Tips On How to Set a Goal for Employees Before Finding A Mentor

August 02, 2017

Before an employee seeks out for a mentor, they first need decide on a career goal that a mentor can support them on. This may sound relativity simple but you would be surprised how many individuals want a mentor but dont understand why they need one. Once they have decided on a goal, we recommend the mentee should find out next if their goal is a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.) before reaching out to the mentor.


Here are some tips on making sure the goal that your potential mentees decide on is really a smart goal.  

Specific The goal needs to be specific not generic. This will allow a mentee to measure the progress of the goal and understand if they actually achieved it. An example of generic goal is Improve my leadership skills. For the goal to be specific, it needs to be changed to Improve my public speaking that will overall improve my leadership skills. To get even more specific your organization may have defined levels of leadership competencies within the organization. Specifying the level they need to attain will make it more specific and much easier to measure.

Measurable Any goal isnt achieved in one day, if it is then its not a goal its a task. Deciding how you will measure the goal, will allow a mentee and a mentor to understand if the goal is being slowly achieved. This measurement could be number of hours spent practicing a skill; number of given speeches, hours spent training.  

Attainable There are some goals that are easier to achieve than others. There are also some goals that currently may not be possible. We recommend that the mentee chooses a goal that is possible. The mentor will be able to confirm if it possible since they have been there.

Relevant The mentee needs to make sure the goal they choose is relevant to their career or personal life. If its relevant the mentee and mentor will be more motivated to achieve the goal together. The mentee will also get more buy in from your company and their manager if its part of their career path.

Time-bound To get anything done today, it needs a deadline otherwise it will never be prioritized with all the daily tasks that have to be done immediately.  We recommend the mentee chooses a deadline then discusses this with their mentor to decide if it realistic. Eventually a deadline must be agreed from both parties.

Once your mentee has agreed a career goal with their mentor and its a SMART goal, we recommend to writing it down using a learning plan tool, with all the action items needed to achieve it. The progress of the goal should be reviewed on a regular basis. Your employees will be soon be achieving their next career step. 

Learn more about Insala's
Free Webinars

Watch Webinars