When Group Loops are useful and how to best manage them
Group Loops are an often overlooked feature on Mentorloop. Here’s a guide on when they’re useful, why you would use them, and how to best manage them.
Use Case #1: Managing an uneven number of mentors to mentees
Put some unmatched mentees or mentors who maybe have a few things in common in a Group Loop. This gives them an opportunity to connect with others in the program and maybe even open up opportunities for peer mentoring. This is a good way to keep participants you have yet to match engaged in the program while you work on getting them paired up.
Use Case #2: Managing a small group with specific needs or similarities
You can also use Group Loops to manage specific groups within your program. There are a few ways in which this need might surface for your program. Here are a couple of examples:
- Cross-departmental mentoring programs: If your program’s goal is to connect people across working groups but still want to make sure they are also creating connections with those in their field, it might be a good idea to put people in similar teams in a Group Loop in addition to their 1:1 Loops with their mentoring partners. This can be a good way for them to share what they learn from other teams too, creating an informal mentoring circle, in a way.
- DEI support: Connecting minorities in your cohort (e.g. cultural minorities, recent immigrants, LGBTQIA+ community, etc.) via Group Loops can be a way to offer them extra support and foster connections with members of their respective communities.
Use Case #3: Group Mentoring
Mentoring doesn't just have to be one-on-one. You can have a group mentoring setup with one mentor overseeing a few mentees within the Group Loop or use Group Loops to bring together mentees who share the same mentor. This setup, in addition to the one-on-one relationships in your program, can provide your participants with another avenue to share ideas and have rich, guided conversations.
Use Case #4: Mentoring Circles/Clusters
Another way you can use Group Loops is to form mentoring circles or clusters. Participants in your program who share some things in common (e.g. new managers or new transfers) can be introduced to each other via a Group Loop so they can support each other or even form some peer mentoring relationships. They can even break away into 1:1 relationships and enter into a more formal mentoring relationship.
Pro Tip: Using Group Loops to enable group mentoring and mentoring circles/clusters can also be a way to give participants more opportunities to build their Personal Advisory Boards.
Special Use Cases
Some programs run in unique ways that make Group Loops especially useful. An example is a program that has a small group of designated mentors for all the mentees that join the program.
This particular program has their 15 mentors in a Group Loop. They do this to make sure mentor can support each other in mentoring their mentees, share their experiences and resources with each other, and sometimes even refer mentees to each other if they feel that one of their colleagues is a better fit. Of course, this would not work for everyone, especially if you have a large number of mentors.
Advice from our Customer Success Team
Keep your Group Loops at or under 15 participants:"It can be quite overwhelming if you have more than 15 participants in a Group Loop. This is because it can be difficult to manage how the relationships are going and if there are many in a Group, participants might have difficulty finding important information or resources with the amount of messaging that could go on." - Janina
Don’t forget to reach out to individuals in Group Loops:"We acknowledge that people progress and learn in different ways, so we would still encourage either the Program Coordinator or mentor to reach out to their mentoring connections. Some participants might not feel comfortable reaching out or participating in a big group, preferring 1:1 contact." - Janina
For group mentoring setups, 1:1 Loops are still important:"While it is great that you are considering all the features that Mentorloop can offer! I recommend incorporating Group Loops with 1:1 Loops for the mentor and individual mentees.
It gives your participants more personal and meaningful advice that they can use to enhance their skills. Additionally, on the Program Coordinator side of things - it gives you further insight into how the mentoring program is going and be able to monitor which relationships are working well!"