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5 mentoring models and when to use them

Modern types of mentoring are known to aid employee retention, lower stress in the office and help improve productivity. While smaller businesses might find it hard to realize the benefits of mentoring programmes, large organizations need to establish a formal training program to remain competitive and reduce overhead costs. Fortunately, there are different kinds of effective mentorship models that your company can explore. Here, we're going to list 5 of the most common, how they work and when you should consider using them.

1. One-on-One Mentoring

In one-on-one mentoring programs, mentees are matched through a formal mentor program. Mentors can generally choose who they mentor, where and how frequently they should meet with mentees, and what goals they wish to achieve through participating in the program. In this model, there is only one mentor and one mentee. Some formal one-on-one programs might need individuals to track their own hours and performance to ensure they're benefitting from the program. This kind of mentoring is focused on relationship-building and specific skill-building and is especially useful in highly specialized roles or small, tightly knit departments.

2. Situational Mentoring

If you want to train your mentees in an ability or trade, you might want to match them with a mentor to aid thier learning. For example, if you want to train brand-new hires how to use a system or platform, experienced workers can mentor them until they get comfortable using the system on their own. Or, you may want your sales supervisors to mentor new sales staff as they learn how to close sales. This model is useful when you have many new hires and not enough mentors on hand for one-on-one mentors. Mentors give enough help for new hires to get started and then only help when approached by mentees, or if a new hire is having difficulty getting to grips with their work.

3. Career Mentoring

This type of mentoring is long term and generally involves supervisors who mentor their workers as they progress in their careers throughout a few years. For instance, an operations manager might create a new operations department and mentor them till they can run it without excessive external oversight. This model is great for use in organizations with high employee retention rates and focuses on helping employees take on new responsibilities and skills, rather than helping refine those skills they may already have.

4. Reverse Mentoring

When new hires possess skills and knowledge, they can also mentor their bosses and colleagues. For instance, somebody who understands a new coding language or computer program can coach their more senior co-workers in how to use it.

5. Peer-Based Mentoring

With group-based mentoring, a mentor might not be required at all. Peers can meet in small groups to assist one another by sharing feedback and discussing what they have learned as they improve a skill or advance in their profession paths. Peer based mentoring can work in organizations of any size but the success of such a program depends heavily on the work environment and relationships between individuals within a peer-mentor group.


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