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Angela Jallo

GOLDMARK Property Management


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Mentor Program


I work as an in-house trainer, our company has gone through several cultural changes lately and we are exploring the possibility of starting a mentor program.  What has and has worked for you?  Is there any suggestions/advice you could give me on the start up of this?

6 Responses

  1. Some things that have worked well

    Some of the things that have worked in no real order:

    1. Make mentees (those being mentored) go out and find their own mentor – these can be shortlisted (those who are willing to be a mentor) or they can be anyone within the organisation so that the onus is on the mentee to sell their case for mentoring by the specific individual.
    2. Require the mentees and mentors to sign up to an agreement stating what each will gain and provide and any ground rules.
    3. The agreement should be a template of key questions and not an HR form which is the same for all.
    4. Evaluate asking mentees, their managers and their mentors at regular intervals; a Kirkpatrick type approach would be good.
    5. Ask/help the mentees to define exactly what they want to achieve from the process – this helps the evaluation no end!
    6. Define what success looks / feels like for the organisation. 
    7. Define what you mean by mentor / mentoring. Many organisations and individuals use mentoring and coaching interchangeably so it is necessary to define what you want to happen / not happen with your mentors. 
    8. Encourage the mentees and mentors to exchange experiences as this provides another loop of learning.    
    Cheers, Nick.        
  2. Mentee reluctance

     I completely agree that it is better for a mentee to pick their own mentor rather than have someone imposed on them. However in my experience a mentee is often reluctant to ask a potential mentor to support them or is put in a situation where a mentor (often someone in a position of influence) offers their services to a potential mentee and the mentee then finds it difficult to turn them down.

    Why not ask anyone interested in becoming a mentor to record a short 1-2 minute video clip of what they can offer a mentor?  You can then show mentees all the mentors on your register and let them choose. I know this might sound a bit like an approach used by a dating agency, but it works.

  3. How to set up a mentoring programme

     hi Angela

    There is a free download of a ‘How to set up a mentor programme document’ here, which could help get you started:

    When you are ready, they also have some award-winning mentor-training products such as DVDs and online training. Amazon in both the US and UK have recently listed the mentor-training DVD to good reviews:

    best wishes




  4. Mentoring

    Top Ten Tips to design and implement a successful mentoring programme


    Successful mentoring programmes are the result of good planning and implementation. The checklist that follows is based on experience in a wide variety of programmes. Whether you are starting a programme or addressing issues with an existing one, it will help you to identify the areas on which you need to concentrate your efforts, and the areas where you will need the help of a „Mentoring Specialist such as Shine People&Places.     

    1) Establishing the context and purpose for the mentoring programme. This means answering the questions “what do we want to achieve?” or “which outcomes are we looking for?” It could be that your organisation needs to retain talent, manage change or diversity or improve motivation. Whatever it is, establishing it right at the outset, is essential for the success of the programme. 

    2) Establish goals and objectives.  Once the needs have been identified you need to gather the evidence and the support to launch the programme. You may need to do a survey in order to identify the organisations objectives and priorities. You may also need to ascertain how a mentoring programme can be integrated or linked to existing initiatives. 

    3) Gaining consensus. Organisations need to show a return on investment in order to fund a project. Proving that by developing a mentoring programme the bottom line can be improved is the first step to getting consensus from the top. If the board or top management is not supportive of the initiative, the programme is not going to work.  

    4) Selecting the most appropriate programme.  There are different types of mentoring to suit the needs and the objectives of the organisation. The main decision to be made is whether the programme will be formal or informal followed by whether it is going to be one-to-one, group or reverse.  This will depend largely on the scope and extent of the programme.

    5) Financial Planning. Setting up a mentoring programme is not an expensive exercise, however you need to ensure that adequate resources and manpower to run the programme are made available. The time spent by a programme co-ordinator, in the case of formal programmes, or training for mentors and induction for mentees as well as making available material online / offline need to be thought through and allocated. 

     6) Marketing the programme. This depends largely on the culture of the organisation, the less keen it is on a learning and development the more marketing is needed to publicise the scheme, find champions and recruit mentors.

    7) Monitoring. Monitoring that the sessions are actually happening and that the matching is working is very important. Issues to do with pairs not meeting due to wrong matching for instance can only come to the fore if monitoring by the programme co-ordinator is done on a regular basis. 

    8) Select the most appropriate way of matching. Matching mentors and mentees is not a science, it is more of an art. The first thing that needs to be decided is whether the mentee will have a choice of mentors or whether the pairs will be assigned. If the mentees have a choice of mentors, then what remains to be seen is whether the process will work through self-selection or direct matching. 

    9) Train mentors and induct mentees. Training may vary from one to two days. Training for mentors and induction for mentees are essential in order to ensure all the mentors/mentees in the programme have a clear understanding of its aims and objectives, the skills required of them and the boundaries of the relationship.

    10) Evaluating and celebrating. Although the evaluation of the programme should happen on an ongoing basis, the programme needs to be measured against its original objectives. Evaluating the programme, both in a quantitative and qualitative way is important to measure success, bring changes if they are needed and ensure continuous funding and support. 


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Angela Jallo


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