We’re reintroducing mentorship programs after a period of dormancy and trying to find the best balance between implementing structure and encouraging organic growth. What have your most successful mentorship programs or relationships looked like?
Building an organic and self-sustaining mentoring culture is definitely the dream, but when you’re just getting started we find that people thrive with constraints.
By which I mean - give them some guidelines to work within, and a structure to based their match and interactions on, so that they’ve got a starting point and can develop their own mentoring “personality” from there. Left to happen completely organically, mentoring will favour the bold - those already putting their hands up for development. By adding a little bit of structure and an opportunity to opt-in, you’re bringing people off the sidelines who might not otherwise have participated.
We’d err on the side of more control during a short (6 month) pilot initially, so people in your mentoring community know how to operate, and then you can relax control from there as it develops into an organic, always-on part of your company culture!
Thank you Lucy! I appreciate the guidance!
Good advice from Lucy there which I would agree with. One of the risks with structured mentoring programs is that they can start well but fizzle out. I put together a paper on Seven Reasons Mentoring Programs Lose Momentum Here it is in case it’s of interest https://www.antoinetteoglethorpe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/eBook-Seven-Reasons-Mentoring-Programmes-Lose-Momentum.pdf