Creating Leaders Through Mentoring Programs

Today's global marketplace offers many opportunities for talented leaders. The challenge for organizations is retaining and developing said leaders within their current workforce.

In the next five years, the top 500 companies in the world will lose their top executives to retirement, according to motivational leadership speaker, John Hersey, on creating leaders through mentoring. How do these companies go about filling the huge leadership void they are going to face?

By creating leaders through mentoring, organizations are able to transition the skill set from experienced employees to the future of the organization.

Why use a Mentoring Program for Leader Development?

Many organizations use a formal mentoring program for the development of hi-potentials. Mentoring can be used to motivate these types employees by providing direction and developing specific leadership competencies. In addition, mentoring can further engage and retain these valuable employees.

Develop Your Top Talent

Search for your stars-
It is always a good idea to check the pantry before you go shopping for new groceries as your next eligible candidate could be right under your nose. Eligible candidates are those who are high performers and display the organization’s values, constantly achieving goals, and are ready to take on more leadership responsibilities. These are your “stars” – so to speak, and they are the ones with the potential to usher your corporation into the future.

Ensure your succession plan is solid-
Make your leadership contagious. Have your mind set one or two highly eligible candidates you can envision in leadership and groom them to keep their skills and proficiencies in top notch. This will not only reduce anxiety when considering filling leadership positions but will also allow these high profile candidates to feel empowered in their work, in turn making them more productive.

Place them in your shoes-
Now that you’ve scouted your top talent, give them some leadership responsibilities and mentor them along them way. This will give them a taste of a potential role they could be partaking, and will also create some healthy competition around the workplace. It is one of the easiest ways to make leadership contagious. This also helps to develop trust between the mentor and mentee because the mentee recognizes the tasks delegated to them are ones of importance.

Tips for Ensuring the Success of the Mentoring Program

The following steps are recommended to enhance the success of mentoring in a leadership development program:

  1. Ensure all stakeholders are clear on the objective of leadership development.
  2. Review your succession pipeline to decide who should be part of the mentoring program.
  3. Qualify your mentors; these should be executives that have enough years of experience within your company, are part of your leadership team and have the competencies needed to be a good mentor.
  4. Create a communication plan to market the program; include the benefits for the mentors and mentees to engage them.
  5. Create a matching application form that allows matching to occur based on leadership development competencies- mentoring software can assist you in this process.
  6. Once you have enough mentors and mentees, provide training. This includes role definition, the mentoring process, phases in the relationship, tips and advice.
  7. Set up a portal to allow mentors and mentees to enroll in the program and mentees to choose their mentor.
  8. Provide deadlines on when enrollment and matching will take place.
  9. Send out communications once partners have been matched.
  10. Gather feedback from both parties.
  11. Evaluate to see if the program was a success; ask managers, mentees and mentors on if leadership development has taken place.

Mentoring programs for leadership development are an effective strategy to reward high potential with personal attention and guidance, which leads to nurturing an organization’s leadership chain. By connecting high potentials with leaders, top performers, and each other across the company, high potentials learn faster and are ready to take on leadership positions sooner. This results in improved engagement and a faster time to productivity, while leveraging internal resources to keep costs to a minimum.

Request a demo today for more information on starting your mentoring program, or to schedule a demo today.
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