Member Mentorship Programs, A Step Toward Success
Every member has a story. Sharing them is key to chapter success. One of the most effectual methods for members to share stories is through mentoring, which involves one-on-one engagement between members.
Mentoring is an excellent way to encourage new member participation and relate to the industry. The basic format involves a mentor serving as a guide to a new member or an entry level industry professional. The mentorship process should not be taken lightly, for it is not a one-way street, rather the mentor shares their story with the mentee AND vice versa. Through its nature as a reciprocal format, both parties enhance their network and networking skills. Specifically, mentoring relationships offer 4 benefits to mentees:
1. Build self-esteem
2. Enrich skills
3. Create partnerships
4. Expand networks
If you don’t already have a mentoring program set up within your chapter, there are three key ways to go about it:
1. Engagement with long term members.
Long term chapter members volunteer to walk new members through the membership process. They work to encourage participation in activities and trainings. And hopefully, mentees will one day volunteer to serve as mentor themselves. The relationship varies from mentor to mentor and mentee to mentee and can involve anything from a personal connection to a highly professional one. Depending on how your chapter sets up its program, the engagement can be tied closely to chapter activities or go beyond into personal time.
2. Engagement with industry experts.
Invite industry experts into your chapter to serve as mentors. This can be a short term partnership or a long term one. Either way, the industry expert will advise their mentee on the industry expectations, offer opportunities to build connections, and work one-on-one to help members on the path to build their career. Industry experts may or may not be current members of your chapter, but should be excited and willing to work with your members.
3. A combination of engagement with industry experts and long term members.
Have both types of mentors available to members that want a mentorship relationship. This style may take more effort to develop and maintain, but offers a great volunteer opportunity to someone to fulfill said duties.
Whichever type of mentorship program is best for the chapter, communicate with membership and ask them what will benefit them most. Gage their interest to determine participation on a continual basis. Then, design and implement a plan of action to follow.
Once established, chapter mentorship programs create relationships that can last the life of a career – and will increase chapter membership thanks to an increase in positive engagement.
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