Mentoring Matters

May 2016
Volume 7 | Issue 3
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"Nothing a leader can do or say escapes notice. Every action and response, even a chance remark, gives out some signal that will be picked up by someone and passed on to others."
Daniel I. Kaplan. Former
President of Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation
Readers' Book Club Guide
Starting Strong: A Mentoring Fable

In a nutshell, Starting Strong invites you to listen in on six mentoring conversations as they unfold over the first 90 days of a new mentoring relationship
Mentoring at Work
Mentoring success depends on the degree to which mentoring partners roll up their sleeves and do the work. Yes, we said, "work." Throughout your mentoring relationship, you and your mentoring partner need to be fully engaged in building and strengthening your relationship and focused on achieving your mentoring goals.

Read more of this article on our blog.

In this month's edition of Mentoring Matters, we offer concrete strategies to help leaders address one of the biggest challenges they face in creating a mentoring culture - creating value and visibility for mentoring.

Leaders' remarks and actions send important signals. Many leaders take a hands-off stance; they assume that by announcing a program and socializing it their job is done. Nothing is further from the truth.

Awareness is only part of the story. In order to drive commitment and ownership deep into the organization leaders need to develop a mentoring mindset, become fully committed to organizational mentoring and shape the organization's practices to create visibility for mentoring.
Practices that Stimulate Value and Visibility

1. Include mentoring in your eligibility criterion for corporate leadership awards. Establish, publish and broadcast specific criteria throughout the organization. Individual team contributions to enhancing the mentoring culture might be rewarded by highlighting specific mentoring efforts and demonstrating how they have contributed to productivity, satisfaction, or retention. Spread the word about specific accomplishments and reward the drivers of those accomplishments.


2. Keep mentoring on the agenda. Leaders keep mentoring on the agenda even if they may not always address the topic of mentoring directly. For example, a mentoring update can be included with meeting materials that includes any or all of the following: participation data, recent successes, retention rates and employee satisfaction issues and mentoring outcomes. Ask your mentoring program directors or individual department heads to talk about how mentoring has positively impacted their success. 

3. Encourage storytelling opportunities. Ensure that senior leaders look for opportunities to engage employees in conversation about mentoring. Invite mentors and mentees to share their experiences at mentoring orientation sessions. Prepare mentoring partners or individual participants to share success stories.

4. Make mentoring competency a leadership requirement. Including mentoring competence in your performance development plans increases recognition and buy-in and reminds employees of its importance as part of their own career development and in developing others.

5. Showcase mentoring excellence wherever feasible and appropriate. In a mentoring culture, you might see mentoring excellence is recognized by a "Mentee of the Month," "Mentor of the Month," or "Mentoring Champion of the Month" honor.

6. Create recognizable visible artifacts such as pins, plaques, signs, and notepads. In some organizations, those engaged in mentoring wear buttons that indicate their mentoring status, i.e. "mentor in training," "looking for a mentor," or "Mentoring 2018 participant," Be alert to ways to be inclusive in recognizing people.

So, clearly insure that mentoring keeps adding value to your organization by gathering feedback and bringing stakeholders together to:

1. Identify at least five contributions mentoring makes on a consistent basis that add value to your organization. (Examples might be: retention of key players, development of new talent, faster solutions to business problems)

2. Consider the following question: In what ways and where might your mentoring efforts not be adding value? (Example: Mentors feel overburdened)

3. Brainstorm six new ways to add value over the next six months that link mentoring to widely shared business goals and objectives.

4. Identify the actions that have the highest likelihood of success and prioritize them.

The message is clear. "Nothing a leader can do or say escapes notice. Every action and response, even a chance remark, gives out some signal that will be picked up by someone and passed on to others."

Our Mission
 We are committed to promoting individual and organizational mentoring excellence. We do this by providing: mentoring training, coaching, consultation, and program evaluation. We've helped leading organizations around the globe create mentoring cultures, and we're here for you.

A Note to Our Readers
We believe that leaders cannot be effective without a strong and ongoing commitment to mentoring excellence. This belief, our passion for mentoring excellence, and our extensive experience in the field with organizations led us to create the Center for Mentoring Excellence. 
At our virtual center,, you will find mentoring tools and resources, expert advice and a forum for sharing best mentoring practices. We hope that you will visit us there and let us know how we can continue to help you raise the bar on mentoring in your organization.