Business Mentoring Matters

3 Things to Keep in Mind When Designing A Mentoring Program

Posted on Fri, Apr, 13, 2012

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When designing a mentoring program for business, there are 3 things you should keep in mind: determine goals, define a strategy, and train your people.

designing a mentoring program

1. Determine your organization's mentoring GOALS.

Is there a specific problem in the organization that the mentoring program should solve? Is the hope to retain talent? Develop talent? Promote a more diverse organization? Or all of the above? Identifying the problem before designing the program will assist in the design process and ensure that the ultimate goals are met.

2. Who in the organization will be responsible for holding program participants accountable (STRATEGY)?

Mentoring programs require a Mentoring Program Manager (MPM). The MPM is a critical player in a professional mentoring program. An effective mentoring program manager can often make the difference between failed mentoring relationships and successful ones; and in turn failed or successful mentoring programs.

The MPM is responsible for assisting the mentoring pairs in having an effective relationship and for supporting the pairs. Who in the organization has the time to do that? And who is qualified? This role is best handled by someone with authority and who is capable of resolving issues between pairs. Typically HR managers, Training and Development Managers, and Diversity Managers fill these roles.

3. Ensure that all participants in the mentoring program are TRAINED and understand what a mentoring relationship is all about.

Understanding the definition of mentoring is crucial. The training must be on mentoring-not coaching. Mentoring is "relational," while coaching is "functional." People often confuse coaching and mentoring. Though related, they are not the same. A mentor may coach, but a coach does not mentor. 


These 3 key steps are a great way to begin the design process of your mentoring program. For more detailed information, please feel free to check out our free white paper 5 Ways Mentoring Can Help Your Company below:

business mentoring


designing a mentoring program or if you have other questions about mentoring, please contact Management Mentors.

Tags: Mentoring Programs