Mentoring Tips & Other Mentoring Advice

Here in the northern hemisphere, September is a month when we say so long to summer and hello to the daily grind of school and work.

For many companies, September also marks the end of the fiscal calendar, which means many people are finalizing budgets and planning for the next fiscal year.

In other words, it's a great time to think about something like mentoring by reevaluating your existing program or taking the leap and starting a new program from scratch.

To that end, here are two mentoring checklists to help you, depending on the situation you find yourself in.

Mentoring Checklist for New Programs

1. Who is supporting this mentoring initiative in your company/organization?

2. What is the strategic reason for considering mentoring at this time?

3. Have you decided what mentoring model(s) you would like to implement?

  • Formal (structured) vs situational (any employee can seek a mentor and vice versa at any time).
  • Pairs vs Group mentoring

4. Do you anticipate the program being tied to one or more of the following developmental programs?

  • Succession planning
  • Diversity support
  • Onboarding
  • Career development
  • Leadership development
  • Other

5. Do you have a strategy for recruiting mentoring pairs?

6. How do you wish to match the pairs?

  • Matched by your company's mentoring program manager
  • Mentorees and mentors match each other
  • Matched by the consulting company

7. Is your interest only in using a matching tool to create successful matches without any monitoring of pairs/groups?

  • Yes
  • No

8. Do you have a strategy for monitoring mentoring relationships?

9. What population have you targeted to implement your mentoring pilot?

10. Approximately how many employees in that population?

11. Approximately how many pairs would you envision in the pilot?

12. How long do you envision pairs working together? The typical program is 12 months.

13. When do you anticipate starting your pilot program?

14. Do you currently have a budget set aside for this program?

  • Yes
  • No

15. Please add any other information that would be helpful to share prior to our conversation/demo.

Mentoring Checklist for Existing Programs

1. Do you have a mentoring program manager? If not, does it make sense to create this position for the new fiscal year?

2. If you use mentoring software, when's the last time you generated any reports? (Hint: now's a good time to dig into some of the data.)

3. Are you happy with the process for matching mentors and mentorees? If not, what about the process is problematic and how can the process be improved? If improving the process involves upgrading to mentoring software, is there room in the budget?

4. What sort of feedback have you been receiving from program participants? It's smart to compile this info and share it with upper management and new mentor/mentoree recruits.

5. Do you want to expand your current program into other areas? For example, perhaps you want to add in a succession planning component.

6. Would you love an expert's opinion on how well your mentoring program is performing? Sometimes having another set of eyes to look over the data and/or having someone with whom you can discuss your program can help clarify goals and objectives for the next 12 months. (Psst. We do this for our clients all the time. Contact us now, and let's talk.)

Here's to your mentoring success!