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Mentoring Programs


Mentoring programs allow you to retain the expertise long enough to transfer it--when done effectively. When they are not, they can be the source of ill will and a waste of everyone’s time.


  • Built on mutual respect
  • Clear about the roles of both mentors and protégés
  • Championed high within the organization
  • Explicit about boundaries, limits and expectations
  • Appreciative of masters’ knowledge
  • Shaped to deal with the specific needs of the organization
  • Committed to effective communication
  • Well organized

A formal program requires more planning than one master working with one new-hire. The needs of that duo will be less complex and the situation will do a lot to define the way they relate. But even in simple mentor arrangements, good communication is critical. If the employee whose expertise you need to transfer does not have good coaching skills, inserting those skills via a third party coach/facilitator might be wise. This person can then also learn the ropes—a two-fer!

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