Professional associations facilitate networking for their members regularly. However, networking cannot always be quantified, and associations need a palpable asset to offer their members. A great benefit to add to professional associations is a formal mentoring programme.
Mentoring programmes are a leading way for professional associations to verify that there are powerful benefits associated with their membership. Mentoring is also a cost-efficient and engaging tool that allows members to gain the knowledge they need whilst staying connected with valuable sources.
Because of this, professional associations are experiencing a growing need for mentoring. Here are some benefits of mentoring and tips for starting a mentoring programme.
Benefits of Mentoring for Professional Associations
More Effective Member Recruitment
Every professional association wants to increase their member numbers. To do this, the association will need to find out what potential members want. While it may vary based on profession, the general consensus is continued learning. In fact, 60% of all generations look to professional associations to fill this need.
A great way to do this is through a mentoring programme. Providing a mentoring programme to your members will show potential members that you offer and enable continued learning. Mentoring facilitates knowledge sharing association-wide, allowing members to learn from each other.
For more information, read “How to Enable Knowledge Sharing Through Mentoring”.
Improved Member Retention
Member retention can be improved with a mentoring programme. The programme adds a great deal of value to the association, which is appealing to members. Actually, 26% of professional association members that don’t renew their memberships say the association did not provide enough value. That means that associations can retain a quarter of their members by providing value through a mentoring programme.
Increased Member Engagement
High member engagement can be achieved with a mentoring programme. This is because mentoring fosters a sense of community within the association and gets members to participate regularly. Mentoring can also help associations welcome new members. Onboarding new members with the help of mentors can help them feel more comfortable and get more out of the association experience.
This can be especially beneficial for the millennials in your program. In fact, 79% of millennials believe mentoring is critical to their career success. For your associations, recruiting and engaging millennials can be done with a great mentoring programme.
To learn more about millennial engagement, read our article “3 Ways to Increase Millennial Engagement Through Mentoring”.
Tips for Starting a Mentoring Programme
With so many benefits, there are a lot of associations that want to start mentoring programmes for their members. However, the process can be a little tricky without some guidance. Here are some tips to get started.
Analyse the Needs of the Members
The needs of association members may differ based on the profession, but regardless they need to be considered before starting a mentoring programme. This is especially important for professional associations because 47% of members report they don’t feel like the content provided is personalised to them.
To ensure members get personalised content, take surveys or conduct interview to find out what they need. Then, ensure this feedback is implemented throughout the programme.
Recruiting Mentors and Mentees
Once the basis of the mentoring programme is established, associations will need to recruit participants. To do this, the association will need to ensure all members are aware of the programme and its benefits. Raising awareness through marketing tactics such as email and social media will help accomplish this.
A tip for recruiting mentees specifically is to keep a rolling enrollment policy, so they can sign up at any time. For recruiting mentors, the association should make sure they are qualified to mentor. Good mentors can be incentivised with accreditation of as a SME or reduced membership costs.
Our final tip for recruiting mentors and mentees is to manage them with technology. In the MemberWise network, several organisations have taken advantage of mentoring programmes by using technology.
For example, PWN Paris (part of PWN Global – The Professional Women’s Network) used digital reverse mentoring as an avenue to engage members from different demographics together.
Insala helps organisations recruit and manage mentors and mentees with our Hi-Impact Mentoring Software. This software can be used to manage all participants and their relationships. It can also be used to facilitate communication throughout your mentoring programme. For more information, request a demo today.