Mentoring Programs

We are in the process of designing a new employee orientation and training program and as a part of that we plan to institute a mentoring program for new hires.  Does anyone know of any tried and true mentor training programs available that we could bring in house?  If any of you have implemented such a program I would greatly appreciate it if you would be willing to share your experiences with me including what you did and how you did it (and anything else that might be helpful).  Thank you.

 J.A., Massachusetts


  • 6 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • The most important thing about a mentoring program is to have all your ducks in a row for the structure and processes of the program.  Everything should be in writing, including time frames, reporting milestones, guidelines, contact information, and especially what is expected of both parties in the arrangement. 

    We ask for volunteer mentors so that they reflect enthusiasm, and we have the new hire meet his or her mentor at orientation.

    Have the mentoring partners develop their own clear, actionable goals and how they will measure their achievements. This  is important because the partners may have very different expectations of the program.  This will also encourage a collaborative style between the parties.

    When all aspects of the arrangement are written down, have both parties sign it and keep on file in HR.

    We have found that having experienced workers mentor new employees has brought new workers up to speed more quickly in both their jobs and in the company culture, as well as increased our retention rate. Good luck.

  • I read about a new mentoring program at Fluor Corporation ( called Mentoring Circles, which you may want to look into.  Instead of pairing a new employee with an experienced mentor, the program has a manager or executive mentor a group of five to seven employees within a department. The program is not as structured as IrisD's, but more informal and flexible. The goals of the program are teambuilding, communication, and knowledge-sharing, rather than one-on-one job coaching in a traditional mentoring program.
  • Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my inquiry.  I appreciate the advice and suggestions.[Y]
  • Does anyone have an idea about how to get this started?  The Fluor notice was good, but I was hoping to see perhaps a general checklist of things to give it the first boost.
  • Saw this and thought it might help:

    • Top-management support for mentoring is so crucial that most efforts fail without it.
    • The organization should have mentoring goals consistent with the corporate mission.
    • Mentee participation should be open to all; programs limited to certain levels or jobs might better be labeled leadership development, succession planning, or training.
    • Most mid-sized and large organizations benefit from outside consultation in creating a mentoring program.
    • Launch the program with a broad, strategic internal communications plan. Communicate the selection criteria for mentors and mentees, and check to see that they are perceived as being fair.
    • Start small (initial participants at 10 or so) with a pilot program, and grow from there.
    • Drive the program from departments or business units; HR should play only a supporting role (offering training, choosing/nominating mentors).
    • Mentees should understand that mentoring guarantees neither promotion nor amnesty from discipline/discharge if they violate company policy.
    • Mentors should be outside mentees' direct chain of command.
    • Ideal mentors have 5-10 years' more experience than and jobs no more than 2 levels above mentees.
    • Mentors' roles/functions are to coach, counsel, teach, intervene (for example, in a mentee/supervisor dispute), and sponsor for promotion.
    • Stress the confidentiality of all communication between mentors and protÈgÈs.
    • Provide for "no-fault divorce" if a mentor/protege relationship fails.
  • Here are some questions that might be helpful before you start:

    What are the reasons for developing such a program?
    Do you have defined goals?
    Do you have the support of top management?
    Who is going to manage, coordinate, and oversee the program?
    What are the criteria for success?
    How will you measure long-term goals such as building trust and communication, foster diversity, or improve career development?
    What kind of informal mentoring is already taking place?  (Formalizing the program will give the process legitmacy and encouragement)
    How will the mentoring program be communicated to employees?
    How will employees be motivated to participate?
    How will mentors and mentees be paired?
    Will training be provided for the mentoring partners?
    What kind of ongoing support for the program is planned?
    How will success be measured and rewarded?

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