Thinking of starting a mentoring program at your company? Here are some tips:
The company must be specific about the program’s purpose. A program should be geared toward recruiting, developing and retaining talent. Many prospects coming from top schools won’t even consid er going to work for a company unless they know they can count on having an in-house coach.
The “mentees” should have something prominent in common: For example, they should all be new hires or middle managers or engineers who at some point will be running the company.
Mentees must be trained to maximize the experience by taking an active role. They must “manage” the mentor and provide the agenda for the relationship.
The mentor and mentee must share similar values. “It’s easy to get past differences in style and, in fact, it’s useful for the mentee to work with someone with a different style,” said Gayle L. Holmes, president and chief executive of Menttium Corp., which consults on mentoring programs. “But you can’t struggle through if your values are very different.”