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Building a mentoring framework
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Building a mentoring framework



Introduction to building a mentoring framework

Introduction to building a mentoring framework



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Building a mentoring framework Building a mentoring framework Document Transcript

  • Building A Mentoring Framework Clive G Holt Organisation & Leadership Development Consultant In 2002 Chief of US Naval Operations, Admiral Vern Clark specified that mentoring Navy sailors should be a focus of the Fleet. His guidance directed Navy leaders to help create a mentoring culture. Had Admiral Clark’s observations and comments stopped there all might have been well. Navy leaders would have considered how best to integrate a mentoring culture within the parameters of Naval culture and reporting commands. But the Admiral went on to direct the Navy to assign a mentor to every service member by March the following year. With these words, senior commands began the creation of their own mentoring systems many of which were no more than a checklist. Four years later it was reported in ‘US Navy Guidance’ that there was little evidence that a mentoring culture existed. Nowadays in the corporate world the phrase mentoring is everywhere. Individuals search for their own private mentors to guide them through their personal transition along their life’s journey. In the work place to support the ‘fast track’ development of talented university graduates, organisations appoint internal and external mentors to bring their
  • prodigies forward in order to meet the skills and competency requirements required of their future leaders. For a successful and sustainable organisational mentoring culture to prevail within any business environment, the issues and responsibilities of developing, managing and delivering a mentoring culture requires full boardroom support, understanding and commitment. The majority of organisation-led mentoring programmes fail because the initiative is driven from the bottom up rather than from the boardroom down. Other supporting reasons for failure that are commonly documented are: lack of senior management support, apathy and disinterest shown towards the initiative across all employee ranks, and the lack of organisational resource support to allow mentoring to happen. In short there is no coordination, will and commitment for a progressive mentoring culture to succeed. The First Step: The introduction of a successful mentoring programme within the organisation need not be time intensive but it will require quality time dedicated to it. It is crucial at this initial stage for the Board of Directors to reflect and consider the organisation’s individual purpose for creating and introducing ‘mentoring ‘into their executive and employee ranks. It is at this early stage that you need to be clear and specific about what your learning goals and objectives are. Recruitment: The initial conversation when selecting and later recruiting individual mentors is to look at the tone of the relationship that the Board of Directors desire and will want to see exist between the mentor and the mentee. Consideration therefore needs to be made to;    Being clear about the goals, objectives and intentions of both the mentor and the mentee. Consider what the company wants to contribute to the learning process the mentee candidate will receive. Identify the characteristics you are looking for in your mentor and mentee. Choice of Selection: It goes without saying that correct mentor selection is vital if a successful outcome is to be achieved. It is natural to direct attention and consideration towards the ‘chemistry’ of the mentor candidate. If the chemistry does not feel right then there is no need to go any further. From the mentee’s position they should check for understanding of their needs and whether a good learning fit would exist. Both the Board of Directors and the mentee need to widen their consideration further and consider:   Do you consider the person to have; the expertise, experience, time and willingness to assist and support the mentee achieve their learning goals. Do you consider both the mentor and mentee would feel comfortable in the exchange of learning process?
  •  Do you consider the mentor has a balanced approach towards organisation policy, its values, and agreement to general business methodology? A prospective mentor who is known to express their own personal opposing viewpoint of company policies and business direction may not be regarded as being a suitable mentor candidate. It is not uncommon to conduct several conversations with prospective mentors in order to discover and qualify the suitability of an organisational mentor. Creating the Right Internal Climate: One principal role of the Board of Directors is to create and influence the right culture across the organisation in support of mentoring. One way this is best achieved is by pro-active, pre-planned and correct process delivery of carefully prepared communications across all of the organisation employee structure. Further, all initial planning meetings and later open employee group mentoring forums should be attended by a member of the Executive Board. The presence of a board member demonstrates a clear message to all present that there is both senior executive support and commitment to organisational mentoring. The board member is also available to respond and add weight to any initial issues and difficult questions that may arise from the floor of attendees, as well as report back to the board on progress and concerns that may need their additional help to resolve so that the desired organisational culture is fostered. Managing the Learning Process: It is up to the mentee to manage the learning process. Keeping a journal or log is one way to monitor learning and to keep it focused. Below are some hints and suggestions that the mentee may wish to consider to facilitate their learning process.    Set time aside to write out your work experiences. As you describe your learning also comment and make reference to what was really going on. Capture a brief description to a level that later you can re-call your learning experience. It is important also to make a note on how you felt at the time and what your reactions were to the situation. It is worth remembering that whatever it is that you experienced or stimulated your thinking, will better help you understand your own behaviour. Moving Forward: The introduction of a mentoring culture to the organisation will as time progresses take on a self evolving process to support skill, knowledge transfer and competency development of the mentee. It is a continuous process, one that the board of directors will be expected to make changes to as time passes. The values and ongoing benefits an integrated organisational mentoring platform provides to the enterprise are all positive. Mentoring helps:    Retain the next generation of leaders. Improve leadership and managerial skills. Enhance career development.
  •   Promote diversity. Improve employee competency Conclusion Mentoring and being mentored is a rewarding commitment for the employee and the company. Quality employees and focused leadership, coupled with knowledge transfer and the creation of cross-functional performance orientated team structures are the cornerstones of today’s most successful organisations. Clive Holt is a strategist and experienced in national and international hospitality marketing and business regeneration. Clive Holt can be contacted: +44 (0) 1905 750 944.