Now that you have designed a mentoring program and are ready to launch, you might want get your workforce excited about your program and ultimately increase enrollment. This is where marketing your program will help. Think of marketing as a four-step process: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. Helping your prospective mentors and mentees progress through these 4 steps will result in enrollment. Below are some specific tactics that you can use to market your mentoring program:
Announce program from top down
When introducing the program to the workforce, start with an announcement from senior management. It is important to show that the guys at the top support this program and feel it worthy enough to present to the workforce. However, it is just as important to let the announcement trickle down through the ranks until functional managers are informing their teams about the program and it’s benefits.
Hold a couple short information sessions
In a large organization, this will probably need to be done online as a webinar. If you do not have this capability, plan a few local information sessions scheduled to fit conveniently into employees’ schedules. An information session gives people an opportunity to show interest without fully committing to something. If possible, bring a past participant or a cheerleader (other than the program rep) to the meeting. While you outline logistics, they can create a buzz about the payback of the mentoring program.
Use testimonials and success stories to communicate benefits
Success stories can be your greatest assets, in creating a desire among your prospective participants, to join your program. Once you get in touch with past participants and collect the stories, you must decide how to deliver them. This could be as minimalistic as including a quote in one of email communications, or as intensive as creating a short video compilation of success stories. Either way, make sure to focus on this step.
Make the application process straightforward
Make the program accessible from places that an employee visits on a daily basis, whether it is an intranet or an LMS, It’s one thing to convince someone to join the program, but if they feel like they have to jump through too many hoops just to get in, they may feel discouraged and will not follow through. To help mitigate the loss of potential enrollees at this point, you need to make them feel welcome and allow them an easy, straightforward way to become a part of your program. A short online form with basic information and an explanation of what they are looking for in the mentoring program is all you need to enroll an employee in the program.
Recommended Reading: for more practical tips and guidance on how to start and run effective Mentoring, Coaching and Social Learning programs, read: http://chronus.com/blog