Mentorship Doesn’t Have to Burn You Out…

While being a mentor is rewarding, mentoring several people can be a draining undertaking. How can you structure your mentorships in a way that feels sustainable? Here are three strategies that can help.

Divide your mentees into teams. Creating mentee teams enables them to operate semi-autonomously. If you have more than a couple of mentees, try organizing them into subgroups of three to four, giving the mentee with the greatest expertise the opportunity to lead the group. The team can then meet on its own time; junior employees will learn from more senior ones, and senior ones will learn how to be mentors themselves.

Set expectations early. Communicate what you expect in terms of email response times, meeting frequency, and specific areas that are “off limits” for discussion. If a mentee doesn’t commit to following through, it’s time to let them go. This tactic ensures that you’re only spending time on mentees who earn your attention.

Use technology to your advantage. Online scheduling tools can reduce the back-and-forth of finding a time to meet. You might also consider setting up weekly office hours (in person or virtual) during which any of your mentees can drop in.