Mentoring and Talent Development: How to do they fit together?

November 07, 2012
If you are considering a targeted mentoring program for talent development, or if you presently manage a mentoring program, chances are youíve been asked to provide a road map where at the end you are expected to tie it all together and prove itís business value and ROI. With so many variables to consider it can be a daunting task.

With that said, itís important to take note of how talent development has evolved. Starting with a performance management model that had the benefit of a look back at data, then a talent management model that offered a near term perspective and presently to talent development that has a more forward-looking, growth and opportunity view.

Organizations are finding that a targeted mentoring program is an effective and cost efficient part of a talent development strategy as mentoring is moving from informal to formal, meaning organizations are putting in the effort to distinguish what they are using mentoring for, identify proper matches of mentors and mentees with specific goals, and tying these efforts back to specific talent development objectives.

A popular use of a formal mentoring is developing leaders and strengthening the succession pipeline. However, mentoring programs also contribute to successful onboarding, retention, engagement, specific skill development, career growth and development to name a few.

How to design a mentoring program for talent development

  1. Set Objectives and Goals. Determine the talent development objectives for the mentoring program. Identify what your organizationsí goals are for the program, i.e., leadership development, skill development, diversity, inclusion, succession planning, engagement, onboarding, career development, etc.
  2. Matching Criteria. Choose a matching criteria to fulfill your talent development objectives. Is it leadership? Then determine how mentors and mentees will be matched based on available attributes of potential mentors and the area of leadership skills needed to be developed by mentees.
  3. Communicate and Train. Communicate what the mentoring program is, why the organization is investing in mentoring and what role they can take in it. Properly train participants and administrators on expectations and provide easily accessible resources for quick reference, communication, and organization.
  4. Identify a specific talent pool. Open the mentoring program to a specific group of employees during an initial phase of the program. Base your group selection on your original objectives and goals. From that group choose participants based on the following factors:
    • Availability
    • Experience
    • Career level
    • Willingness
    • Location (when distance mentoring isn't an option)
  5. Use Supporting Mentoring Technology. Use a mentoring software solution that matches mentors and mentees; manage partnerships, tracks and reports on original objectives and delivers mentoring content and resources for partnerships whether they are in the same building or on a different continent. When choosing a mentoring technology solution consider the following.

    • Single Sign On (SSO) Integration. Mentoring technology that offers a SSO integration will ensure that employees donít need to have another login and will give them access to mentoring in a secure environment.
    • Brand it! Also known as private labeling. A mentoring solution that can upload your company brand and make it your own recognizable company tool.
    • Make sure the solution can integrate your employee profile data so any personal data can be transferred across to minimize duplication of efforts on multiple company systems.
    • A solution that can incorporate your organizationís structure and competencies so you can report on where mentoring is taking place successfully and enable employees to focus on developing defined company competencies. Ensure you can report on successes and see where you can improve. Quantify your results through regular activity reporting to ensure your program objectives are being met and see where you can make corrections.
    • The final integration point, connect and upload your mentoring activities including what goals were achieved for each mentee to your LMS, allowing you to track all the development an employee has received in one place.

Learn more about Insala's
Free Webinars

Watch Webinars