Opening up your mentoring program for anyone to join can be a great way to create unlikely connections and help your participants maximise the value they can get from your program, as it allows them to meet people with different perspectives, experiences, and knowledge.
However, it can also mean running the risk of people who aren't fully committed to the experience joining or people signing up for the wrong reasons, such as to pursue personal gains.
In this article we cover top tips for making sure the right people sign up for your program, and how you might 'vet' participants.
Be mindful of where you share the sign up form link
With Mentorloop, inviting people to join your program is easy. You can simply copy the link to to the sign up form which makes the onboarding experience for participants seamless. When promoting your program, be mindful of where you decide to publish the sign up form link - consider your target participants and what the best way to reach them is.
For example, you may want to share the invite link to a segmented group of people in the form of a Facebook or LinkedIn group, who will have a vested interest in joining, instead of to anyone on those social media platforms.
Or, maybe you have a target email list with potential participants who have expressed an interest in pursuing their personal development in the past that you want to promote the program to.
Use tags in Mentorloop to review and manage new participants
Filtering participants in Mentorloop is an easy way to segment your people and carry out bulk actions for groups of people. Having a well designed sign up form can help with this.
For example, you may want to add a question in the form about their organisation, industry or years of experience. You can then use the filters to identify anyone who doesn't meet the criteria to become a mentor or mentee based on that information (say, if they do not have the amount of experience required to be a mentor), and tag them for easy access in the future.
Enable SSO (Single Sign-on)
Single Sign-on (SSO) enables participants to securely authenticate with multiple applications and websites by using just one set of credentials, helping ensure those signing up to your program are legitimately part of your organisation.
If you're interested in enabling SSO, speak to your Account Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Enable sign up form rejection
With Mentorloop, you have the option to turn on the signup form rejection feature, otherwise known as the "approval toggle". When enabled, anyone signing up to the program must be approved manually by you, the program coordinator, before joining the program. As with most things, there are pros and cons to opting for this approach:
- Gives you complete control over who joins your program
- Helps you manage participant numbers and mentor:mentee imbalances
- Gives you greater insight into the people signing up to your program
- It's not always the best user experience, especially when used for an expression of interest - after taking time to create a profile, having to await approval can affect their first impressions of the program
- For Self match programs, it can provide a barrier, which slows down mentoring momentum
- It creates more work for the program coordinator, who is now responsible for reviewing and approving all profiles in a timely manner
This features is available on Mentorloop Enterprise
Support participants through the onboarding process
One of the most effective ways to ensuring your participants are committed to the program for the right reasons and have a great experience with your program is to take a proactive approach to encouraging mentoring best practice, especially during the early stages of people's journeys:
- Communicate with your people about program guidelines and expectations of them. Mentorloop gives you multiple touch points in the app to communicate key messaging with mentors and mentees, such as the sign up form welcome message, dashboard introduction message and recommended reading. You can update these at any time from your program settings.
- Sending monthly bulk messages to keep mentoring front of mind, encourage mentoring best practice, support participants, and share announcements. This is a fantastic way of maintaining mentoring momentum and participant engagement.
- Review the program coordinator dashboard to understand the health of your program in real time and take action where needed. For example, check out the milestones or matching widget to see who may need help finding a match.
- Dig deeper into your program Sentiment on a regular basis to identify anyone who may need your support or may not be fulfilling their expectations as a mentor or mentee. For example, if someone is consistently not responding to matches, you may want to message them to encourage them to be responsive, make them unavailable for matching or remove them from the program altogether.