Your business should issue guidelines on the structure and objectives of any mentoring programme, including how it will be monitored. See set up a mentoring programme.
Both mentor and mentee must be sure of their function in the mentoring relationship. The guidelines should make a clear distinction between the mentor's responsibilities and those of the line manager.
The business should also provide training as to what does and does not fall within the remit of a mentor - for example how to deal with issues of confidentiality and how to respond when discussion leads into issues outside of the working environment.
How long should the mentoring relationship last?
The aim of mentoring is to help the mentee move forward in their career and life goals.
In a structured mentoring programme, the relationship will come to an end in accordance with the development plan.
Where the mentoring scheme is more informal, the relationship will come to a natural end when the mentee feels that they have achieved their goals.
It's worth having procedures in place to deal with situations where mentees wish to end their mentoring relationship prematurely if a mentoring relationship doesn't work out. See mentoring: resolving problems.
Contact between mentor and mentee
How often the mentor and mentee meet is ultimately their decision.
However, regular meetings should be arranged to ensure an effective, continuous relationship.