M1.02. Designing and planning the mentoring process

To which elements one should pay attention prior to the commencement of mentoring?

We may distinguish subsequent phases of the mentoring process. The first phase is the so-called phase of initiation, when the process is commenced, mentee's expectations are identified, people are getting to know each other and pairs for cooperation are selected. The second phase, i.e. mature exchange, consists in the accomplishment of purposes defined in the first phase and expectations of mentees. The third phase is separation - the mentee, who in the mentoring process strengthened its competence, skills and knowledge, is ready to cope on its own, may become the mentor for other persons (employees) from the organisation. In order to enable these phases to come after each other and to make the mentoring process compliant with expectations of mentors, mentees and organisations, it should be planned, designed before its commencement.

The first decision that should be made in the organisation implementing the mentoring process concerns the unit/persons responsible for the mentoring organisation and process. The HR Department is usually the organisational centre of mentoring, but it is more and more often supported by the IT Department. At the mentoring design stage, the Team may be appointed to include representatives of various departments. It is important that this Team is able to make binding decisions and, if needed, it is supported from the outside by experienced mentors from the organisation or by the "market" experts.
If the mentoring process is carried out under some external project, its course results directly from the project assumptions. In such a situation, designing is limited to adjusting the project's requirements to the organisation's specificity. Often, there is a coordinating team in the project, which supports persons, teams in the organisation responsible for the mentoring implementation.

At the stage of designing the mentoring process, it is crucial to answer the question about what we want to achieve through mentoring, i.e. what benefits we expect, both us as the organisation and as persons directly involved in mentoring (see table).

Potential benefits from the implementation of the mentoring process:

Benefits for the organisation Benefits for the mentee Benefits for the mentor
  • support (extension and supplement) of the organisation's training policy
  • support of knowledge management processes
  • implementation of the "learning" organisation principles
  • age management in the organisation
  • creation of the opportunity for experienced employees to fully use their knowledge and experience acquired throughout their career
  • allowing for transfer of valuable hidden knowledge among employees, difficult to be provided during traditional training
  • retention of intellectual capital in the organisation
  • creation of challenges for employees at various levels of professional development
  • increasing value and quality of human and social capital (e.g. strengthening of social competence)
  • faster professional development of employees and development of the organisation
  • team building, possibility of performing various roles in the team
  • increased motivation of employees
  • limited number of training activities run by external companies
  • strengthening of valuable elements of an organisational culture, due to the possibility of full transfer of skills, methods of work and systems of values to employees by a person who is their authority
  • reduced fluctuation of employees – adaptation of young staff
  • increased independence and self-confidence, sense of being treated subjectively
  • increased responsibility for one's own professional situation and development
  • increased qualifications
  • higher satisfaction from professional achievements
  • increased involvement in tasks, particularly those taught by the mentor
  • increased motivation to work
  • possibility of regular, supported by "master" self-reflection on one's own behaviour and development
  • acquisition/strengthening of social competences
  • acquisition of knowledge and competences closely corresponding with the job specificity and needs of the mentee
  • personal and professional development
  • increased belief in one's own capacity, skill of learning from mistakes
  • development or strengthening of possitive attitude
  • acquisition of knowledge related to the organisation, its structures and culture
  • update of acquired own knowledge, sense of being appreciated
  • method of dealing with burnout
  • source of the sense of satisfaction resulting from leading the mentee
  • satisfaction connected with the performance of the authority's role
  • sense of self-efficacy and "indispensability" for the organisation
  • benefitting from modern knowledge and learning about the perspective of younger employees
  • possibility of "bringing up" a competent co-worker or successor
  • sense of impact and responsibility for the organisation's development
  • development/strengthening of one's own social competences
  • development and strengthening of the skill of communication with other people

While proceeding to implementation of the mentoring process, every organisation should consider the below presented set of questions. Answers to them shall determine planning of the mentoring process in the organisation.


Before you plan the mentoring process in your organisation, please answer the questions below:

Question 1. Has the organisation had any experience within the scope of mentoring in the past?
Question 2. What form (forms) of mentoring is preferred in your organisation?
Question 3. What are the programme purposes and scope (specific purposes for specific groups of employees, for the organisation)?
Question 4. What functions and tasks shall be performed by the mentor?
Question 5. Who should be the mentor, the mentee and what shall be the selection criteria?
Question 6. What competences of the mentor are deemed key in the organisation?
Question 7. What competences of the mentee are the most important?
Question 8. How mentors and mentees should be prepared to start the programme implementation?
Question 9. What support should be provided by the organisation – how the mentoring should be organised?
Question 10. How training needs of the mentoring participants shall be defined?
Question 11. What is the role and responsibility of mentors and mentees?
Question 12. Are there principles in the organisation and are respective policies introduced to support the programme implementation? How the confidence policy is implemented?
Question 13. How (and by whom) relations between the mentor and the mentee will be assessed?
Question 14. What will be measures of the mentoring result assessment?
Question 15. What support shall be provided to mentors and mentees when the mentoring relations do not proceed as expected?
Question 16. Will the mentoring programme be promoted? If yes, whether in a formal or an informal way?

In the further part of the study, all the above questions shall be analysed (some of them will be grouped by subject)