Business Mentoring Matters

Which Corporate Mentoring Model Is Right For Your Business?

Posted on Thu, Feb, 21, 2013

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One of the advantages to mentoring is that it's flexible and can be adapted to an organization's specific culture and resources. Below are several different mentoring models.

1. One-on-One Mentoring
Used in 98% of most programs, one-on-one mentoring matches one mentor with one mentoree. Most people prefer this model because it allows both mentor and mentoree to develop a personal relationship and it provides individual support for the mentoree. Availability of mentors is the only real limitation in one-on-one mentoring.

This mentoring model works well for businesses that want to target a specific group for development or retention purposes. Usually this means emerging leaders, highly skilled workers, or a specific affinity group to promote diversity. The company wants to target development to meet specific organizational goals.

2. Self-Directed Mentoring
Self-directed mentoring offers some of the features provided by one-on-one mentoring. The main difference is that mentors and mentorees are not interviewed and matched accordingly by a Mentoring Program Manager. Instead, mentors agree to add their names to a list of available mentors from which a mentoree can choose. It is up to a mentoree to initiate the process, asking one of the volunteer mentors for assistance. This model typically enjoys only limited support within the organization and may result in mismatched mentor-mentoree pairing.

However, this model works well for businesses that want to offer mentoring to the larger employee population and prefer to let mentorees manage the entire selection and relationship-building process. In this model, companies are not as concerned about linking overall corporate goals with the specific goals of the mentoring program.

3. Group Mentoring
Group mentoring requires a mentor to work with four to six mentorees at one time. The group meets once or twice a month to discuss various topics. Combining senior and peer mentoring, the mentor as well as the peers help one another learn and develop appropriate skills/knowledge.

Group Mentoring is limited by the difficulty of regularly scheduling several busy employees. It also lacks the personal relationship that most people prefer in mentoring. For this reason, it is often combined with the one-on-one model. For example, some organizations provide each mentoree with a specific mentor. In addition, the organization will offer what is often called a Senior Seminar Series that involves periodic meetings in which a senior executive meets with all the mentors and mentorees who then share their knowledge and expertise.

This model works well for businesses that have limited mentors to satisfy a high mentoree demand. It also is a model that is often used in diversity mentoring. Since we know that non-majority people tend to be less prominent the higher you go in the organization, in order to provide non-majority mentorees with a similar model as themselves as mentors, they create a group process so that you combine peer mentoring along with a senior mentor. Group mentoring is a less common model and tends not to be the only model a company uses but one that accompanies a managed, one-on-one, or self- directed program.

Imagine One Complete Mentoring Solution That Encompasses All of the Above 

But what if you're not sure the model your company needs now will be what it needs later? At Management Mentors, we've developed one comprehensive mentoring solution called MentoringComplete that allows you to choose among these different mentoring models. Choose what makes sense for your business right now, but know you can transition to a different model when your business is ready.

For example, a smaller company may decide to start with a self-directed model and eventually transition to a one-on-one model as it grows. With MentoringComplete, you have all the tools you need for whatever type of mentoring program your company wants now--and you have the tools to grow your mentoring program, just as you do your business.

For an even more in-depth look into different mentoring models, download our FREE white paper Corporate Mentoring Models: One Size Doesn't Fit All by clicking the button on the left. Or if you feel that MentoringComplete may by the right solution for your business, click the button to the right for a free demo.

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Tags: Mentoring Programs