3 Best Practices for Managing Mentoring Programs within Large Organizations

April 01, 2011
The majority of large organizations see the benefits of mentoring and invest in it as a talent strategy. According to the Institute for Corporate Productivity, 64 percent of businesses with over 10,000 employees and 50 percent of those with 5,000-9,999 employees have mentoring programs in place.

However, with large employee populations, mentoring programs that are not properly implemented or managed can experience a greater loss in ROI, among other things. Below are best practices for managing mentoring programs within large organizations.
  1. Communicate program expectations, train and check-in regularly.
    Meet with key leaders to clarify program expectations, objectives and rules of engagement of mentor relationships. Offer mentoring readiness workshops to train all participants on their roles and expectations. Integrate mentoring program information into all corporate communication channels and consider an online mentoring software solution, such Insala’s Hi-Impact Mentoring ® software. Online mentoring solutions offer a cost efficient and effective way to support and properly manage mentoring programs. With online portals, participants have access to assessments, resources and tools to support their mentoring goals anytime, anywhere. Be sure to conduct regular “check-in” interviews of mentors, mentees and managers to ensure follow through.

  2. Ensure proper mentor and mentee matching.
    Implement an online participant application process for automated matching based on data. Gather comprehensive participant data including skills assessments with an online profile builder. Select specific criteria for matching and pairing based on program objectives. Online matching tools generate compatible pairs based on the comprehensive data to reduce costly margin of error.

  3. Track development objectives of a large and dispersed mentee population. Use robust reporting tools for ease and efficiency of program administration.
    Provide a single online portal with tools that allow mentees to record and track their objectives and development and ensure program success metrics are tied to business KPIs. Facilitate program surveys and analyze survey results from the online portal. Provide program administrators with robust reporting tools to enable them to pull any program data. Automate reporting of activities and progress within the program.

With these three best practices for managing mentoring within large organizations follow these next steps in defining your company’s mentoring program.
  1. Pinpoint the challenges you currently face in planning, implementing or managing a high volume or highly dispersed mentoring program.
  2. Identify the goals you would like to achieve through your program.
  3. Implement a successful program or improve your existing program by consulting a mentoring solutions provider such as Insala.
  4. Achieve maximum program ROI and demonstrate results.
The pitfalls of mismanaged mentoring programs at large organizations can be costly, but a properly implemented and managed mentoring program, supported by technology, can yield greater ROI for the organization and the employees it strives to develop and retain.

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