What it takes to be an Effective Mentor, and How to Develop an Effective Mentoring Initiative

HR Resource
November 19, 2012 — 2,477 views  
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What it takes to be an Effective Mentor, and How to Develop an Effective Mentoring Initiative

Simply assigning a new worker to an experienced worker for training does not mean that an effective mentorship initiative has begun. There are several dynamics that must be present for your organization to have a properly functioning mentorship program. An effective mentoring initiative must be structured in such a manner that each party to the mentoring relationship understands fully what their roles are, and what the expectations are for the final outcome.

Setting the Stage

According to Tim Sanders of Strategic Marketing Consulting, there are three elements to an effective mentoring process.
1. Identify: Everyone is not always at a stage in their life when they are a ready to be mentored. You must identify someone who is ready for the process.
2. Engage: It is essential for an effective mentoring program for the mentor to establish a personal connection between herself and the person being mentored.
3. Empower: The goal of an effective program is to produce a worker who eventually becomes and independent worker capable of standing on his own two feet in the workplace. (Sanders, 2011)

Employee Development

Effective mentoring does not “just happen,” but comes through a structured program designed to impart knowledge and skills to the person being mentored. As the necessary skill sets are transmitted to the new worker, he should develop a sense of belonging to the organization. Employee development then is the process of mentoring workers to the point they become valuable members of the organization; able to make valuable and positive contributions to the business or organization they work for.

Succession Planning

The first step in succession planning is to identify positions that are essential to the on-going operations of the organization. These positions should be identified as “critical positions.” Succession planning should be and on-going process that is continually involved in the mentoring of people for the responsibility of moving into critical positions. The key element in this process is the recognition that people manning critical positions may become unable to fulfill their duties with little or no notice, and the company must have someone in the wings ready to step up and fulfill those duties. It is essential for every organization to correctly identify every critical position in the organizational structure, and be prepared for any contingency that may arise. The ability to have qualified personnel available for any contingency is the true test of the effectiveness of an organization’s mentoring program.


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