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Optimize the Mentoring Program to Build a High-Performing Learning Organization

Align your mentoring program with your organizational culture and goals for a best-fit program.

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Contributors

  • Harjot Arora, Manager, Customer Segment Strategy, BMO
  • Ellen Ensher, Ph.D., Professor of Management, Loyola Marymount University
  • Jaime Kirkland, Training Specialist, Elevations Credit Union
  • Kathy Kram, Shipley Professor in Management, Boston University School of Management
  • Doug Lawrence, Founder and President, TalentC
  • Margo Murray, President and Chief Operation Officer, MMHA
  • Jenny Reid, Human Resources Advisor, LEAGUE Financial Partners
  • Doug Rozon, Director of Marketing, The Sun Products Canada Corporation
  • Terri Scandura, Professor of Management, University of Miami
  • Maxine Sesula, HR Manager, Cutting Edge

Your Challenge

  • Many organizations have introduced mentoring programs without clearly defining and communicating the purpose and goals of the program – they simply jumped on the mentoring bandwagon.
  • As a result, these programs have little impact: they don’t add value for mentors, mentees, or the organization.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Mentoring is not the goal—it’s the solution:

  • Organizational culture and goals will dictate the best approach. As workforce composition shifts, mentoring programs must move past the traditional senior-junior format option.
  • Be open to choosing format on a case-by-case basis. Don’t restrict the organization’s mentoring program to one format: consider individual preferences and goals as well.

Impact and Result

  • Prior to establishing a mentoring program, you must set and communicate the rationale for having the mentoring program, clearly articulating your desired program outcome(s).
  • Be sure to gain upper management buy-in and support early to ensure mentoring becomes a valued part of your organization.
  • Ensure that goal setting, communication, ongoing support for participants, and evaluation all play a role in your mentoring program.
  • Use this blueprint to gain insight and advice on how to optimize your mentoring program by aligning it with your organizational culture and goals.

Research & Tools

1. Identify the current state

Determine pain points and opportunities for program improvement based on organizational culture and program characteristics.

2. Refine mentoring goals

Clarify mentoring goals by aligning current program mission statement and goals and identifying the business problem.

3. Optimize the program

Select the type and format of mentoring program best suited for the organization.

4. Communicate the program

Gain buy-in for the mentoring program and create a structure for the flow of communication after the program has been launched.

5. Implement the program

Create an implementation plan for the mentoring program.

6. Measure success

Develop an evaluation plan to ensure success of the mentoring program.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is an eight call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Identify your current state

Call #1 - Gain an understanding of your current organizational culture and whether your mentoring program is aligned with your culture.

Guided Implementation #2 - Refine mentoring goals

Call #1 - Ensure that your program mission statement and goals are appropriate and aligned with the organization’s strategic direction.

Guided Implementation #3 - Optimize the program

Call #1 - Gain advice for altering the mentoring program to best suit organizational culture and goals.

Guided Implementation #4 - Communicate the program

Call #1 - Discuss the creation of a communication plan and follow-up materials and programs to ensure that your mentoring program is supported and stays on track.

Guided Implementation #5 - Implement

Call #1 - Discuss how to target potential mentors and gain advice for matching partners for one-on-one mentoring relationships.
Call #2 - Develop an orientation session and training for participants to set them up for success.

Guided Implementation #6 - Measure success

Call #1 - Establish evaluation criteria for the mentoring program and mentoring relationship.
Call #2 - Discuss which metrics are best suited for measuring the achievement of your specific program goals.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Identify Current State

The Purpose

  • Identify pain points and opportunities for program improvement based on organizational culture and program characteristics.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Diagnose your current organizational culture.
  • Identify your current mentoring characteristics.
  • Measure your current success with mentoring.
  • Gain an understanding of how to improve your mentoring program.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Diagnose your organization’s dominant culture

  • The ability to set the context for your mentoring program based on the organization’s dominant culture
1.2

Identify characteristics of existing mentoring program

  • List of characteristics that make up your current mentoring program
1.3

Review the degree of alignment of culture and program characteristics

  • The degree of alignment between culture and current mentoring program characteristics
1.4

Measure current program success

  • Determine if the current mentoring needs tweaking or an overhaul
1.5

Review ROI levels

  • ROI levels of the mentoring program

Module 2: Refine Mentoring Goals

The Purpose

  • Refine your mentoring goals by aligning current program mission statement and goals and identifying your business problem.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Review and re-evaluate your current mentoring needs and goals.
  • Gain an understanding of organizational and relational mentoring goals.
  • Ensure that goals align with the organizational strategic direction.
  • Document your mentoring goals and objectives.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Assess the alignment of program mission statement and goals

  • The alignment of your current program mission statement and goals
2.2

Identify the business problem

  • The business problem you are using mentoring to solve
2.3

Refine program goals and mission statement

  • Finalized program goals and mission statement
2.4

Document your goal details

  • Goal details listed in McLean & Company’s Mentoring Project Plan Template

Module 3: Optimize the Program

The Purpose

  • Optimize your program by selecting the type and format of mentoring program best suited for your organization.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Learn about the various types of mentoring programs.
  • Identify which program is best suited for your case.
  • Identify a senior level champion for the program to help gain buy-in and garner approval.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Determine which mentoring option is best suited for your organization

  • The best mentoring option for your organization
3.2

Decide on the format of the mentoring program

  • The format for your mentoring program

Module 4: Communicate the Program

The Purpose

  • Gain buy-in for the mentoring program and create a structure for the flow of communication after the program has been launched.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Gain buy-in from stakeholders.
  • Create communication materials and programs.
  • Develop a mentoring resource center. 

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Build a communication plan

  • A communication plan for your target audience
4.2

Document your communication plan

  • Document your communication plan in McLean & Company’s Mentoring Project Plan Template

Module 5: Implement

The Purpose

  • Create an implementation plan for your mentoring program.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify who should participate in the program.
  • Learn the methodology for matching mentoring partnerships.
  • Gain techniques for dealing with mentoring mismatches.
  • Launch the program with an orientation session.

Activities

Outputs

5.1

Document metrics

  • Document metrics for measuring the mentoring program and relationship
5.2

Calculate the anticipated ROI

  • Calculate the anticipated ROI of the optimized program
5.3

Document your evaluation plan

  • Document your evaluation plan in McLean & Company’s Mentoring Project Plan Template

Search Code: 59309
Published: August 6, 2013
Last Revised: July 30, 2015