It’s safe to say we all have mentors who have taught us much more on a subject or a movement or running a business than we thought we would ever know. If that is the case, and you can credit your knowledge on a subject to a mentor of yours, why not allow your instructors the same opportunity?

Starting a mentorship program at your studio allows you to capitalize on your greatest resource: your employees. Having a new instructor study under some of your veteran staff will show your support and interest in their potential at your studio. It also proves you are willing to invest time and resources to help employees’ success.

The best part is mentorship programs are completely free. But where do you start?

The first step should be defining your objectives for each instructor or staff member in the program. Are you trying to develop this person into a better leader, help them master a specific style, or grow their communication skills? Make this a conversation topic with the oncoming staff member. After you know the areas they are looking to grow, match them with a mentor who would best help them achieve this goal.

For instance, if you recently hired a teacher with an endless amount of knowledge on health and wellness, but just isn’t the best at expressing their thoughts, get tongue tied often and can be a bit backwards when a member asks them for help, set them up with a veteran instructor known for their personality and is someone members love to go to for tips or just a good conversation.

Once you set up these pairs, you need to make sure they both discuss how this mentorship will work. Encourage them to have a conversation about expectations. Then have the mentor sit down and work out a plan, with clear tasks, for achieving the goals the mentee has.

Finally, and probably most importantly, find a way to measure whether the goals the mentee and mentors set have progressed in the right direction. Look at productivity and measurable improvement in the area each mentor was targeting.