I’ve been shocked this week after some conversations at a conference about the number of organisations who are dismissing mentoring as ‘too labour intensive’, ‘difficult to keep the energy in the programme’ or just plain ‘ineffectual’. Anyone who knows me and understands my passion for mentoring will immediately understand the emotional response this has created. In the seventeen years I have been working designing and developing mentoring programmes, I have found that organisations who are focused and structured in their approach to mentoring get amazing results and it is not difficult or particularly hard work if you know what you are doing.
My accurate ROI statement is calculated using one such Talent Mentoring programme that I delivered, where 5 mentees told me, when evaluating the programme a year later, that if it wasn’t for their mentoring support they would have left the organisation! These were senior leaders for whom the cost of replacing them alone more than justified the programme’s existence, let alone the unknown costs to the organisation of getting their successors up to speed etc. You can hear more about the benefits of a good mentoring programme, along with details of how to design and implement one, during my session ‘Developing your future leaders through Mentoring’ at our conference in York on the 20th Oct.
Good focused mentoring works amazingly. So what is the key to making it work?
Design your programme properly
Don’t just ‘fling’ your programme together, would you do that with internal coaching? Ensure you follow a clear process when implementing your programme; use my model to design your programme or to check your current programme’s effectiveness.
If you want more information on how to use this approach then get in touch. Design tends to go wrong for the following reasons:
- The purpose of the programme is unclear
- The programme is not voluntary and participants don’t want to get involved
- There is inadequate marketing and communication about why the programme is being set up or how it will run
- Mentors and mentees are unprepared and don’t have a clue what good mentoring looks like
- Mentors and mentees are just left to flounder with no follow up and support
- Evaluation is non-existent, so even if mentoring is successful, no one really knows about it!
Support your programme!
Supporting mentoring is easy, it just doesn’t get done sadly. Remember there are three aspects, just as if you were supervising in a coaching programme:
- Education — keep upskilling your mentors and mentees if possible
- Quality Assurance — ensuring your mentors are operating at a consistent level and the level you are looking for!
- Ethical — making sure your mentoring causes no harm. The ‘dark side’ of mentoring can be rife and neither do you want any byproducts, such as the odd marriage! Don’t be dismissive of the benefits of mentoring.
Again come and talk if you want some help with this. We are very experienced in mentor and mentee supervision.
Don’t be dismissive of the benefits of mentoring
The outcomes from a robust mentoring programme never fail to amaze me. Retention, leadership and behavioural development, growth in EQ, better problem solving and decision making, fast talent development are just a few aspects I see most weeks in my work. For the investment in a good mentoring programme, the benefits are enormous.
Find out the benefits in person
If you think you are missing a trick with the way your are currently using mentoring, or just avoiding its use then I would be delighted to talk this through with you or come to our conference in York on the 20th Oct and attend my session on ‘Developing your future leaders through Mentoring’. I am going to provide a fool proof plan to implement and use mentoring and deliver exactly this providing:
- The key steps to create a programme
- An outline of resources and costs required
- Focused tips for success based on the experience of developing over 100 mentoring programmes globally
- The outputs that arise from supporting aspiring leaders through mentoring.
I hope to see you there!
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