Use mentoring to improve staff performance

Mentoring: formal and informal programmes


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 mentoring 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.

Mentoring programme: example structure

  1. The mentoring supervisor briefs the mentee and mentor separately on the aims of the mentoring scheme, the behavioural guidelines, and discussions of their expectations and concerns.
  2. The mentee and the supervisor identify the mentee's strengths and weaknesses, and the skills they wish to improve, and then set developmental objectives to build on the strengths and address any weaknesses.
  3. The supervisor discusses the mentee's objectives with the mentor.
  4. The mentor and mentee use the objectives to develop simple goals as part of the mentoring programme. Discussions continue at appropriate intervals.
  5. Discussion of the mentee's progress takes place between the mentor and the supervisor.
  6. 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 and suggest any further course of action if required.