Good practice in setting up and running mentoring schemes
Mentoring is a process proven to motivate and support individuals to help them make the most of work place opportunities. It can provide support, advice and guidance, motivation, build confidence and develop potential. It can be formal or informal, frequent or intermittent, and can be provided at any stage of an individual’s career.
Both mentees and mentors are more likely to commit to and benefit from a mentoring scheme where participation is voluntary.
We have identified the needs and objectives of a mentoring programme, and decided the type of programme we wish to run.
- Mentoring is seen as good practice.
- It is a useful tool for capturing and passing on skills and knowledge.
- It is an excellent vehicle for developing interpersonal skills (for both the mentee and the mentor).
- It benefits both mentee and mentor as well as the wider organisation.
- Set clear objectives and targets for your mentoring programme, these will help you to publicise and evaluate it.
- Determine the type of mentoring programme that you wish to run
We publicise and market our mentoring programme to recruit mentors and mentees.
Participation in the programme should be voluntary and should be easily accessible in terms of location, timings, impact on work load.
Marketing to all employees, and acknowledging support for participants is important.
The benefits of participation should be clear for both mentors and mentees.
We identify apprentices who would benefit from mentoring and encourage them to take up this opportunity.
Consider the apprentice and how they might benefit from mentoring and do acknowledge that the individual may not automatically be open to this. They may need encouragement to participate or an alternative support method – participation must be voluntary.
Work with the apprentice to agree the benefits of mentoring and the outcomes they would like to see:
- Improved confidence and self esteem
- Direct support and guidance for the training
- Target setting and progression
Differing outcomes may require different mentors. Moral support and confidence building is a different skill set to technical guidance and academic support. You may require both.
We recruit mentors, and provide training.
Identify who could be a potential mentor.
Role models who are further down the path that the mentee wishes to follow, particularly if from the same gender/culture/background, can make good mentors but so can other experienced staff from different areas of work.
Providing suitable training for mentors before entering into the mentoring relationship will help maximise the benefits of the mentor/mentee relationship.
We take care to match mentors and mentees.
There is no simple answer to who will make the best mentor for any individual.
Consider the outcomes you are attempting to achieve; having a role model from a similar gender/culture/background or age can help female apprentices to identify with the individual and build their confidence and awareness of progression. It may be that the mentee is looking more for skills/technical and progression support and that a mentor with that experience may be the best option.
This is a ‘try it and see’ situation and must retain the flexibility to change either mentor or mentee if it is not a good match or if the requirements change.Having a ‘no-fault separation’ clause so that mentors or mentees can be re-matched if they don’t ‘click’ is a good option, as is a regular review to ensure that the match will support any revised outcomes
We ensure that mentoring is facilitated and review regularly to assess benefits and ensure positive outcomes.
Put resources in place so that the mentoring can happen, and has the opportunity for success.