I conduct training programme on how to institute mentoring in a company. I have conducted training at several places. As a part of the training, I also help my clients in developing policy on "Formal Mentoring". To enrich my training, I have read scores of books on this subhject.
It appears that you have some misgiving on the concept of mentoring. It would be my endeavour to remove these misgivings through my reply to your post. Please check my replies to each paragraph in italics:
I have been entrusted with the responsibility of charting out a mentoring plan for few of our employees.I started out by identifying Mentors and mentees and area in which mentoring needs to be given.
Have you trained mentors as well as mentees for this? Do you have formal mentoring plan or mentoring policy? If yes, have you communicated this to the mentors and mentees?
Ours is a software development company and mentoring is meant for improving the programming skills of people.We already have training plans in place. Mentoring will be done in addition to this.
There appears to be major misconception on mentoring. Objective of mentoring is build personality and thereby character of junior. Mentor is amalgamation of coach, guide, trainer, adviser, consultant etc. Mentor helps mentees in learning. The purpose of mentoring is not to restrict activities to certain skill set. Mentor interpret the organisation's philosophy. Mentors are bridge between mentee and the organisation. This job should be done by HR, however, due to the limited strength of HR, mentoring as secondary duty is given to the seniors.
timeline for mentoring should be 30 to 60 days depending on area to be mentored and skill level of mentee .
Time span for mentoring could be anything between one year to three years. It may go up depending on the convenience of the pair.
what should be the components in mentoring plan ? can i fix a timeline for each component ? If i say that mentor will invest 1 hr per day with the mentee,will it be right ?
Mentoring is off-line activity within formal framework. You cannot fix specific timeline for some component. First couple of weeks go in developing proper equation between mentor and mentee. Every mentee has separate like or dislike, take-off level, interest etc. Mentor has to understand first what type of his/her mentee is. Mentor has to understand the weaknesses of mentee. Any action plan has to be specific to removal of weaknesses of mentees.
Should the mentoring plan be continuous or should it be phased ? How do i assess the success of mentoring ? is there any online tool which facilitate mentoring ?can you please help me clear these doubts keeping in mind that ours is a technology company.
Mentoring programme can be rolling one. What is important is maintenance of records after each meeting. Assessment of the mentoring programme can be done after at least a year. There are no formal parameters to measure the effectiveness of the programme. It will be a subjective one. Mentors and mentees both can tell, how the relationship helped in enriching either's knowledge.
There is no need of on-line tool as such. All that is required to make extensive notes after every meeting. Secondly, you need to have someone working as "Mentoring Coordinator". The post is akin to Management Representative in ISO organisations. He/she should keep close watch on the frequency of meetings amongst the pairs, whether the records are maintained or not, whether any problems are developed, etc.
Final comments: - Mentoring programme is executed in right earnest then it is a very powerful Organisation Development (OD) tool. It helps bonding with the organisation. Mentees learn how to explore their abilities. Mentees become self-learners. However, if mishandled then it could result into conflict as well.
It appears that what you intend to start in your company is "Coaching". Managers should have various skills and one amongst them is coaching. Coaching is restricted to developing particular skill set that can be measured later. Mentoring on the contrary is too nebulous to fit in certain framework.
You may refer my following replies that are related to the posts on mentoring:
a) Assessment of the ppt on mentoring: -
b) How to establish mentoring programme in the company: -
c) Observation on the Mentoring programme: -
d) Difference between "Formal Mentoring Programme" and "Buddy Programme": -
If you wish to train your employees on Mentoring or institute mentoring programme in your company, then you may avail of my consulting services.
Dinesh V Divekar
21st May 2014 From India, Bangalore