In informal mentoring programmes, a mentor will induct the mentee into the business and lead the initial meetings, which may be regular and frequent.
As the mentee becomes more confident and experienced in their role, they can ask for guidance from the mentor only when needed.
Formal mentoring programmes may be more structured, with the development of the mentoring relationship set out according to guidelines.
One approach is for a mentoring supervisor to agree the mentee's developmental objectives, with the mentor helping the mentee to check their overall plan.
Example structure for a mentoring programme
- The mentoring supervisor briefs the mentee and mentor separately on the aims of the scheme, the behavioural guidelines, and discussions of their expectations and concerns.
- The mentee and the supervisor identify the mentee's strengths and weaknesses, and the skills they wish to improve, and then set developmental objectives.
- The supervisor discusses the mentee's objectives with the mentor.
- The mentor and mentee use the objectives to develop simple goals. Discussions continue at appropriate intervals.
- Discussion of the mentee's progress takes place between the mentor and the supervisor.
- After a predetermined length of time, the mentor and mentee assess whether their mentoring relationship has accomplished its goals. This is reported back to the supervisor who can then evaluate its effectiveness.