Organisational Mentoring Programme Starter Kit

Thinking about having a mentoring programme at your organisation? Read this to discover our mentoring starter kit.

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Mentoring programmes come with some impressive benefits, not only for employees but the organisation as a whole. It’s no surprise that we’re seeing more organisations than ever opt for mentoring as the key driver for learning and development among their employees. But, before embarking on your mentoring programme journey, you first need to ensure you have a good reason for starting the mentoring programme to begin with.

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about running a mentoring programme within your organisation. Keep reading to discover more.

The Business Case for Mentoring:

• You need to set clear objectives linked to organisational needs. Strategy, objectives and key drivers.
• For a mentoring programme to be successful, you need to have willing and ongoing sustained senior line management sponsorship linked with organisational personal development.
• Performance management and personal development should be linked with programmes such as diversity and inclusion.
• Have specific programme objectives to decide the pool and the career path of potential participants.

Terms of the Mentoring Programme:

• You need to set clear roles for mentors, mentees and managers (a triangle learning contract).
• Discuss confidentiality between mentor and mentee.
• Have mentors and mentees meet for a minimum of six months (ideally one year).
• Voluntary for both mentee and mentor.
• Have mentors and mentees meet frequently to keep momentum – at least once for one hour per month.

Participant Selection:

• Have clear fair and simple eligibility rules - inclusive and equitable for all participants.
• Voluntary participation of mentors and mentees within your organisation.
• Not elitist, not corrective.
• Mentees are to be given input into their final match of a mentor.

Planning a Mentoring Programme:

• Simple yet clear training is recommended for all before starting. Roles, Responsibilities, Commitments. We offer free monthly mentoring training sessions at PushFar.
• Mentees need to lead the objectives and agenda planning of meetings.
• Block book mentee-mentor meetings in advance. Recommend a regular slot every month.

Content and Focus of Mentoring Meetings:

• Career development.
• In job development.
• Working relationships - problem-solving.
• Focus on leadership/people skills versus technical skills and competencies.

Tracking of Progress/Evaluation of the Mentoring Programme:

• Outcomes and process measures, both quantitative and qualitative, are established and tracked at regular intervals. For example – the number and frequency of meetings, goals set and achieved, if learning is taking place, how satisfied are mentees with the support they have received from their mentor and how satisfied the mentors are with the willingness to learn and develop shown by their mentees.
• Limited paperwork required (one-page bios profile including “wants and seeks” of mentee and “offers and experience” of mentor)

The PushFar admin panel automatically tracks stored transactions and activities above – saving up to 80% of programme administrator time.

Mentoring Group Size and Characteristics:

• Sponsors must have ownership and a strong and sustainable link to the mentoring pool/group chosen.
• Determine upfront whether the programme will be site-based, function-based, functional across businesses, cross-functional within a business, or even cross-organisational.
• Consider geographical constraints (virtual mentoring via MS Teams, Zoom and Google Meet is fine for mentoring meetings. PushFar can also support this).
• Ensure you have enough mentors to match the needs of your mentees.

Getting Started - Here Are Some Other Questions to Consider:

• Why is the programme limited to one department or function?
• Who else could be included?
• Do you have line sponsorship?
• Have you fully considered diversity, equity, and inclusion?
• Are all the people who will do matching considered to be impartial?
• Will the size of the mentoring pool you are drawing mentees and mentors from be large enough to ensure people get exposure outside of their usual scope?
• Is there good knowledge and expertise in mentoring within the organisation to assist in building skills for those without previous mentoring experience?
• Is the sponsorship at the appropriate level to represent all employees in the targeted pool?
• How can you make sure that the programme will reflect the needs of all customers involved?
• What current initiatives/processes in your organisation should mentoring relate to?
• Do we have a mentoring programme administrator?
• Do we want a mentoring platform with self-service, automation, assisted mentoring matching and reporting capability?

Mentoring Programme Q&A’s:

Question: Why do we need mentors?


• Every organisation needs some form of creative programme to produce a succession of motivated, upward-moving employees. – Professor David Clutterbuck: “Everyone Needs a Mentor.”
• Mentoring is effective because it allows people to learn in an unthreatening manner, involves little direct cost, and is effective for all sorts of people, and it is one of the fastest-expanding approaches to developing managerial potential.
• Mentoring in organisations is most effectively conducted through agreed contacts with contracting and agendas and objectives or goals to maximise its benefits, and to formally enable the measurement of the organisation’s return on investment (ROI).

Question: What does the mentor do?


• Assists the mentee (person being mentored) to establish realistic career goals.
• Acts as a sounding board.
• Actively listens to the mentee.
• Challenges the person being mentored to think outside their current paradigm/think wider/outside the box.
• Asks searching career-related questions.
• Acts as a gateway for networking.
• Seeks opportunities for the mentee.
• Passes on expertise and essential thinking patterns.
• Provides advice, with examples, on work-related skills.
• Provide resources and opportunities for development to help learners.
• Monitors progress and provides relevant, constructive feedback.
• Acts as a role model example to pass on skills and behaviours within an organisation.
• Assists the learner (mentee) in solving problems.
• Provides personal support, encouragement and motivation.
• Share relevant learning from your own career experiences.

Mentoring – What’s in it for You?

Benefits of Mentoring for the Mentee:

There are at least 11 benefits of mentoring for the person being mentored (the mentee). These include:

1. Easier induction.
2. Improved self-confidence.
3. Learning to cope with the formal and informal structure, with insights into the codes and culture and the political ropes of the organisation.
4. Career advice and advancement via a career plan.
5. Help with developing managerial skills.
6. Learning through the job and on the job.
7. An initiative-taking way to pair with a mentor from a diverse background, leading to a greater sense of inclusion.
8. Developing skills.
9. Receiving useful feedback on performance.
10. Access to resources - including network contacts.
11. Increased clarity and definition of goals

Benefits of Mentoring for the Mentor:

Mentoring isn't just beneficial for mentees, with there being at least 9 Benefits of mentoring for the mentor. Including:

1. Improved job satisfaction.
2. Increased peer recognition.
3. New perspectives.
4. The opportunity to influence and share knowledge.
5. An increase in their ability.
6. The chance to improve communication skills.
7. A chance to learn from a mentee of difference to oneself - diversity, equity, and inclusion (especially where there is a difference of background experience, thinking style, or generation).
8. Assists in management tasks such as monitoring performance communication etc.
9. Increases motivation and performance of mentored staff.

Benefits of Mentoring for an Organisation:

Let's take a peek at some of the impressive benefits of mentoring within an organisation, these include:

1. Easier, more efficient and faster induction of new employees.
2. Improved motivations of both the mentee and the mentor.
3. Mentor chosen supports the corporate culture, values, and behaviours.
4. Improved communications across the organisation, up and down, across silos of departments, countries, and functions.
5. “Knock-on" benefits: for example, time management and internal resourcing.
6. Saving in training and development costs - relatively low cost compared to external coaching and vendor programmes.
7. Flexible and easy to set up when compared to a leadership programme.
8. Enables rapid development of highflyers.
9. Improved succession planning.
10. More effective management development.
11. Can match mentoring pairs with people of difference to actively encourage and support mutual understanding for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
12. The above helps bring the organisation's DE&I policy to life.
13. Reduced staff turnover - via greater employee engagement.
14. Increased productivity arising from increased focus and motivation of both mentees and mentors.
15. Having a mentoring programme can attract candidates as part of a compelling recruitment offer.

Choosing Your Mentors - Who Can Be a Mentor?

Here are five key qualities a mentor must have:

1. Relevant work experience with an understanding of what a learner is trying to achieve.
2. Organisational experience - how things get done in organisations.
3. Excellent and relevant people skills – good at asking questions, good listeners, supportive and flexible in their approach, they need to come across as people genuinely interested in the development of others.
4. Be a good role model. The mentor should be credible to a learner, demonstrating an open approach, accessibility and many of the key behaviours that a learner might be trying to develop such as management style, and positive career track record.
5. They need to be prepared to give their time as a volunteer to help others regularly.

Take our quiz to see if you're ready to be a mentor.

If you’ve read through and are ready to start your organisational mentoring programme, then book a free demonstration with a member of the PushFar team.

Written by Simon Brown - July 2023.

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