Organizational goals and objectives
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Identifying the issue or issues your organization wishes to address through mentoring is the first – and in many ways most important – step. Without clear goals there’s nothing to guide program design decisions and no way to measure the program’s success or return on investment. So, before you go any further, consider what business or organization goals you’re trying to achieve through implementation of an in-house program. Put another way: pinpoint the desired outcomes for the organization as well as for the mentees and mentors. And, as you set program objectives, keep in mind that programs with specific and targeted objectives are more successful than programs with vague or overly broad objectives.
A number of different goals can be the focus of an in-house mentoring program, including:
• Leadership identification and training
• Acclimation of new employees
• Skills development
• Knowledge transfer – for example, as part of succession planning
• Facilitating working relationships and enhancing communication among employees
• Employee satisfaction and retention
• Diversity enhancement
Whatever goals or objectives you chose to focus on via an in-house mentoring program, it’s important that they’re strategically aligned with your organization’s core values and mission. If they aren’t, it will be difficult to get buy-in from management and staff.
The success of your program will also depend on how well you’ve communicated the program goals to all program participants (including potential participants), management, and program coordinators.
Determining the goals of the program
Determining the goals of an in-house mentoring program is similar to determining the goals of any organization-sponsored program.
The basic steps include:
• Identifying the problem(s) you think might be addressed through mentoring.
• Identifying the business objectives you hope to address through mentoring.
• Identifying key performance indicators (KPI) related to the objectives – for example, if employee retention is an objective, retention rates would be a relevant KPI, as would employee satisfaction rates.
• Conducting a needs assessment to determine who should participate in the program and to assess individual readiness. The assessment should reflect the organization's long-term strategic goals and examine any organizational systems or processes that may impact the program.
Is an in-house mentoring program right for you?
Here’s a true/false quiz about mentoring to focus your thoughts on whether establishing an in-house mentoring program is right for your organization.