It depends. There’s no such thing as “one size fits all,” which is why it’s important to understand the many different types of mentoring that’s available. In this post, we'll talk about some models, but for a more in depth look, we encourage you to download our free white paper on corporate mentoring models (see button below).
In this traditional model, one mentor is matched with one mentoree, and a trained program manager monitors the match’s progress over the course of 9-12 months. Usually, the matches are deliberate; the mentoring program manager pairs two people together based on certain criteria, such as experience, skill sets, goals, personality, and a variety of other factors.
Self-directed mentoring offers some of the features provided by one-to-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’s up to a mentoree to initiate the process, asking one of the volunteer mentors for assistance.
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. The mentor as well as the mentorees help one another learn and develop appropriate skills/knowledge.
This model matches senior executives (the mentorees) with younger people (the mentors) to help the older generation stay current and informed about new technologies or trends. For example, a 20-something employee may introduce a senior executive to social networking on Facebook or Twitter.