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Pedagogy

Reasons Why Organizations Implement Mentoring Programs

  1. Introduction

Mentoring is both an informal and a formal form of relationship between two people that is the senior who is always the mentor and junior. The senior is the mentor while the junior is the person being mentored. In development of professionalism in both private and public, mentoring has been identified as an important influence. Mentoring is also seen as a career development program that is comprehensive. Good examples of this are the presidential management fellowship (ELP) program and the senior executive service candidate Development program (SESCDP) (Addison & Haig, 2006).One of the major function mentoring plays in these programs is, to promote specific development in various specific areas that result in the successful implementation of the program (Addison & Haig, 2006).

There are also other benefits of mentoring which include but not limited to production of positive development and outcome of the organization. For successful mentoring to be realized, there is need for proper understanding of the mentoring process before proper planning and implementation is realized before its evaluated (Young & Perrewé, 2004).

As part of the government’s commitment to mentoring programs, various legislations have been enacted and assented to by the president. The signing into law of both Federal Workforce flexibility Act of 2004 is a good of example of such legislations. The has been several changes that have since been seen in training of all federal employees and other state managers, executives and supervisors in order develop working a mentoring culture among employees. . Mentoring as earlier stated, is also seen as a career development program that is comprehensive. Good examples of this are the presidential management fellowship (ELP) program and the senior executive service candidate Development program (SESCDP) among many other examples in the country(Addison & Haig, 2006). This is done through coming up with programs that are innovative and effective programs that make mentoring noble with best practices introduced to make it widely practiced in both formal and informal mentoring programs (Darby, 2010).

2. Thesis:

There are various reasons as to why many organizations have come up with formal mentoring programs in the recent past. These reasons include but not limited to for increased organizational productivity, increased morale among employees, career development among many other reasons (Addison & Haig, 2006).

For this to be possible, organizations must come up with business cases that the organization is devoted to time, resources and attention in order to make the process of mentoring possible. Preparation of employees for future managerial positions for instance is one of the things that mentoring does. Organizational reorganization would prompt the process of mentoring that would in effect facilitate the continued performance of organization (Darby, 2010).

Mentoring programs have been created in order to meet some of the reasons some of which include the ones below:

  • It’s used as one of the onboarding process that helps new recruits, graduates or trainees who are joining the organization.
  • Helps in skill enhancement as it enables experienced and competent staffs that have all the expertise to pass these skills and competences to other who need to acquire the same specified skills.
  • Helps in professional identity for young employees who need to understand the meaning of being professional in their careers and in their places of work. This involves inculcating the values of professionalism and being able to self- initiate and regulate oneself. This is done well by professional who are able to define professional behavior for new employees.
  • With help of mentoring, employees are able to develop and manage their careers making them more resilient and self-driven and directed.
  • With the help of mentoring development of leadership and management skills is enhanced with these competencies and skills gained through guided practice and experiences gained in the line of duty rather than just education.
  • Mentoring help in closing the gap that exist between theories and practice with educational and training acquired formally being complemented by hand-on experiences and knowledge that are normally acquired by a competent practioner.
  • With the help of mentoring one is able to get the mission, vision and ambitions of the organization. The organizational culture should also be learned in this case and making necessary changes in order to adapt to the new culture.
  • Modeling of new desired behaviors can be achieved with the assistance of mentoring process. Competences can also be developed that help in the support of customer service and ultimately cultivating attitudes that are right.
  • With the help of mentoring, the rate of staff retention goes up as there is an environment conducive and encouraging for working as there are several activities like coaching, role modeling, interactions and teaching that facilitate the process of progression in the organization though recognition of top talent and or an organizational culture.
  • With the help of mentoring, the process of recruiting is enhanced and recruitment goals are easily met. Knowledge management and transfer is the other thing that is achieved though mentoring with exchange and interchange of information and knowledge being the most between members of the same or different organizations (Callanan & Greenhaus 2008).
  • With the help of mentoring development of leadership and management skills is enhanced with these competencies and skills gained through guided practice and experiences gained in the line of duty rather than just education.
  • Mentoring help in closing the gap that exist between theories and practice with educational and training acquired formally being complemented by hand-on experiences and knowledge that are normally acquired by a competent practioner.

Developing a Mentoring Program

Conduct Needs Assessment

For those organizations that are interested in developing mentoring program need to develop a valid business case that justly that mentoring program is needed. This involves what the organization aspires to achieve, the components of the program among other assessment things that should be looked into. The entire assessment process ought to be conducted by a steering committee or an agency and can be conducted using surveys, groups or interviews. Depending what the program seeks to achieve, the target audience include new hires, mid-level employees, managers, junior employees, senior experts among others (Abernathy, 2010).

Some of the questions that ought to be addressed include but not limited to

  1. The benefits of the new implemented mentoring programs
  2. Who is the participant in the programs are who?
  • Can you available to be a mentor yourself
  1. What are the specific attributes that you need to be a mentor?
  2. Can you be able to access the mentors outside the program?
  3. What are the benefits of diversified career background?
  • Do you believe that agency manages and encourages mentoring culture?
  • Do you currently receive any type of mentoring
  1. What are the types of activities that you need implemented in the mentoring program?

The entire assessment process ought also to be conducted by a steering committee or an agency and can be conducted using surveys, groups or interviews. Depending what the program seeks to achieve, the target audience include new hires, mid-level employees, managers, junior employees, senior experts among others (Abernathy, 2010).

III: Develop a Mentoring Program Roadmap

It is important to include a roadmap for the program in project plan and the business case not with standing the implementation of the plan. In the roadmap, the findings of the needs assessment should be reflected together with the notable milestones in the project plan (Addison & Haig, 2006). Also included in the presentation are the most popular practices that have played a key role in obtaining a clear and fruitful definition of a prosperous mentoring program. A successful implementation of a formal mentoring program would definitely put more inspiration to the management, leadership and even the stakeholders of an organization to offer more endless support and commitment to mentoring programs (Abernathy, 2010). Furthermore, the leaders are encouraged to solicit more support in terms of resources. The description of the program should as well be there and should contain distinctive elements such as:

  1. Objectives of the mentoring program and its goals
  2. The factors that contribute to the success of the mentoring program and the expected end results
  • The kind of population group that the mentoring program aims at reaching (e.g., employees of an organization)

A good mentoring program should at least contain a project plan, implementation plan and business case. There also assessment finding, project plans and milestones that are key and that describe the project, these include;

  1. Mentoring program objectives
  2. Desired outcomes and success factors
  • Target population
  1. Duration of the program
  2. Benefits of the mentoring program
  3. Marketing strategies of the program
  • Benefits of mentoring to agency
  • Budget required implementing the plan
  1. Orientation plans and schedules
  2. Type of material provided by the career developers

IV: Access to Support from the Top Management

For success to be achieved in implementing a formal mentoring program there ought to be mutual support from the top management of an organization. The program should be made a daily routine of learning so as to enhance perfection. For efficiency purposes, it is advisable to choose a person probably from among the top management, who would champion for the process of marketing of the program and subsequent employment of new mentors (Addison & Haig, 2006).

Research has shown that majority of agencies that at the moment runs a prosperous formal mentoring program enjoys a total commitment and relentless effort from their respective management team (Darby, 2010). As a way of supplementing their efforts, these top management staff also take the roles of mentors. For this reason, the entire employees of the agency get motivated and thus also join their leaders. This portrays the truth and self-commitment in the program that the leaders of the organization have (Darby, 2010).

However, there is need for the management leaders to maintain their stand of commitment towards the process of implementing a successful mentoring program. For this to be realized, it recommended that the management ought to put forward a clear and straight forward definition of a prosperous mentoring program (Brown, 2008).On completion of definition of a successful mentoring program, the management leaders then performs the presentation of a defined program alongside stories of success that can help in building the program. Also included in the presentation are the most popular practices that have played a key role in obtaining a clear and fruitful definition of a prosperous mentoring program. A successful implementation of a formal mentoring program would definitely put more inspiration to the management, leadership and even the stakeholders of an organization to offer more endless support and commitment to mentoring programs (Abernathy, 2010). Furthermore, the leaders are encouraged to solicit more support in terms of resources. A successful implementation of a formal mentoring program would definitely put more inspiration to the management, leadership and even the stakeholders of an organization to offer more endless support and commitment to mentoring programs (Abernathy, 2010).

Commit a Program Manager

If a successful mentoring program is to be realized in any organization, the management of that specific organization has to recruit an employee who would work on a full-time basis. This employee would oversee the process of administration as well as management of a formal mentoring program (Addison & Haig, 2006). In making a mentoring program a success, the work of a program manager is very important. Among the obligatory duties a program manager is designed to do are as follows:

Establishment of an assessment of all necessities, development of a case for the business and overseeing of the process of implementation of the objectives and aims of the mentoring programs. These can be only obtained through a complemented workforce with the steering committee (Addison & Haig, 2006).

Developing a clear roadmap that serves as a guide towards the implementation of the program, formulating a budgetary estimate that is attainable and not strenuous, liaising with the input suppliers and service providers so as to negotiate on terms of service and most importantly facilitate the marketing process of the program (Allen & Eby, 2004). Moreover, this steering committee should work in unison towards the establishment of a charter that clearly defines the following key elements: The prime purpose for the steering committee, listed names of its members, their specific roles as well as responsibilities, type of task to be performed by the committee, the results of their tasks and finally the evaluation of the program. In some cases the steering committee can consider leading the way forward in finding out the assessment requirements for carrying out the mentorship program (Abernathy, 2010)

Among other notable functions of a program manager are recruitment of new mentors and performance of a follow-up process of the mentoring pairs. Technically, a program manager performs the task of database maintenance on the entire group of mentors, preparation of program events like the workshops, closing ceremonies and training activities (Abernathy, 2010).

For smooth running of the program, the program manager has to ensure a peaceful and healthy relationship between the mentors, and generally addressing any emergent problem at the course of the program (Allen & Eby, 2004).

  1. Create a Steering Committee or Working Group

Since the leadership of an organization is linked to a formal mentoring program, it is necessary to set aside group of individuals working together as a common unit with the sole purpose of generating the objectives and goals of the mentoring program. This committee of members should include at least a representative from each department within the organization. The committee must be ready to work diligently with a lot of commitment in developing a culture for learning in the agency (Addison & Haig, 2006).

Moreover, this steering committee should work in unison towards the establishment of a charter that clearly defines the following key elements: The prime purpose for the steering committee, listed names of its members, their specific roles as well as responsibilities, type of task to be performed by the committee, the results of their tasks and finally the evaluation of the program. In some cases the steering committee can consider leading the way forward in finding out the assessment requirements for carrying out the mentorship program (Abernathy, 2010)

V Conclusion

For any form of formal mentoring program to be efficient and effective to implement, it must exhibit a well-structured format, a straight forward oversight and more so a provision for its objectives and goals with regard to the requirements of the organization. For this case, an agency or organization should hire new mentors who would work in a new a diversified environment, hence increasing the chance of exploring more informational sources. Compared to informal mentoring, formal mentoring is not limited to only interpersonal enhancement and even career development. This is because an informal mentoring may not have a structure that is well laid, an oversight or even any stated goals. However, it is agreeable that that the success of the formal or informal mentoring depends heavily on the goals or rather the aims of the mentoring program, the expected outcome of mentoring process, the importance and reasons behind the need to engage in a mentoring program and last but not least the involvement of the management leaders towards the support of the implementation process. . A successful implementation of a formal mentoring program would definitely put more inspiration to the management, leadership and even the stakeholders of an organization to offer more endless support and commitment to mentoring programs (Abernathy, 2010).

As for any category of people engaging in mentoring program, there must exists a motivating element so as to maintain the commitment of employees and mentors. I n organizations or big institutions, the management leaders should take the forefront in mobilizing their employees into joining the program. They can do so by pledging their anonymous support both morally and financial means. Nevertheless, a program manager should be reliable and truly committed to exclusive engagement in his or her designated duties. This is because an informal mentoring may not have a structure that is well laid, an oversight or even any stated goals. However, it is agreeable that that the success of the formal or informal mentoring depends heavily on the goals or rather the aims of the mentoring program, the expected outcome of mentoring process, the importance and reasons behind the need to engage in a mentoring program and last but not least the involvement of the management leaders towards the support of the implementation process.

References

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Addison, R., & Haig, C. (2006). The performance architect‘s essential guide to the performance technology landscape. In J.A. Pershing (Ed.), Handbook of Human Performance Technology. (3rd ed.) (p. 40). San Francisco: Pfeiffer

Allen, T., & Eby, L. (2004). Factors related to mentor reports of mentoring functions provided: Gender and relational characteristics. Sex Roles, 50(1/2), 129-139.

Young, A.M, & Perrewé P.L. (2004). An Analysis of Mentor and Protégé Expectations in Relation to Perceived Support. Journal of Managerial Issues, 16, 103-126. This article describes the impact of perception and attitudes on participation (based on general beliefs and past experiences of participants).

Brown, M. (2008). Analyzing performance: Training isn‘t always the answer. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 8(1), 82-88.

Burke Johnson, R., & Onwuegbuzie, A. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26.

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Callanan, G., & Greenhaus, J. (2008). The baby boom generation and career management: A call to action. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 10(1),

Darby, M. (2010, April). The 9-vector view of human performance. T + D, 38-40.

DeLong, T., Gabarro, J., & Lees, R. (2008, January). Why mentoring matters in a hypercompetitive world. Harvard Business Review, 115-121.