Having a mentoring scheme within your own organisation can benefit the whole workplace. It can help increase the pool of leadership prospects, improve individual workers’ skills, and increase retention rates. Here we highlight the steps involved in developing your own scheme.
To help outline the process we have included the RAM model of evaluation. The model was developed by John McGurk of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to keep users focused on the outcome, not the process. Here the model is applied to the process of developing a coaching program.
Determine the scope and form
Identify why you want to establish a mentoring scheme, and what you hope it will achieve. Potential goals include:
- Developing staff members’ skill sets, particularly leadership skills
- Maintaining strong staff morale and improving retention
- Offering an extra level of guidance and support
- Improving internal communication
Alignment and Application
Identify problems in advance
Consider your range of solutions if there is:
- A poor relationship between mentor and mentee
- Disruption to the scheme because of related or unrelated organisational change
- Resistance to the scheme amongst employees
Identify and train mentors
Mentoring, of course, needs to be voluntary. Invite all the appropriate staff groups to become mentors. However you will also need a selection process in place to ensure that there is a consistently high standard amongst your mentors.
Once you have identified your mentors, you will need to train them. The training should include:
- A detailed explanation of the mentoring scheme and its aims
- The difference between being a mentor and being a manager
- The limits of a mentor’s responsibilities and obligations to a mentor
- The skills and techniques to be an effective mentor
Work out the logistics
Have processes in place for:
- Any questions or problems raised by participants: identify what may be recurring obstacles or frequently asked questions and brainstorm responses to them
- Providing the proper resources if mentoring is to take place virtually
- The system for matching mentors and mentees
- How the first meeting will go – it is important the relationship gets off to a good start.