Program performance managementSo why do you want a mentoring program? Is it for networking? communication?change? new employees? development? Programs have been designed for many reasonsand some for no reasons other than linking people together. In any case once you havedefined your goals for a program the design of a it becomes clearer. In this article, wepresent a few things to consider.Uses and BenefitsAs mentioned above, formal mentoring programs within organizations are generally usedin a framework of development. They may also be designed to include a highly effectivemeans of managing talent and be useful in succession planning. They are powerful inaiding the management of change and in communication, specifically, the sharing ofinformation and knowledge.Additional ways mentoring programs can been used include: • Improve productivity and loyalty • Facilitate teamwork • Foster creativity and problem solving • Create "champions" of the organizations visions and valuesThe benefits to the organization and the individual are numerous. Among other things,mentoring programs can facilitate greater confidence and transfer of knowledge as wellas quicken career progression for employees. Equally it gives mentors the opportunity todevelop their coaching and people management skills. Below is a sampling of potentialbenefits.Mentees • Career advice and advancement • Opportunity to network and raise profile • Improved self-confidence - especially with new employees/grads • Learns to understand the "formal" and "informal" structure of the business • Speeds the induction/orientation process • Someone to talk with openlyMentor • Opportunity to stay "fresh", in touch with what is happening on the "frontlines" • Act as a role model
• Opportunity to develop people management skills as part of their personal development • Feel valued • To contribute to the future of the organizationOrganization • Increased loyalty of employees • Increased productivity • Support for and acceleration of organizational change • framework for successions planning and talent managementSuccess Factors:If the program is carefully planned and specific outcomes and business objectives are setalong with consideration for the points below, the chances are high that the organizationand the people involved will experience high rewards. But it cannot be stressed enoughthat the "right" systems and practices for your organization need to be put in place or beready to roll out, before a mentoring program should be launched. Some things toconsider: • Mentors possess skills in line with coaching and developing people: good listening skills, the ability to relate and give feedback, be supportive and non- judgmental, to be confident • Goals and objectives of the process are firmly established at the outset of the program. This will also aid in the evaluation of the program • Mentoring is recognized, promoted (usually led by example) and valued by senior management as an important part of the managers role or of the organizations culture. It is not, however, mandatory. • Program have good co-ordination and the time and resources to enable that to happen - programs can be administratively intense especially in formal programs during the matching processes • Good training can make all the difference to help both mentors and mentees to get the most out of their relationship at the start of the program when objectives are set and ongoing for support. • Mentors and mentees need to understand their respective roles and to be supported to review the relationship and progress made on an ongoing basis • Evaluation!! Incorporate an evaluation process ideally in the performance management system to provide information that can be used to make programs more effective in the future as well as track the benefits.A few words on informal programs
In some instances it may make more sense to launch an informal mentoring program orindeed run informal alongside formal programs. In either case, informal programs havemost of the same benefits of formal programs, but matching of mentors and menteesoccurs spontaneously without a formal matching process.It can be said that formal mentoring programs tend to "force" people together based onlimited criteria and information gathered from some sort of questionnaire/applicationform. Whereas informal matches tend to be based on personal alignments such as values,beliefs, and individual needs. In my experience, formal programs are useful forintroducing mentoring to an organization with limited experience of mentoring oralternatively if very specific goals and objectives need to be achieved and measured.Informal programs are useful when the organization already has a development orientedculture. Most of the mentoring relationships that I have been in and continue to be inhave been informal and spontaneous. In either case, given time, a mentoring culture candevelop whereby mentoring becomes spontaneous and self-sustaining.In addition, I have used online mentoring, mentoring pools and group mentoring as a wayto continue to integrate mentoring into an organizations culture and to provide "just intime" mentoring.Some Barriers & Problems:It is important to bear in mind that mentoring programs can be extremely powerfuldevelopmental tools but they are not a panacea and they will not "fix" problems in theorganization. If there are inherent organizational cultural issues, the program may bedoomed to fail even before it begins. For example, senior managers dont feel there isvalue in it and therefore dont support it, or the skills needed to mentor effectively dontexist within the mentor population and are not provided for.Mentoring programs are most successful, when careful consideration to the care andsupport they require is given. For example, what kind of matching process will you use?How will you ensure mentors and mentees understand their roles? Is there a need toevaluate your program?Some of the factors that can contribute to the failure of a program include: • Organizational culture does not support it • Mentors and mentees are expected to participate, choice is not an option • Poor match of Mentor/Mentee • People who are not in the mentoring program may feel left out or resentful thus countering the potential benefits of the program - there are most always more mentees than mentorsSo what next
The success of a program is dependent on many factors, not least of which is theorganizational culture into which it is launched. Formal programs can work in someorganizations, but in others, the constraints of a formal program actually inhibit thesuccess. Likewise informal programs may be more appropriate if the organizationsculture supports it and measurement isnt really needed. Start by understanding what youwant to achieve and then build a program that meets those needs and considers the pointsabove. But most importantly, just do it. Your employees will thank you for it!Thanks for reading!http://performanceappraisalebooks.info/ : Over 200 ebooks, templates, forms forperformance appraisal.