Maximising Mentor Participation in Mentoring Programmes
Maximising Mentor Participation
in Mentoring Programmes
Client Challenge: "We run a
mentoring programme every year, and every year we struggle to get the mentors
to attend our kick-off events and to actually schedule (and stick to) mentoring
- HR Director (Aircraft
In general, mentoring programmes tend to focus on the mentee's
learning. However, mentoring programmes should also focus on what the mentors
can learn. In fact, both parties gain new knowledge and insights and develop new leadership
competencies. Both parties 'give and take'; it is no longer the mentor 'giving'
all the time. Establishing this reciprocity from the very beginning will help to motivate mentors to
be as active as mentees in a mentoring programme.
How Mentors Benefit
- Hierarchical: Have the most senior mentors announce
their intention to attend the kick-off event and send a note to all mentors that those who
cannot attend must write a note to their mentee, which will be given to the
mentee during the kick-off event.
- Viral: Based on Herrero's model for behavioural change, identify a group of highly
connected, highly visible and trusted mentors to become the 'pull'
mechanism for new mentors to become more involved. Gather personal stories from
them about the benefits they have achieved for themselves as mentors (through
short interviews) and have them spread these stories through their own network
and to the mentors, as well as via your intranet or other internal publications.
Here are just a few of the ways in which
mentors can benefit from a mentoring programme, based on our Mentor+Model:
Mentors help mentees to understand challenges,
evaluate what happened, explore intentions, develop alternative solutions and
prepare action plans. This process enables mentors to develop their ability to
listen, observe, ask useful questions, withhold judgement, be empathetic, and influence
when they have no formal authority and power. These are all extremely important
When mentors and mentees come from different
professional backgrounds, and mentors describe their own experiences in
handling professional tasks, they become more conscious of their own
competencies and more skilled in communicating these in other contexts.
All mentoring relationships create at least
one new network: the mentor/mentee relationship. Mentors and mentees can also
help each other to develop new networks and to open their networks to each
other. Career Development
Mentors learn what motivates mentees to
consider a career and how mentees view the organisation. In today's labour
market, where good employees are in great demand, it is useful to understand
what attracts and encourages these employees to stay. Listening to mentees' stories
and ambitions about jobs and careers can also give mentors valuable inspiration
to focus on their own career and professional future. Cultural Understanding
To support mentees in navigating in the
corporate environment, mentors become more conscious about how political life
evolves in the organisation. For example, a new subculture or new informal
power structures may have emerged within the organisation that the mentor may
not have noticed. Mentors can use these insights to enhance their own leverage
within the organisation.
If you are interested in running a successful
mentoring programme, please email us for a free call with Europe's leading expert and best-selling author
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