• Gaining insight about your career potential and development, the business itself, client and organizational dynamics…
  • Learnng from wisdom and experience…
  • Receiving, free of charge, crash courses in leadership and management topics without having to sit through classes…
  • Having a trusted confidant who allows you to let down your professional guard and ask any question without being written up or ridiculed…
  • Being provided with regular support and have a cheerleader in your professional corner…

…these are all of the benefits mentees can expect to receive of a well-organized Mentor Program; and that’s just the beginning. The organization itself benefits enormously from a well-run Mentor Program. Mentoring processes can be used to develop employees and managers. They ready candidates vying for promotions. They beef up on-boarding processes for new hires and professionals transferring into the organization. They help strengthen teams and cross-divisional relationships; and they propel the organization ahead of its competition for new talent as an employer-of-choice. 

Have I made my case, or do you need to hear more reasons to start or strengthen your organization’s Mentoring Program? Yet, Mentoring Programs don’t just fall into place. They are planned; at least the quality, sustainable ones are planned. The ones that aren’t planned may have ‘spotty’ success but they aren’t sustainable and mentors struggle to succeed, or they try to succeed on the strength and charisma of certain mentors, who sooner or later become overwhelmed.

Mentoring program success is built upon some core structural program components:

  • Solid mission-aligned
  • Clearly defined goals for the program and purposes, which guide mentors (i.e., is the purpose to prepare for promotion, provide a trusted advisor, build specific skills and aptitudes, rectify challenges, orient new hires, blend-tap-value diversity, etc.?)
  • Varied types of mentoring-interaction options so that mentors have flexibility in how they mentor (i.e., can they engage in flash mentoring, group mentoring, on-boarding mentoring, peer mentoring, etc.?)
  • Well-defined recruitment and screening processes for both mentors and mentees based on characteristics, experiences and criteria
  • Purposeful matching of professionals (i.e., is matching based on experience criteria, diversity characteristics, targeted skills that match identified needs/deficits, etc.?)
  • Interactive and interesting orientation, training and ongoing support opportunities
  • Periodic monitoring and relationship building activities
  • Specific evaluations of the mentees’ success, the mentor-mentee relationship, challenges, and the program itself
  • Consistent, public recognition (not rewards) of mentors and mentees
  • Documentation and reporting of data, value-to-organization, success and growth narratives, and cost-benefit analysis outcomes
  • Invitations to ‘seasoned’ mentors to assume new roles as trainers for new mentors

These are simply the basic, core structural components. Take a look at your program and compare. Or consider putting a program in place and begin with planning around these components. On the next page we’ll talk about what it takes for a mentor to succeed. (PowerSkills provides Mentor Program development, coaching, consultation to business/government clients.)

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