MentorCity program promotes learning
Earlier this year, we were looking to offer our members a new professional development opportunity and found the ideal solution – The MentorCity program.
“All of our members are professionals with valuable experiences and expertise they can share,” says Melissa Korn, the Institute for Performance and Learning’s specialist, in programs & volunteers. “By introducing a mentoring program, we could facilitate connections between our network of members and help them enhance their skills and boost their career developments.”
MentorCity asked 150 people to participate in the six-month pilot program. Each person used the platform to create profiles, find a match and manage their mentoring relationship.
“After the initial set-up, the program allowed us to be completely hands off,” Korn says. “I’ve worked on mentoring programs at other organizations in the past and they can be labour intensive. This platform is such an amazing tool – it did all of the work of connecting mentors and mentees and maintaining the flow of the relationships.”
Betty Jo McCabe, an independent consultant in Ontario, registered as mentee. In search of guidance and leadership on a specific issue, MentorCity matched her with a mentor in Alberta and the pair scheduled monthly phone calls.
“My mentor had great advice and feedback; I got way more out of the mentoring relationship than I ever thought I would,” McCabe says. “I’ve had mentors in the past, but those experiences were people simply offering advice; this was a structured approach that really promoted learning.”
Mentoring isn’t simply about a mentor nurturing talent and offering guidance to a mentee, it’s also about creating networking and growth opportunities for the mentor.
“I expected mentoring would mean I was matched with someone more junior; someone who was looking for learning opportunities. Instead, what I got was a seasoned professional looking for expertise based on my experience,” says Julie Sullivan, who took on the role of a mentor. “It was a great learning experience. The relationship turned out to be more of a partnership than a mentorship.”
Once the pilot program ended, the outstanding feedback we received has encouraged us to run the program again in the future.
“There are definitely benefits to being in either role and many participants – both mentors and mentees – have told us that their mentoring relationship helped them tremendously in their professional growth,” says Korn.
MentorCity offers comprehensive, easy-to-use and cost-effective online mentoring software for companies, schools and associations. The ROI is Priceless™.