Sometimes mentoring takes place informally, but today, more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies have formal mentoring programs. Nine out of ten employees with mentors said they were satisfied with their work. In addition, ninety-four percent of workers say they will be happy to stay longer in any organization that offers learning and growth opportunities. Mentoring has been around for thousands of years. Its roots come from the story of Odysseus, when he embarked on a journey for the Trojan Wars. He left his son Telemachus in Mentor`s custody. So long ago, people relied on mentorship. Formal mentoring occurs when an organization launches a program where employees and leaders can sign up as mentors or mentees. Program administrators then bring together mentors and mentees. A modern goal of a kind of informal mentoring is the concept of “flash mentoring,” where mentoring relationships can only include one or two sessions.
In these cases, the mentee seeks specific information or help and turns to a short-term mentor. Unique and fast learning by a single person is necessary. This is valuable, but very different from a formal mentoring relationship. Assigning a mentee to a mentor in this type of mentoring can be done either by the organization manager, an individual, or software. There are several ways to organize their mentoring program: Organizations of all sizes are turning to mentoring programs to leverage existing talent for the development of new employees and high potential. While mentoring programs are inexpensive and capable of achieving several important goals, they still need to be carefully planned and supported by the organization. In order to integrate success into a mentoring program, several factors must be taken into account. However, a recent study found that even formal mentoring can lead to high-quality relationships that last.
What is perhaps less common is that these formal mentoring relationships progress and become strong long-term working relationships, as can be the case with informal mentoring – when we are naturally attracted to mentoring someone. To make it more concrete, let`s highlight some differences between informal and formal mentoring. Organizations that want to reap the benefits of mentoring need to formalize mentoring. You can do this by following these steps: Formal mentoring programs require careful planning and consideration. If you are thinking about developing a new program or even evaluating an existing one, here are some key factors for the success of formal mentoring programs(1): Formal mentoring programs – organizational matching between a mentor and a protégé, usually in the short term – are a way to help newcomers learn the ropes and/or help more junior staff, to progress in their careers. There are particular benefits for women and underrepresented groups who participate in formal mentoring programs. However, company-wide mentoring also has several advantages. Formal mentoring is structured, based on a specific business objective, is often measured, and brings people together based on compatibility. A formal relationship usually lasts for a while and then officially ends (although sometimes a mentor couple may decide to informally continue their mentoring relationship at that time).
Clearly, companies recognize the benefits of mentoring and are willing to move from an informal mentoring program to a formal mentoring program where things are well coordinated and structured. Promoting holistic exchange instead of strict mentoring guidelines Insala has years of experience in creating all kinds of mentoring programs with software. If you need help getting started with your mentorship program or more information, request a demo today. With informal mentoring, the goals may or may not be there, the goals may or may not align with the organization`s goals, and there really isn`t a specific timeline for mentoring. At Together, we`ve led mentorship programs at some of the world`s largest companies. We`ve seen what the best practices are and how to create a scalable one. If you`re ready to learn more about how to start a mentoring program in your company, contact us. We`d love to show you how mentoring software can help.
What role should you play as a leader in your organization by providing mentoring opportunities for employees? Should you take a step back and let this happen informally? Or should you set up a formal employee mentoring program? We look at the differences between formal and informal mentoring and explain why all companies should have a formal program. Deciding to set up a formal mentoring program can bring significant benefits to your company and your employees. It`s worth dedicating time and energy to ensuring that the best practices described here are implemented in your new or existing program. To discuss your organization`s mentorship program, please do not hesitate to contact us. Organizations need formal mentoring programs to support women and foster a diverse workforce. A McKinsey study shows that 72% of respondents believe in a strong link between a diverse workforce, women and a company`s financial success. For the greatest success, formal mentoring is the most common choice for on-the-job mentoring. It includes mentors and mentees who meet for frequent mentoring sessions over a period of time. A formal program is well structured and organized, and aligns with an organization`s goals. Let`s look at two real-world examples of employees who benefit from mentorship: women and underrepresented groups. Informal mentoring should not replace a formal mentoring program.
While informal mentoring may exist in conjunction with a formal mentoring program, the persistent problem with exclusively informal mentoring is that informal mentoring is not always linked to the organization`s goals and is not, by definition, measurable or reportable. This leads to a problem in measuring the success and return on investment of the program. Formal and informal mentoring are similar, but have different characteristics. Informal mentoring, by definition, has very little structure or is loosely structured, based on the alchemy between two partners involved in a mentoring relationship. Informal mentoring sometimes even turns into a long-term friendship. Many formal mentoring programs come with a set of guidelines that mentoring partners may need to follow. However, our results show that in this “strangers` meeting” where two parties are brought together by the organization, the best formal mentoring relationships did the exact opposite. First and foremost, successful formal mentoring relationships reduced the initial uncertainty when a new person was met. This includes the willingness of partners to openly share their career path prior to the beginning of the formal mentoring relationship. It`s just as important to recognize work-life connections while sharing your story. Therefore, the more holistic approach to a new mentoring relationship and openness to a broader exchange of one`s background are some of the key characteristics of successful formal mentoring.
We offer many FREE mentoring resources. Click the button below for more information on mentoring. Formal mentoring is organized and structured. HR and executives should encourage their employees to enroll in the pilot mentorship program. This allows the organization to collect data and track progress. .