Laying the foundation for your mentoring program is a crucial element for its success. By establishing a mentorship agreement at the outset of the relationship, you benefit both yourself and your mentee by offering a firm framework for the goals you have to work on. Additionally, a well-written mentorship agreement aids with expectation management and commitment clarity.
However, as an independent mentor, you have so much on your plate that you may not have enough time to draft an agreement for each new client. This is why it's a great idea to create your own mentorship agreement template which you can easily fill out with client-specific information while ensuring all important information is always covered.
So let's go over the essential elements your template must include to help you draft the perfect mentoring agreement.
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Essential Elements to Include in Your Mentoring Agreement Template
Although the specific information you include will depend on the type of mentorship services you provide, there are a few vital elements you must always include in your templates. Let's review each of these elements.
You must always include a section where you can define the client intends to gain from the mentorship relationship. For example, they may be looking to gain perspective on academic achievement skills, explore new job opportunities/alternatives, learn about business culture, expand on networking, or develop leadership abilities. Encourage them to be as specific as possible with their objectives so that they may be divided into manageable tasks.
This section of your mentoring agreement template should specify the actions that can be implemented in the coming weeks and months. This is what is usually referred to as 'Scope of Work'. To do this, take into account the mentee's goals and the skills they wish to develop so you can clearly define specific steps in order to accomplish them. These could include video calls, regular in-person meetings or research projects. You should also establish how success will be measured, whether this is through weekly assessments, milestone setting, etc.
It's critical to outline clear communication guidelines in order to establish boundaries and privacy. You can start by defining at what times you will be available for your clients in-between meetings and the best way to get in contact with you. Set limits for phone calls or text messages past a reasonable hour, and determine in which cases this would be acceptable (what would be considered an emergency).
A strong mentoring relationship relies on transparency, trust and loyalty. For this reason, your mentorship agreement template should always include a confidentiality clause which is basically a pledge to maintain any private and secret information discussed during mentoring sessions. Unless permission is obtained beforehand, or either of you are legally required to do so, sharing any of this private information with anyone outside of the mentoring program can result in legal repercussions, and even compromise someone's safety.
This is where you define meeting specifics as well as the duration of the mentorship program. The majority of mentor-mentee relationships last only a few months, so it's important for both parties to concentrate on getting their work done while they still have it. First, specify the estimated start and end dates, and establish the frequency of your meetings with your mentee.
You should also agree on a preferred meeting form (in person, over the phone) and participants must promise to respect the time of their mentor/mentee by arriving for each session on time and prepared.
Use Bonsai’s Free Mentorship Agreement Template
Creating your own template may seem a bit overwhelming and time consuming. Luckily, you don't have to do it yourself. Simply download Bonsai's free mentorship contract template which you can fully customize to add your own branding elements and make it unique. All of our contract templates have been legally reviewed by top lawyers and verified by thousands of independent professionals in your industry.
A pre-designed agreement template will save you valuable time and guarantee consistency in your onboarding process. Plus, Bonsai makes things even easier by sending you notifications when your client receives and signs your contract, which they can easily do within the document using a legally-binding online signature.
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