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How to Start Mentorship Program at Work

March 31, 2023


min read

Valentine Steph

How to Start Mentorship Program at Work

A step-by-step guide on how to start a mentorship program for a tech team, and how to hack mentoring with AI.

In the dynamic and ever-changing tech industry, knowledge becomes outdated very fast. With new programming languages and technologies appearing every day, there is no other option but to stay up-to-date with trends and look for ways to develop and get new skills. Leading companies invest huge amounts of resources in talent development, as they understand that this is one of the main factors for the successful growth of their business.

One of the best and most effective strategies to grow the skills of a tech team is implementing mentoring programs, which allows managers to build the process of professional development of junior employees, knowledge transfer from senior leaders, build workplace culture, and increase employee engagement.

In this blog post, you will get a step-by-step framework to start a mentorship program for your engineering team and learn how to hack the professional growth of developers with Ace AI.

Read: Full guide on how to start a mentorship program at work


According to a recent report on software development trends, the tech talent shortage continues to be a major issue for engineering managers. In fact, 86% of companies struggle to find and hire skilled tech professionals.

Moreover, retention has become a serious issue for tech companies, as 72% of IT employees were considering quitting their jobs in the next 12 months. While the #1 reason for employees to quit their jobs is lack of growth opportunities.

To attract and retain top talent, companies are investing in the professional development and training of their engineers by implementing successful mentoring programs for their tech teams and helping them build successful careers via personal and professional growth. And the practice of implementing mentorship programs shows positive outcomes for mentors and mentees.

Steps to start mentorship program

Being a mentor is an essential part of the role of an engineering manager.

As an engineering manager, it is crucial to build mentoring relationships, organize knowledge sharing between senior employees and less experienced employees, help them reach career goals and provide career mentoring, as well as improve technical skills, leadership skills, communication skills with peer mentoring benefiting both the mentor and younger employee.

To do this effectively, engineering managers need structured programs for mentoring process and build a framework on how to build a successful mentoring program for their engineers.

Step-by-step guide on how to start a mentoring program

Step #1. Identify career path level

Step #2. Create PDP

Step #3. Monitor progress

As a bonus, we’ll explain to you how an engineering manager can implement AI mentoring software at each step and hack formal mentoring programs.

Let’s dive into each step of the mentoring program.

STEP #1 of mentoring program. IDENTIFY CAREER PATH LEVEL

The first step is to assess an employee’s skills, find potential skill gaps, and identify the career path level (or a grade) of each developer. To do this, you should hold a skills review for the whole team and then analyze the review report.

To identify career path levels easily and fast, we recommend using AI tools that can do it for you.

Ace AI, co-pilot for engineering leadership, can be used as mentoring software and uses Git data to define the career path level of a software engineer, so you don’t need to run a time-consuming review and analyze its results. See how it works in practice:

Ace AI identifies career level based on Git data
Ace AI identifies career level based on Git data

STEP #2 of mentoring programs. CREATE PDP

After a manager identified skill gaps and the grade of developers, a professional development plan (or PDP) should be created.

A good professional development plan should contain learning activities and working tasks to develop new skills and provide growth opportunities.

To save time on the search for personalized learning activities for each developer, you can use Ace AI which gives personalized recommendations on potential mentors and learning activities such as courses, books, etc. based on their skill gaps.

See how Ace AI recommendations work in practice:

Personalized recommendations in Ace AI
Personalized recommendations in Ace AI

STEP #3 of mentoring program. MONITOR PROGRESS

One of the mentee's goals is to make the process of mentorship training effective and implement continuous learning in your tech team’s workflow, so an engineering manager should hold regular 1-on-1 meetings with team members to track the progress and adjust their growth plans if necessary, as well as provide feedback on their skill development.

To help you with that, Ace AI helps you organize virtual mentoring and writes automatic feedback for specific skills for you to save time.

Automatic feedback for skills in Ace AI
Automatic feedback for skills in Ace AI

Also, Ace AI mentoring software builds automatic agenda for your 1-on-1 meeting to discuss growth plan progress based on developer updates from Git and growth plan initiatives.

Automatic agenda for 1-on-1 meeting in Ace AI
Automatic agenda for 1-on-1 meeting in Ace AI

This is how you can build a mentorship program for your engineering team and automate this process with the help of AI.

Read: Useful Tips For Mentors and Mentees

Key ideas

  • In the tech industry, knowledge becomes outdated very fast, and staying up-to-date with trends is essential for business success.
  • Implementing successful mentorship programs is an effective way to grow the skills of a tech team, as well as attract and retain top talent.
  • To start a mentorship program, engineering managers should follow a step-by-step framework: identify career path levels, create a professional development plan, and monitor progress regularly.
  • AI mentoring software tools like Ace AI can help automate the mentoring program, assess employee skills, identify skill gaps, provide personalized learning recommendations, find potential mentors, and give constructive feedback for specific skills.
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