Organizations are increasingly using mentoring to foster employee learning, development, and engagement. Though mentoring programs are usually thought of as a tool for benefitting mentees, there’s clear evidence that mentoring provides growth and development for mentors. As well, mentoring programs have been found to be beneficial for organizations.
Benefits to the organization
Here are some of the benefits organizations have attributed to mentoring programs:
• increased/improved organizational communication
• increased employee commitment/loyalty
• knowledge transfer
• reduced turnover
• strengthening of corporate/organizational culture
In this section we provide information and best practices related to in-house mentoring programs established by organizations for their employees, as well as some tools organizations may find helpful if they’re considering establishing an in-house mentoring program or are reviving or re-focusing an existing mentoring program.
As you read the information here and look at the tools related to in-house mentoring programs, keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a one-size fits all mentoring program. The success of an in-house mentoring program rests on thoughtful determination of the program’s goals and objectives, careful tailoring of key aspects of the program, and committed execution.
A WORD ABOUT TERMINOLOGY: IN-HOUSE MENTORING PROGRAMS
We’re using the generic term “in-house mentoring program” for a mentoring program set up by an organization for its staff. Such programs are created to support specific goals established by the organization. In-house programs can be fairly formally structured, with criteria for participation and matching of mentors and mentees, or relatively unstructured, with people self-selecting whether to participate and focusing on goals that are not necessarily tied to organization-wide objectives.
In some mentoring literature, in-house programs are sometimes referred as “formal mentoring”. We prefer not to refer to in-house programs as “formal mentoring” because that may imply that all other mentoring is “informal”, which is not the case.