Creating Sustainable Mentoring and Coaching Programmes

So you have mentoring and coaching activities occurring in your organisation, and people certainly realise the benefits of these. Common challenges many organisations face however is how to maintain the momentum of their mentoring and coaching programmes, and how to sustain these programmes into the future. Here are some key strategies that will help meet both challenges…….

  • Mentoring and coaching are whole-of-organisation approaches
  • The programme is directly aligned with the organisation’s strategies direction and goals
  • There is senior management sponsorship of and commitment to mentoring and coaching as integral professional development mechanisms in the organisation
  • The programme is linked with other professional development initiatives in the organisation
  • There is planned provision of adequate space, financial and personnel resources, and provision of time for mentors and mentees to meet regularly and consistently
  • Effective and ongoing marketing of the programme to the whole organisation occurs
  • There are clear communication channels between all stakeholders
  • People who are willing and want to fully engage in the mentoring and coaching programme
  • A programme coordinator or coordination team is established to manage the programme
  • Programme Champions are established to advocate for the programme and provide an additional support mechanism for mentors and mentees
  • Risk management strategies are in place to manage any programme issues and/or negative mentoring experiences
  • Mentoring training for mentors and mentees is provided as a core component of the programme structure, including refresher training
  • Effective evaluation strategies are integrated in the programme structure to monitor mentoring activities and assess outcomes, with a feedback loop to senior management

These strategies indicate the need for a robust programme design. The design should be based on a thorough needs analysis. Then, once you have a programme structure confirmed, it is a good idea to pilot the programme with a group of staff members. This enables you to find out:

  • What works in regard to the programme processes and activities
  • Identify any gaps in the design when you implement the programme, and
  • Confirm a final programme model based on explicit feedback received from the staff who participated in the pilot programme