Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mentoring - Key to Building Successful Programs

Or Build a Mentoring System!
from our Friends at The Center for Leader Development
The Process of Mentoring

Prior to developing a mentor program within an organization, Forret, Turban, & Dougherty (1996) highlight a number of issues that should be answered in the development phase.
Who should receive mentoring? The organization should determine if the program will be made available to all employees, high potential employees, underrepresented employees (women, etc.) or some other group.

What type of training should mentors and protégés receive? Training should be based upon the objectives of the mentor/protégé relationship. For instance, if it just “showing them the ropes” then program architects need to determine “which ropes” mentors will need to show.
How should potential conflicts with the protégé’s supervisor be handled? Program architects should build in a way to deal with this on the front end and clearly state the process in the training program. Further, supervisors should be kept informed of the process, etc. This may circumvent issues on the front end.

How do formal mentor relationships last? This depends on the objectives of the program. Once these have been determined, program architects should determine what they feel is the appropriate length. A pilot group may offer needed information about appropriate length.
What can help get the mentoring relationship get off to a good start? The most effective relationships begin with a strong bond created between mentor and protégé. Teambuilding activities can assist in this process as well as “get to know you” activities during initial meetings. Another idea mentioned by Forret et al. (1996), was a social gathering.

How can mentoring programs be evaluated? Program objectives ought to be clear and measurable. If they are not, then it will be difficult to measure benefits other than whether or not the mentor or protégé enjoyed the process. Clear and measurable objectives are the key to evaluating.
- Scott J. Allen