What is Peer Mentoring?
Posted on February 7, 2021
Peer mentoring is a relationship between people of the same age, career stage, or ability in which a more experienced person (peer mentor) helps guide and support a less experienced person (peer mentee). However, over a period, peer mentoring blends the vivid line that is divided between the peer mentor and the peer mentee, thereby letting both learn from each other on a more level-playing ground.
When a mentee starts mentoring the mentor i.e., when a less experienced candidate starts mentoring the more experienced candidate, the management practice is known as reverse mentoring. In this, the regular mentoring is flip-flopped.)
Coming back, the major aim of peer mentoring is to develop an environment wherein the mentees feel they have a voice that is heard and a presence that is valued. While this was just a glimpse into what peer mentoring is all about, let us dig deep and find out more.
Advantages of Peer Mentoring
The 70-20-10 model for Learning and Development clearly states how 70% of the thing’s mentees pick up is through hands-on experience that peer mentors greatly help with. The remaining 20% is from social interactions and 10% from formal events. This reflects how mentorship really boosts up the learning process.
Being a part of a new organization can be intimidating. There is too much to learn about rules/workflows/people and too much to adjust to, in too little time! Here’s where peer mentors make it easy by standing rock-solid beside their mentees, guiding, encouraging, and supporting them through their thick and thin.
Unanswered questions can feed on the skin like a parasite, hampering one’s work and skills. A business mentor, however, resolves them instantly because he is always around to offer help. This increases the skill development in the mentees as there is absolutely no burden of piled up doubts resting on their shoulders.
When one joins a new firm or organization, there are umpteen thoughts that s/he enters with. “Whether everything will work out or not.” “Will I be asked to do menial jobs?” “Will there be too much pressure?” “Will I be able to handle everything well?” All these questions can be lulled to sleep if there is a peer mentorship model in place. These builds trust between the mentor and the mentees, leading to trust between the mentees and the organization.
Improves Reasoning and Communication
Mentoring programs are designed to be the cocoons from where mentees can come out as butterflies; their wings fluttering with confidence. Because they have a safe place to go to when stressed or in doubt, they tend to grow faster and healthier. This environment is possible only when an organization has a fully functional mentorship program.
Importance of Peer Mentoring in Nonprofits
Now that we have discussed some generic points, let’s understand why peer mentoring in nonprofits is important now more than ever. While the above-stated points stay valid, here are 5 specific benefits of peer mentoring programs.
With the growing competition, retention of reliable and creative employees becomes an issue. Peer mentors are, therefore, needed to make them feel valued.
Making A One-Person Army
In small nonprofits, one person must eventually be the jack of all trades because of the limited resources. That is possible only where there is a person who can guide a newbie well. Peer mentorship fills in the role here.
Under 501(c) status, nonprofits have to adhere to a myriad of rules and regulations regarding fundraising, sponsorships, finances, and gifts. The overall image of the organization that gets portrayed in the public is of value too. Since it only takes one mentee speaking ill of the organization to disrupt its reputation, peer mentorship helps ensure that every issue is run through him. This leads to happy mentees speaking highly of the organization, leading to a great reputation.
Apart from accelerated learning and expanded competency, mentorship programs can genuinely help the organization in times that are demanding. If there’s enough trust and the peer mentor let the mentees assess risks, this mentorship can prove to be a shield against unforeseen liabilities.
Adds Value & Increases Revenue
If that’s not enough, peer mentorship can add priceless value to the organization purely through effective guidance, resulting in an enriched work environment. Besides this, when all these points combine, increased revenue is bound to happen.
Thus, the importance of peer mentoring, especially in nonprofits, cannot be neglected. Of course, the mentoring skills matter. But that is secondary. The primary task is to set up a peer mentoring program. How? When? Let us find out.
How to Get the Most Out of Peer Mentoring?
As discussed, what we need to understand here is that the benefits of a peer mentoring program unfurl only when it is effectively set up. And a proper set up requires research, apt implementation, and a keen eye to improve along with the will to right the wrong. Over the period, many promising models have sprung that help in carrying out the peer mentoring programs successfully.
Here are certain models you can refer to that will help you out efficiently in peer mentoring.
1. Pgg’s Model
The steps involved in Pegg’s Model are as follows:
Understanding: In the first step, the mentor starts with understanding the mentee’s situation and the challenges ahead.
Identifying: Then, the options that can help the mentee tackle those challenges are identified.
Analyzing: The best option is analyzed. Its pros and cons are discussed along with.
Implementing: That option is put into place.
Finding a Better Substitute: While the mentee is busy putting his best foot forward, the peer mentor takes a step back and looks for more creative options with which the challenges can be taken care of in a better manner.
Implementing the Better Option: The better option, therefore, is collectively chosen and put to practice.
2. TTX Institute Model
As the name suggests, this model was designed by the experts of TTX Institute and is very similar to the previous one. It goes as follows:
Boarding: In the first stage, the mentor helps the mentee set the goal, outline the direction of their development, and choose the right measures.
Learning: Then, they jointly determine the facts, obtain the necessary resources of experience and knowledge.
Exploring: After that, they explore different ways of achieving the goal.
Nailing Down: They further make decisions and plan actions.
Delivering: The final stage of the analyzed process is the implementation of the plans and commitments, and the achievement of results.
3. Mentoring Program Model in Nonprofits
Now that we have discussed some general peer mentoring models, let us discuss the one that brings out how important peer mentoring in nonprofits is! Here are the steps to be followed:
Identifying: The first step involves the identification of the needs, problems, and challenges of the mentees and/or beneficiaries of a nonprofit organization.
Defining: Once the pain points are identified, they are legitimately defined. That is because sometimes we know what the issue is but cannot really explain and that becomes a major setback.
Selection (Peer Mentor): This process involves the selection and training of the mentors.
Selection (Peer Mentee): This process involves the selection and training of the mentees.
Mentor-Mentee Pair Selection: This process involves the selection of the mentee-mentor pair.
Identification: The mentor starts with understanding and identifying the mentee’s needs and challenges.
Planning: Mentoring sessions are planned wherein things that need immediate handling or otherwise are discussed.
Implementation: This step involves the implementation of whatever that is discussed in the mentoring sessions.
Monitoring: Now, everything that is put into action is monitored and partial/final successes are celebrated.
Supervision: Peer mentors are supervised and sessions for them are also conducted.
Because most of the nonprofits get stuck in the initial process of finding the right volunteers/mentees, we at iConnectX, connect them with a community that has “like-minded” supporters. Besides being a quintessential social platform in providing the technology that nonprofits need to succeed in their fundraising, we cater to professional networking as well.
Thus, we can help you find peers, executives, and industry experts to connect with and share/discuss your thoughts/apprehensions. So, get in touch with us either by giving us a call or by joining the live chat today!