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Differences Between Formal and Informal Business Mentoring

Posted on Tue, Feb 26, 2013

Informal and formal mentoring are often perceived as being the same, but they have significant differences. A failure by individuals engaged in such relationships to understand these differences can lead to disappointment and frustration. Both can benefit the organization and the individuals involved.



formal vs. informal business mentoring program


Tied to business objectives

Goals are established

Results are measured

Access is open to all who meet criteria

Mentors and Mentorees are matched

Matching is based on compatibility

Mentoree Manager is involved

Mentoring is time-limited

Training in mentoring is provided

Program Manager is a resource





INFORMAL formal vs. informal business mentoring program

No direct link to business objectives

Goals are unspecified

Results are not always clear

Access is limited and may exclude some

Mentors and Mentorees self-select

Matching is based on chemistry

Mentoree Manager is not involved

Mentoring may last for years

No training is provided

No Program Manager is involved


Which one is right for your company? Maybe both! If you would like to learn more about different types of business mentoring programs, be sure to download our FREE white paper:


Image Credits: © Gary Nicolson |

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