Articles

Best Practices for Creating an Integrated Coaching and Mentoring Program

March 22, 2013

Sometimes you need more than what a mentoring program or coaching program alone can offer your organization. But if you only have the time and money to implement one program, which one should it be?

It doesn’t have to be a matter of choosing one or the other. In a recent webinar, Insala’s Judy Corner explained how to easily manage both coaching and mentoring with a single software solution and save both time and money. Here are her best practices for doing so:

  1. Clarify the differences between mentoring and coaching. Discuss and agree on what the differences and similarities between programs will mean within your organization. Then, communicate this information to all stakeholders. See our article on Defining the Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring for more information.
  2. Define your objectives. What do you hope to achieve with your mentoring/coaching program? Will you be focusing on onboarding, leadership development, skill development, career development, or something else altogether? For best results, you must define your goals and objectives and ensure that everyone is on the same page before moving forward.
  3. Choose what measures you will use to determine ROI. It’s important to plan in advance for measuring ROI so that you have the data and tools you need to determine your program’s success. You’ll want to review the success of individual partnerships as well as the whole program.
  4. Introduce one online solution to manage your mentoring and coaching program. Implementing one solution instead of two is more cost-effective and easier to manage. Insala provides software that allows a single administrator to manage an integrated mentoring/coaching program. This reduces administrative overhead and time spent on administrative tasks, while still ensuring that you get the most out of the benefits of a coaching and a mentoring program.
  5. Train your mentors and coaches to make sure they understand their roles and what’s expected of them. Role definition for stakeholders is crucial to attaining the results you want from your integrated program.
  6. Choose specific criteria to qualify individuals for your coaching or mentoring programs determined by your defined uses of mentoring and coaching. Some employees will simply be better suited for mentoring rather than coaching and vice versa. Providing participants a list of your agreed uses for mentoring and coaching from which they can select their needs will determine for which program they should qualify. For example, if a participant wants to develop a particular skill and you have agreed mentoring is the best method to achieve skill development, then that participant should be qualified for mentoring.
  7. Choose specific criteria to match qualified individuals with mentors and coaches. Your criteria can be as varied and diverse as years of experience, business function, specific skills, distance/location, etc. Just make sure the criteria will fulfill your business objectives for the initiative. For example, if your objective is leadership development, make sure leadership development skills and competencies are part of your matching criteria.
  8. Measure achievements by gathering feedback to determine ROI. You should use both qualitative and quantitative measures to evaluate your program. An example of qualitative measurement is using feedback surveys from stakeholders: mentees, coachees, mentors, coaches, and even managers. Quantitative measurement might include the administrative review of each coachee’s/mentee’s development plan to determine what was achieved, and more importantly, how it fits into the organization’s goals.

View our webinar Mentoring and Coaching: Ways to Use Each Strategically in Your Organization for more information about the differences between mentoring and coaching programs, and how you can integrate them successfully in your organization.

Insala is a leading global provider of mentoring, coaching, career development, career transition, and corporate alumni solutions for organizations of all types and sizes. For more information, please visit www.insala.com or www.mentoringtalent.com.


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