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Workplace Mentoring Guide


I'm working on setting up a mentoring system in my company, so that every Team Member can receive regular mentoring from a more senior person. We already have a pool of potential mentors, and I would like to organise a Q&A session for them; it would be helpful to have a short Workplace Mentoring Guide that they can pre-read, so that they have an idea of what the event will be about.

Examples of useful topics are:

- Role of the workplace mentor
- Benefits of the mentoring realationship (for everyone involved)
- Building and developing a positive mentoring relationship in the workplace
- Key attitudes and behaviours of a good mentor
- DOs and DON'Ts of the effective mentor

If you know about, or can forward me, any documents that may suit the purpose, feel free to get in touch.

Thank you very much in advance!

9 Responses

  1. Next week
    Hi I am out of the UK at the moment but pm me next Monday and Ill send you a complete guide to mentoring and role reponsibilities.

  2. don’t forget the mentees

    it is worth remembering that it takes two to tango, or have a mentoring relationship.  Mentees will also benefit from some clarification of the roles and responsibilities.

    One other point, you are providing this for ALL staff…..your organisations probably has more "workforce" than "managers", ie more mentees than mentors (bearing in mind as well that "senior" people may well benefit from having a mentor as well)… could be placing a potentially intolerable burden on your mentors.

    And finally, mentoring is generally about career opportunities rather than short term workplace issues.  Is is going to be allowable for a person to refuse to have a mentor on the legitimate grounds that they have no real career ambition; they just come to work, do a good job, get paid a fair wage and get their motivation in life from their outside interests.

    I put these points to you from experience of designing and installing mentoring schemes in organisations…..these cropped up as potentially serious barriers to different programmes.



  3. Very valuable advice

    Hi Russ,

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    All your points look relevant to our situation. The main reasons why mentoring hasn't worked so far have to do with the fact that it has been imposed "from above", and neither the mentors nor the mentees were clear enough on their roles and responsibilities.

    Preparing the mentors will be one of the first steps to change the system, and certainly not the only one. I do believe that mentees should have their say, and be allowed not to have a mentor if they don't feel they need one. I also think it fair to let them contribute to choosing their mentor, identifying the person whom they feel can give them the most valuable help with their development and career objectives. This will, in turn, ensure that everyone's time is well spent – i.e. making sure that only the people who are committed to being mentors and mentees are involved, and that mentoring relationships create real benefits rather than brief chats about short term issues from time to time (as you pointed out).

    There's a whole ineffective system that needs improving, and I expect it will take some time to make it really valuable for everyone involved – but the most important thing, at the moment, is starting to make it happen!

    I appreciate your advice very much, and am more than happy to discuss this further, if you feel there is more of your experience you would like to share.



  4. Everybody Needs A Mentor

    You can't go very far wrong with Clutterbuck & Megginson's book (title above!).  I have just found out this morning that they are working on a new version… so that's exciting news. 

    My company designs mentoring schemes, trains mentors and mentees (amongst other things).  In fact we are in the midst of a mentoring project at the moment, and the points raised so far are well worth the e-ink. 

    The matching process (to which you refer) is one which can be approached in a number of ways, which all have benefits and drawbacks – but your approach of giving mentees some 'say' sounds positive (as would, say, a 'wants and offers' type system).  It also sounds like you are being really inclusive with your approach in listening to mentors.

    One thing which you may like to really focus on is 'purpose' – as this drives scheme design, mentor and mentee training and evaluation.  What does the scheme exist to do!?

    Just thinking about it, you may also want to have a look at Garvey, Stokes & Megginson's Coaching & Mentoring.  In there is Bob Garvey's Mentoring Dimensions model – really useful to think about the nature of the mentoring relationship.

    Very best of luck with it – sounds like your direction is purposeful and positive!

  5. I have a document I am willing to share

    Please sen d me an address where I can sends it to.

    Les Hirst

  6. Hints

    Good hints from Rob and Jane above, there is plentiful advice out there and anything the Davids (Clutterbuck & Megginson) do is well thought through. I would reinforce Russ's point also –  mentees need as much or more training as mentors, as they are be the ones driving the engagement. With those provisos and an approach outlined below, I got results as follows :

    over 300 participants with 80 partnerships underway at any one time; picked out by Megginson and Clutterbuck as one of only two 'systemic' aprroaches they found in the UK (Making Coaching Work, CIPD 2006, Ch 8); scheme is still going eight years on

    mentors: 80% got significant benefits learning to help others find their own solutions to problems; almost all (97%) reported improvements in their own listening skills; 91% said they would like to do more mentoring and would recommend it to a colleague; the more exoperienced the mentorn got, the more they asked to be matched for difference

    mentees: 95% were satisfied with its relevance to their work and personal development; specific benefits = being supported and developed (69% “a lot” or “huge” benefits),working a route through difficulties (71%), maintaining a sense of perspective (80%); 91% of mentees said they would recommend mentoring to a colleague

    Very briefly, the approach was: start with clarity on scope, skills and process; provide “just enough” prior training, resource material and follow-up support for both groups; do not put pressure on participants, recognising that engagement needs to be on the basis of willing participation, comfort with the process, and opportunities to opt out if overloaded; finally, we feel that managers are in fact able and capable and can become ‘good enough’ mentors with the right preparation and support. Lots more but you can contact me via the website below.

    Kind regards

    Nick McBain FCIPD

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