The Impact of Bad Mentor Matching in Your Organization

September 11, 2019
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When you start a mentoring program, the focus is often on employees that are willing to learn and grow. These employees become more engaged with the organization because of their mentorship. As you likely already know, engaged employees are the backbone of every successful organization.

However, itís been said that a mentoring program is only as good as its mentoring relationships. This is why effective mentor matching is important. Mentor matching is one of the challenges that organizations face when implementing a successful mentoring program.

While many organizations navigate the matching process step-by-step, there is still a possibility of a bad mentor match.

Unsuccessful Mentor Matching

Mentor matches create the base of all mentorships within the program. As such, they have a huge impact on the success of mentoring programs. This means that bad mentor matches have a negative impact on the program.

When unsuccessful mentor matches occur, the program and the organization can lose credibility. A negative reputation will make it difficult to recruit mentors and mentees in the future. Fewer participants will increase the likelihood of future unsuccessful matches.

Not only can poor mentor matching impact participation, but it can also bring down the ROI of the program. Unsuccessful matches are less likely to result in goal progression. This wastes the time of both the mentor and mentee and decreases the effectiveness of the program. Programs with low ROI are often neglected or discontinued altogether.

The Impact of Good Mentor Matches

While unsuccessful mentor matches can result in negative results, the opposite is true for good mentor matches. Mentorships built on great matches create a great overall mentoring program.

Mentoring programs are often used by organizations as an employee engagement strategy. This is because mentoring relationships are often long-term, and the provide the mentee with a connection at work. Successful mentor matches lead to longer, more successful mentorships, which in turn leads to more engaged employees.

With increased employee engagement, organizations often also see increased employee retention. This saves money and time because the organization does not have to hire and train new employees as often. It also allows for continuous internal knowledge transfer and prevents knowledge gaps in the organization.

With so many benefits, it is obvious that successful mentor matching is incredibly important. So, how is it done?

Preparing for the Mentor Matching Process

Because mentor matching is so important, organizations will need to spend some time preparing for the matching process. Preparations can include recruiting qualified participants, compiling profiles, and holding mentor training for both mentors and mentees. 

Itís important to recruit qualified mentors to ensure the quality of the relationship. When an unqualified mentor is selected, they will not be able to facilitate employee development. They also may not have the skills the mentee is looking for, which can lower engagement in the program.

Mentor profiles should be created for all participating mentors for more simple matching. These profiles can be created and maintained in mentoring software. Mentoring software allows for mentees or administrators to peruse available mentor profiles and choose the best match. It can also help track the progress of the mentorships to ensure that the match is compatible once the relationships begin.

Mentor training is a great time to go over the importance of great mentor matches. All participants should understand the importance of finding the right mentor match, as it increases relationship and program success.

Making the Match

There are a few different ways to match mentors and mentees. Some popular methods include self-matching and administrator matching.

Self-matching allows the mentees to look through all the available mentor profiles and select a mentor themselves. This is beneficial when paired with mentoring software, for easy access to profiles. It is also a great option because self-matches have shown higher levels of long-term success, especially for career development.

Administrator matching lets the program administrators or executives select the mentor for the mentee. This is often used for high-potential individuals with a very specific career path lined up for succession planning purposes.

Administrator matching is also often paired with self-matching. Hybrid matching lets the admin team narrows the scope of mentors down to a few candidates. Then, the mentee is able to make the final decision.

After the Match

It is important to remember that successful matches do not always happen, even if the match was made following our guidelines. To monitor matches after the mentorship happens, check in on mentorships frequently. This is easy to do with mentoring software.

If an unsuccessful match occurs, program admins should be able to move in and move the mentee to a new mentor. This should help the mentee continue to be mentored while minimizing the disruption to their development. After the move, be sure to still check in with the relationship to ensure optimal mentoring relationships.


At Insala, we have provided many mentor matching solutions to organizations across the globe. Our mission is to ensure your mentees find the best possible match, while saving time for program administrators. For more information, request a demo today.

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