Mentoring can be a cost-effective and powerful way to develop leaders and transfer expertise across your organization. GP Strategies helps develop managers and specialists in your organization to provide support and guidance based on their professional experience in your industry and your organization. Our mentoring workshop readies both the mentor and the mentee to engage in a productive mentoring relationship.
Mentoring is a powerful learning alliance between people outside the reporting line. The mentor helps the mentee with the quality of their thinking about their self-development and career management and, in doing so, learns themselves. While the mentor is usually more senior than the mentee, this is not always the case. Peer mentoring and reverse mentoring, in which the more junior person brings experience that the more senior does not have, are increasingly common.
The mentor may take many roles—being a sounding board, helping build networks, and sometimes simply being there to listen. Most mentoring around the world is relatively non-directive and learner centered; however, some forms, particularly in North America, may be more hands on and place more emphasis on the mentor using their authority on behalf of the mentee (usually called a protégé in these circumstances).
Effective developmental mentoring has remarkable positive effects on employee retention and talent management. The core theme is learning dialogue—this helps individuals, teams, and organizations become more effective through learning conversations.
GP Strategies has world-leading consulting capabilities in the design and implementation of mentoring schemes in global organizations. This can include the full design and deployment of mentoring solutions or specific services such as mentor training or online support materials. Our services include design, launch and communication, training, continuing support, supervision, evaluation, and train-the-trainer sessions.
We will use our experience and intellectual property to work with you to design your company mentoring program so that it meets business, mentee, and mentor needs. This will include:
- An overall policy document outlining the role of mentoring and how it will be used
- Guidelines on the duration of the mentoring relationship with clarity of time commitments
- Questionnaires to be completed by both mentors and mentees to facilitate the matching process
- Supporting guidance materials, via an online platform, on topics such as successful mentoring discussions, contracting, and ethical boundaries
Launch and Communication
We can provide you with all you need to communicate what is expected from mentors in terms of skills, knowledge, experience, and attributes, in order to facilitate the nomination of mentors. It is important to be very clear about the criteria that will be used to select mentors. We can help with the criteria that you will use for matching. We can also do the matching if you would prefer to outsource this activity.
We have over 20 years of experience delivering best practice training for mentors and mentees. We recommend a one-day mentor workshop for individuals who are new to mentoring and a half-day briefing for all mentees. The workshop will develop the competence and confidence to provide excellent mentoring.
Our workshops are:
- Highly participatory so that participants are able to share learning, questions, practice, and feedback with the group (often through working in triads)
- Highly informative and grounded in academic research and best practice study, and will lightly draw on tried-and-tested techniques that are robust due to their academic grounding
- The mentor and mentee role
- The mentoring life cycle
- Focus on contracting for the mentoring relationship and for each session
- Key models to guide the mentoring conversations
- Skills practice and feedback
- The opportunity to answer any questions or concerns
Most mentoring relationships are self-managing and do not require any additional support. Experience suggests that, from time to time, there are issues that arise. We recommend you have a local mentoring champion at each major location. The role of this person will be to answer any questions or deal with issues quickly and locally. We can provide guidance on selecting these individuals. In addition, we can establish an online platform to provide extensive background and toolkits for mentors and mentees.
Supervision is a process to reflect on the mentoring role and how to optimize the benefit for the mentee, the mentor, and the organization. It is highly important for participants to review their practice and relationships to increase the quality of outcomes. Mentors strongly appreciate being reminded of good practice.
We have extensive experience evaluating mentoring programs across both private and public sector organizations. We will work with you to customize a questionnaire that assesses the mentoring program satisfaction and business outcomes. It is best for the evaluations to be completed soon after the mentoring has finished. Evaluation includes all key elements of the mentoring program, including matching, contracting, training, frequency of mentor meetings, the benefits and value of mentoring, challenges, and improvements needed.
Depending on how many mentors and mentees are expected in future years, you may find it cost effective to train internal resources to deliver the mentor and mentee training. This is usually only for implementations of more than 100 to 200 mentor-mentee pairs. Other organizations prefer to have the experience and credibility of an external specialist to provide the training. We are happy to partner with you in whatever way works best for your firm.