following a successful first year in delivering youth mentoring CPD training to youth practitioners across the UK, we are happy to announce our 2023 training dates.
Focused on delivering training and qualifications to support the development of mentoring practice across the youth, education, social care and voluntary sector our scheduled trainer-led youth mentoring CPD training and qualifications in: