An article in the Wall Street Journal about mentoring programs caught my eye. The article, written by Sue Shellenbarger, appeared in the Q&A section “Work & Family Mailbox” where a reader asked how to find companies that invested in mentoring programs. Ms. Shellenberger offered some sources of companies but that was less interesting to me than other information she shared.
She stated that, according to a 2018 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, just 22% of employers offer mentoring programs, up from 18% in 2014. However, she hedges by saying that the postings about mentoring program on job boards like Monster are often incorrect. In addition, she states that many mentoring programs are informal.
As readers of this blog know, users of our Sofia Platform say that it gives them the experience of having a great personal mentor, any time, any place, no matter how many people need to be mentored.
- When we talk about the Sofia Platform, we hear several similar comments along the lines of:
“That sounds great – we know that having a great personal mentor is the best way to onboard people, improve performance and drive a change through the organization” – so there is wide-spread agreement that having a great mentor is invaluable.
- But…they also say – most “mentors” aren’t great and aren’t really mentors at all – followed by “What do you mean by “great mentor?”
We ask them the ways in which mentors aren’t so great and again we get a consistent response:
- They rarely take the time to do much mentoring because mentoring isn’t their “real” job.
- They don’t know what they know so the content they produce is unclear and has significant gaps.
- They aren’t good at communicating the content they know.
When we talk about Sofia giving users the experience of having a great mentor, it has these characteristics:
- Sofia is there for people as much as they want – any time, any place.
- Because of the structured discovery process, the expert content is optimized and well-articulated.
- Because of the neuroscience-based, self-directed learning, particularly if there is also at least a little human support for the learning (as little as one hour every 2 weeks), understanding and application of the expert content is fast and efficient.
The next question we get is – “how could technology provide this most human of experiences?”
- We studied how great human mentors function and realized that they follow a very consistent pattern, which we were able to reverse engineer.
- We then took that pattern and embedded it in online prompts.
The reality is that it is easier to show you how to use technology to give everyone a great personal mentor. The benefit is that everyone with a personal mentor learns to think and act like your highest performers do. Think of the value of this type of platform for sales, service, marketing, engineering – basically every function in your organization.
What would it mean to your organization if everyone in your organization has a great mentor at any time, in any place, no matter how many people you have and all at very low cost?