What Is a Mentoring Program

The phrase “mentoring program” can seem a bit ambiguous to some. Is there a formal definition of “mentoring?” Are their rules or guidelines that you should be following if you’re in a mentoring relationship? How do you take your casual mentoring chats with a superior and turn them into a structured mentoring program for yourself or others?


These are all excellent questions, and ones that our team encounters quite frequently. At Menttium, we’ve been helping individuals and corporations alike find, develop, or foster mentoring opportunities in their workplace or across companies for nearly 30 years. With both established cross-company and customizable internal mentoring programming available, we know that we have the resources to help anyone find their perfect mentoring setup.


We commonly work with both HR professionals, corporate management, business owners, and individuals. And while each situation and individual is unique, there are commonalities that can be attributed to many that give us a call in the search of successful mentoring experiences.


How a Mentoring Program is Different than Finding Your Own Mentor


In your life, you’ll have many mentors. The first will be your parents as they teach you about the world and help you to build your character and worldview. The next will be a select number of teachers that go above and beyond and leave a lasting impression on you and help to shape your future. You may have a familiar mentor such as a neighbor or community member that you turn to in times of personal struggle to seek guidance from with life’s many challenges.


Having grown comfortable with the presence of mentoring figures in your life, it’s only natural that as a working professional you’ll be looking to find someone to fill a similar role in your professional life. Whether young or old, having a comforting voice backed by experience to guide you through your professional trials and career growth can be a valuable asset.


Whether you are an individual or an HR professional, there are two approaches you could use to find a mentor for yourself or high potentials on your staff. Option one; you could approach the senior members of your team and ask if they would be interested in joining into a mentoring relationship with yourself or your selected team members. If the answer is yes, you will then be tasked with creating all of the supporting assets to make the relationship sustainable. Scheduling meetings, creating documentation, accompanying materials, and researching mentoring best practices. It will be a time-consuming effort and one that will require a great deal of focus and effort.


Your second option is to partner with a seasoned mentoring facilitator, such as Menttium. Such companies will help you to either join or create an effective mentoring program. These programs will come equipped with all of the materials and supporting resources that differentiate a professional mentoring program from a casual mentoring relationship such as optimized curriculum, supporting materials such as guidebooks, and user-tested and refined mentoring tools.


What Makes Something an “Official” Mentoring Program?


What makes something an “official” mentoring program? If you meet with a senior member of your industry once every couple of months, does that count as a mentoring program? If you cajole a senior member of your staff to check in with a new high-potential employee every month during the first couple of months of their employment does that count too?


As mentioned above, “mentoring” can be a rather broad term. But to us, and other industry experts, the threshold for something being classified as an “official” mentoring program is structure. At Menttium, both our internal and cross-company mentoring programs thrive on structure. From a rigorously structured interviewing process to allow us to create the perfect mentor-mentee pairs to structured curriculum design and implementation; the true defining trait that denotes a relationship as a mentoring program is insightful structure.


Mentoring Programs Offered by Menttium


At Menttium, we have the programs to fit nearly any need and offer a variety of specialized resources to enhance your mentoring experience. Our two main types of mentoring programs are our internal and cross-company configurations.


Within our internal mentoring program, our team will work with a single business to create a mentoring program to use within their own walls. The completed program will be custom tailored to fit your corporation’s exact needs and will utilize your existing pool of experienced talent as the primary mentors for your program.


Our cross-company mentoring program is attractive for corporations that do not have the internal talent to support a full-fledged mentoring program or feel that they don’t have a large enough number of high potentials to validate an internal configuration. Within our cross-company mentoring programs, employees from young high potentials to seasoned C-suite executives will have the opportunity to connect with peers from a multitude of industries through both group and one-on-one interactions. Specialized elements targeted at leveraging high-potentials, advancing women, diversity and inclusion, and executive engagement can make our cross-company programs more tailored to the needs of yourself or your employees. Additionally, our business education webinars and custom created mentoring materials will support your mentees between visits with their mentors.


If you would like to learn more about Menttium and the professional mentoring services we offer, we urge you to contact us today.