10 Mentoring Activities to Boost Engagement in Your Next Mentoring Session

Boosting engagement in your sessions is the key to successful mentoring. Both mentors and mentees need to feel excited and engaged in order to have an effective session that will facilitate growth and strengthen the relationship. 

Engaging sessions in effective mentoring relationships, has resulted in 87% of mentors and mentees feeling empowered by their relationships and developed greater confidence. 

So, how can you up the engagement and reinvigorate your mentoring relationship? Here’s our top 10 tips for mentor-mentee activities to do just that! 

1. Coffee chat 

In-person meetings build stronger relationships, so the next time you both schedule a session, take it to the great outdoors and grab a coffee or lunch for an in-person session. 

It’s been shown in recent years that 83% of Gen Z want managers to care about their life. So, over coffee or a quick bite, you can get to know each other better on a more personal level, discuss your progress, and current events around your work and life. 

2. Group mentor-mentee session

If there’s another pair of mentors and mentees with similar interests and goals, you can definitely schedule a group lunch session. That way, you get new perspectives on the same topics, as well as building relationships with your coworkers. When you already have shared interests and goals, mutual understanding and learning will allow for effective mentoring. 

3. Attend company mentoring events together

Less casual than grabbing lunch with other mentors and mentees, but attending mentoring  events together and talking to other pairs of mentors and mentees will open perspectives on mentoring techniques, and stimulate conversation around what is and isn’t working. 

By taking a step back and seeing how other mentoring pairs are working together you can also reignite excitement and energy in your sessions.

4. Job shadowing

Job shadowing allows for mentors to show mentees what they do on a day-to-day basis, giving them insight on the kind of work they do, who they have to interact with, and what kind of skills they may need. A more proactive and interactive mentoring session will help  mentees to become more engaged and allow for effective learning and development. 

Mentors can also shadow mentees too. Then they can  see their work first hand for their own development and offer deeper insight in sessions. 

5. Discussion of recent news or events

Have a session dedicated to understanding relevant news and events around your role, industry, or just current events in the world overall. This will allow both of you to widen your knowledge and perspectives on your careers and industry. These types of discussion  allow for the sharing of insights and opinions, further stimulating engaging conversations for learning and development. 

6. Problem solving session 

In addition to learning about current events, it is also a great idea  to sit down and go through a case study or problem solving session together. 

This is the time for mentees to ask mentors questions on how to tackle problems that may arise around their path to achieving goals, their work, their career or in the industry as a whole. Communicating, discussing solutions and direction of thinking will engage both mentors and mentees more in the session. 

7. Podcast or book discussion 

Similar to learning about current events or discussing the news, a podcast or book discussion allows both mentors and mentees to consume the same content that deep dives into a topic, and talk about their perspectives and for the mentees to broaden their understanding of the content. Active discussion of an interesting topic keeps both mentors and mentees engaged in sessions. 

8. Attend an event together

If one of you has an industry event coming up, bring your mentor or mentee along. Mentees can see how mentors interact with others at events, as well as gain industry knowledge from the event itself, allowing them to build both soft and hard skills. Events are also a great way for networking, so mentors can help introduce mentees, as well as build connections for themselves. 

9. Resume review session

A resume review session will allow mentees to walk-through their resume, and allow mentors to provide feedback on areas of improvement and where their mentees resume can be stronger. Taking in feedback and implementing it right away will allow for a more engaging and productive session in facilitating mentee’s career development. 

10. Reflective session

It is always good to have check-in sessions for mentors to see if mentees are on track with their goals. Short, or long, these sessions allow for mentees to reflect on their progress and look forward into what they have to do next. 

Mentors can also reflect on how well they think they are doing in mentoring, if there is anything else they could provide for their mentees and if anything needs to be changed in their mentoring style. Constructive feedback is always good for engagement and strengthening the relationship. 

It is also the time to celebrate successes, and positive energy in sessions boost self-esteem and engagement. 

These activities will bring in excitement, energy and engagement, which are key to a continuous and successful mentoring relationship. Now that you have some ideas of interactive activities for your next session, go ahead and schedule a session, discussing which of these activities you can start doing to achieve your, or your mentee’s goals. 


Going Beyond Student Programs: 4 Ways Mentoring Can Transform Your University

Student mentoring programs are a fantastic way to connect students for career development and pastoral support. There’s a reason this is likely the first thing you think of when we tell you mentoring can transform your university

But student experience is not the only concern universities face. 

There are approximately 233,930 full-time staff working in higher education institutions in the UK and 2,901,584 people employed in Colleges and Universities in the US. This represents a vast number of people that need support too. 

From preventing burnout and boosting faculty retention to adding a tangible benefit to your alumni program – mentoring is the multi-function tool that will transform your university experience across the board. 

Intrigued? Well, here are the top ways that mentoring programs can support your university, today! 

📖 Check out 5 top universities that are thriving through mentoring for inspiration 📖

Student mentoring programs that foster inclusion 

Let’s start with the obvious one. Student mentoring programs are probably the most common way that mentoring is used in universities. There are a few ways to run a student program, the first is to use mentoring to foster inclusion in your university community. 

For example, at Kings College London, peer mentoring has been used to support BAME students. Much like a buddying scheme, new joiners are matched with 2nd or 3rd-year students to provide needed support navigating university life. 

Given the lack of representation in academia for BAME staff and students, providing people with mentors that relate to their experiences is a powerful way to foster inclusion. This benefits not only student retention rates but supports wellbeing and student satisfaction for underrepresented groups.

📖 Read more about how mentoring fosters inclusion in our guide 📖

Student mentoring program image

Alumni networks that provide real value 

Alumni networks are an important part of your university experience. Not only does your network build your universities reputation worldwide but it provides an essential channel for supporting former students and for fundraising. 

For starters, providing mentoring through your alumni network is another great way to support your student experience. Connecting your alumni to existing students opens up their network as they navigate the transition from education to work. 

On top of this, by offering mentoring to your alumni network you can provide an attractive benefit to joining. This means more alumni and a stronger community. 

Given that 89% of people that receive mentoring go on to mentor others, it’s highly likely that these mentees will choose to mentor your future alumni too. This creates a positive cycle of connection that can last a lifetime.  

Plus, let’s not forget that an engaged alumni network is an essential source of fundraising. Mentoring not only opens up connections for students past and present but can support your fundraising efforts long-term too! 

📖 Find out more about starting a mentoring program in our guide 📖

University mentoring programs that support your academic and core staff

Mentoring isn’t just for students and alumni. As we know, there are large numbers of core and academic staff that keep your university running. 

Attracting, retaining and developing talented employees is a must for any major employer today. A formal mentoring program is not only an attractive benefit to staff, but is essential in developing your people’s skills. It also fosters continuous learning, lifelong skill essential to any top-performing employee. 

Mentoring is a fantastic way to connect people across your university. Through a Guider mentoring scheme, you can connect siloed departments and upskill with ease. 

This will not only improve the skillset of your core staff but can go a long way to make people feel supported and valued in the workplace, improving employee wellbeing. Best of all, with a virtual mentoring scheme, your program can be run from anywhere. 

📖 Find out more about how mentoring software works in our guide 📖

Mentoring for better staff wellbeing 

Even before the pandemic, stress, burnout and anxiety were prevalent among university staff. When tackling these issues, it’s important not to underestimate the impact of poor well-being on retention and positive working culture. 

According to The Times Higher Education: “The most common reason for staff sickness within education was stress, anxiety and depression, making up 25 per cent, according to the statistics from January 2022.” 

Staff want to be listened to. They want a safe space where they can feel seen, heard and valued. Getting this right is the key to tackling burnout and supporting people with their wellbeing. 

This is where mentoring plays an integral role. Staff at Staffordshire University have found success through peer mentoring in creating formal support for their academic faculty. When peers come together both mentor and mentee take turns giving and receiving support, making it a powerful tool for mutual support. 

The results show that this is an effective way to provide holistic support to your academic staff, as peers understand each other’s challenges and can come together in a supportive, non-judgmental way. 

📖 Learn more about peer mentoring with Guider 📖

As you can see providing formal mentoring programs at your university can go a long way to tackling some of the most pressing issues faced in the sector today. 

Through different types of mentoring, such as peer to peer, you can support core and academic staff and your student body. And with mentoring software such as Guider, you can give access to mentoring to everyone through one smart, cost-effective solution. 

Want to find out more? Talk to our expert team today and see how we can transform your university experience.


How to Run a Successful Mentoring Event

Do you want to: boost engagement with mentoring, spread the word about your mentoring program, and celebrate your wins? Well, you might just want to run a mentoring event.

We all know the benefits of mentoring. From 87% of mentors and mentees developing greater confidence to 67% of businesses reporting an increase in productivity due to mentoring, starting a mentoring program is a no-brainer.

At Guider, we support hundreds of mentoring programs across a range of industries and audiences through our innovative mentoring software, so we know the key to running a successful mentoring scheme. This is where factoring in mentoring events can help you to level up. A successful event will build excitement around your mentoring program and can help prevent program fatigue down the line.

So, with National Mentoring Month (January 2023) on the horizon, now’s the perfect time to get planning! Find out the Why, When and How of running a mentoring event below.

Why should I run a mentoring event?

There are a number of reasons why you should run a mentoring event. Whether it’s to promote your mentoring program or to celebrate your mentor and mentees, there are a number of benefits to mentoring events. Remember: these benefits apply to mentoring events for any of the types of mentoring.

These include:

  • Increasing awareness of mentoring and your program
  • Answering questions and recruiting mentors and mentees
  • Creating a mentoring community
  • Creating content for PR and comms campaigns
  • Generating buzz and excitement for the program

Ultimately, the reason to run an event will depend on your program goals. It’s important to weigh up the benefits of the event with how much time and resources you have to ensure it’s a success. To do this, we recommend starting by identifying why you want to run an event.

We’ve identified three key times to run events and the reasons why below to help:

Awareness and launch

Before you launch your program, it’s a good idea to raise awareness of mentoring and how people can get involved.

If you’re running a program for the first time, your ‘why’ might be that you want to build excitement around your program. To do this, running an awareness or launch event is a great way to bring people together and spread the word about mentoring.

You can also use this opportunity to answer questions, gauge interest in the program and gather photos and quotes to use in your promotional materials.

This is a great time to educate your audience on the benefits of mentoring, what’s expected of them, and break down any common misconceptions associated with mentoring. You want to get people excited about mentoring so the moment the program launches, they are itching to sign up!


During the program, mentoring events can help boost engagement and participation. By bringing people together to celebrate mentoring or to recruit new participants, you can re-invigorate your program and keep up momentum.

If you find that, after the initial excitement, program sign-ups have decreased or session numbers are slowing down, then an engagement mentoring event could be the answer! This is a good time to strategically inject some new energy into your program, whether it’s from new participants or from incentivising your existing ones.

For programs with no end date, this is particularly important. It helps to add a little fuel to the fire during your program to prevent drop-offs.


Finally, a wrap-up or end-of-program event can be a great way to close a program – especially if you’re planning to run another mentoring program after.

Wrap-up events can be used to reward participation in mentoring, celebrate  wins and spread the word about the next program. It’s important to recognise endings and give people the chance to properly thank their mentor or mentee.

They’re also a great way to gather photos and quotes for next time too! Here you can identify the next mentoring champions that will help you to scale or replicate your mentoring program.

You don’t need to run mentoring events at every milestone! It’s a good idea to assess your resources and program goals and think about why you might need an event and which one is the best fit.

Top tip: Set a goal for your mentoring event to help you to measure its success

A woman smiles while looking at a laptop. An ad for Guider mentoring software.

How do I make the most out of a mentoring event?

Events are an excellent way to launch, promote and re-engage participants. However, there’s no one-size fits all way to utilise mentoring events in promoting your program. To make the most out of your event we recommend tying it into an awareness day or wider comms campaign.

Key awareness days throughout the year are an ideal opportunity to run an event on mentoring. Make the most of wider interest and promotion of mentoring by scheduling your event around:

If you are running a diversity and inclusion mentoring program, then look out for awareness days that support your community. For example:

  • International Women’s Day, 8th March 2023
  • Menopause Awareness Day, 18th October 2022
  • World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2022

Alternatively, you can sync up with Employee Resource Groups or your wider company events and comms strategy. Getting more people on board with promoting your event will help generate interest.

Further top tips: 

  • Get senior leaders on board to champion your mentoring program and mentoring event!
  • Spread the word through managers and team leaders
  • Factor in seasonality to make sure the most people are able to attend
  • Take photos and get quotes to promote your program after the mentoring event

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How do I run a mentoring event?

Running an event takes some careful planning and promotion, but it is possible to do it right. Once you have set your event goals and chosen when to host it, it’s time to get creative!

Below we outline three mentoring event ideas that you can run in your organisation. There’s one for kick-off, another for mid-program engagement and an end-of-program celebration.

Awareness mentoring event: National Mentoring Day speed mentoring

National Mentoring Day runs annually in October. It aims to spread the word about the benefits of mentoring and is the perfect time to promote your program.

Mentoring event idea: Run a speed mentoring event for your target program participants. Bring together a group of potential mentors and mentees to try out mentoring. Arrange mentors and mentees in pairs at small tables and set a timer for 2 minutes. At the end of the time, mentees must move to the next table and chat with someone new.

Benefits: Give people a taster of what mentoring is all about and introduce them to potential mentors or mentees. Use this time to let everyone know about your program and how to join, as well as offer the chance to ask questions and chat.

Things to think about: Remember to take photos and gather feedback to use in promotional campaigns later on. You can also ask senior leaders or mentoring champions to introduce the event and show they’re committed to the program.

Engagement mentoring event: mentor coffee morning

At the midway point, an engagement event will help you to re-invigorate your program and remind people of the benefits of participation.

Mentoring event idea: Bring together the mentors in your program for a coffee and chat event. Whether in person or virtual, mentors can swap stories, share tips and get advice on how to be a great mentor.

Benefits: Your mentors will benefit from networking with like-minded people and gaining insight into how to mentor effectively. These events are all about building community and making sure your mentors know how much they’re appreciated.

Things to think about: Take this as a chance to get insight into how your program is going and whether mentors need more support. Don’t forget to thank your mentors too and make sure they feel valued for their time.

Wrap-up mentoring event: end of program party

Ending your program on a high is important, especially if you’re planning another program. A good end-of-program event will leave people feeling valued and rewarded for their participation in mentoring.

Mentoring event idea: Plan an end-of-program party for all participants. As part of the event, you can hand out awards for most sessions and ask participants to publicly thank their mentor or mentee.

Benefits: If the budget allows, giving small tokens of appreciation for participants to keep is a great way to give people lasting rewards that remind them of mentoring. You can also use this event to identify new mentoring champions, encourage mentees to become mentors next time around, take photos and gather testimonials, build your mentoring community and announce your next program.

Things to think about: For an ongoing program with no end date, you can still run a celebration event. This will help re-invigorate your program, particularly if it’s followed by a re-launch campaign.

As you can see, running a mentoring event has plenty of benefits. It’s a great way to promote, invigorate and celebrate your mentoring program. It needn’t be a hassle either! If you need more advice on how to set yourself up for success, including advice on program timelines, events and promotion, then get in touch with our mentoring experts today.

Need help designing your mentoring program? Chat with our mentoring guides and find out how Guider’s mentoring platform can help you to get mentoring right in your organisation.