Educate yourself on mentoring (Web Sight)

Test driving the mentoring program • Mentoring programs in the federal public service • A business plan and program design • A collection of resources • Tips and tools for mentoring

A successful mentoring program is a tremendous asset to any organization. New and experienced employees alike benefit from a solid mentoring program, with networking opportunities, training and personal growth. Ensuring the success of the program depends on how it is designed, implemented and maintained. These sites offer case studies and examples of successful implementations, and identify common pitfalls.

Test driving the mentoring program

This Australian article focuses on one company’s experience piloting a new mentoring program. Westpac Banking Corporation introduced the program to determine what impact mentoring might have on career progression and the retention of key talent. It was overwhelmed with applicants, but selected 18 mentors and 14 proteges for the feedback-intensive pilot. The findings showed that “100 per cent of participants rated the program as useful or very useful. Proteges reported an increase in job skills and career satisfaction, and improvements in organizational understanding, networking and confidence to pursue opportunities. Mentors reported improving their own listening and communication skills, as well as additional networking opportunities.” The article concludes with a list of factors key to the success of Westpac’s program.

Mentoring programs in the federal public service

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat offers this excellent document on mentoring programs in the federal public service. It’s a lengthy study that deals specifically with public-service workers. Still, the insights offered can be applied to any industry. The study’s purpose is “to determine the status of mentoring programs in the Canadian federal public service, and thereby elicit best practices in the implementation of these programs.” It looks at the objectives of mentoring programs, program parameters — design, scope, accessibility, participation, senior-level support and more — and also other operational aspects like the criteria of mentors, mentor recruitment, matching processes, training, e-mentoring and more. Other crucial aspects are examined, including the ever-important program evaluation, problems experienced and best practices. There is an absolute wealth of information here for those who take the time to go through it. For convenience, the chapters in the table of contents are all clickable links.

A business plan and program design

This sub-site from Stanford University presents a business plan for a mentoring program. It’s a little older, but the information provided is useful for HR practitioners to glean some ideas for implementing a mentoring program. The table of contents is all linked; simply click on a chapter and it will redirect to the information. Of particular interest is the executive summary, which provides background information and outlines the group’s mission and concept, opportunities, entry and growth expectations and projected social impact. The chapter on program design and implementation delves into the specifics of how the mentoring program is created.

A collection of resources

A really good Canadian mentoring resource site, featuring information on upcoming mentoring conferences and events, book and video reviews, article and case study searches, research summaries, online services listings, links to mentoring sites and tons of other resources all accessible from the button menu on the left. They offer paid membership to the Peer Resource Network that comes with its own benefits, but most of the information on the main site is free to browse.

Tips and tools for mentoring

The Mentoring Group provides services and publications worldwide related to mentoring. The home page has a random smattering of mentoring tips. To the left is a menu with useful links to an FAQ and an archive of articles, ideas and best practices, more tips for mentors and proteges, with tools. The FAQ section answers questions concerning the definition of a mentor, how to find a mentor, the relationship dynamics, potential problems and solutions. The articles and tools in the archives section provide helpful references.

Shannon Simson is Canadian HR Reporter’s resource editor. Her Web Sight column appears regularly in the CloseUp section.

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