The best way to get started creating a mentoring culture is to establish a solid foundation by aligning it with your organization’s goals and infrastructure.
When mentoring aligns with the culture of the organization it ensures mentoring viability and sustainability. It becomes a cultural expectation and seamless organizational practice.
- It establishes ownership.
- It promotes shared responsibility.
- It maximizes resources.
- It maintains integrity.
- It supports integration of key processes into the organization.
- It creates openness to learning through mentoring.
- It shortens ramp up time.
Effective mentoring initiatives can, and do, exist without the support of an established mentoring culture, but inevitably they require more work, a longer ramp up time and unwavering conscientious persistence to maintain and ensure programmatic growth and long term continuity.
The Right Infrastructure
Ultimately, it is the leader’s responsibility to ensure that the organization supports mentoring and commits its leadership, time, financial and human resources to the effort.
- Engage Your Leadership. Are the right leaders involved? Are they the people who have the political muscle, organizational wherewithal, and clout to make things happen? When mentoring is felt, experienced and perceived as a vested interest and commitment of leadership that spirit of ownership permeates every level of the organization.
- Plan for Leadership Succession. In a mentoring culture, leadership replaces itself; part of that responsibility is to mentor future leaders and foster ownership to preserve the integrity and continuity of culture.
- Honor the Time. It takes time to plan, implement and see measurable results. Clarify the business reasons for engaging in mentoring. Achieving consensus on these reasons can help balance mentoring time with the demands of expediency, results and immediate performance.
- Allocate Financial Resources. It takes financial resources and a long-term commitment to create and support a mentoring culture. Your organization’s financial commitment to mentoring should reflect the scope, goals and complexity of the mentoring initiative and be commensurate with the size and capacity of the organization.
- Use Your Human Resources Wisely. Bring the right people to the table to plan, implement, manage and monitor the mentoring work. The decision regarding whom to include, to select, to name, and to ask, contributes to the ultimate success of a mentoring culture. It should not be taken lightly or left to chance.