Mentoring - A Valuable Approach for Executive Development


Prof. S. Sudhakar
Assistant Professor
School of Management
VLB Janakiammal College of Engineering & Technology
Coimbatore-641 042

Global environment and network economics worldwide are creating intense competition that requires the most talented and the best to run organizations. Hiring and retaining the best, grooming the bright young employees to take up position at an early date and age, is the main agenda of any organization that to sustain in this competitive era.

Mentoring though an old concept is fast becoming a corporate approach to retain, sustain and develop young employees to take up executive positions. The process of "Mentoring" can be formal or informal, but should be able to establish an effective relationship between the organization and employees in a way that both the parties in an equitable proportion can reap the benefits.

In a "Mentoring Program", a senior and experienced of staff member (Mentor) helps a junior member (Mentee) to develop in his job or career. The"Mentor"acts as an advisor, friend, philosopher and guide to the "Mentee".

Mentoring has the following salient features:

* A deliberate, conscious, voluntary relationship that may or may not have a specific time limit.
* That is sanctioned or supported by the organization.
* That occurs between an experienced, employed or retired person (Mentor) and one or more other persons (Mentee).
* Who are generally not in a direct, hierarchical or supervisory chain of command.
* Where the outcome of the relationship is expected to benefit all parties in the relationship (albeit at different times) for personal growth, career development, goal fulfillment and other areas mutually designated by the mentor and mentee.

The Corporate Mentoring Program

In the corporate world today, "Mentoring programs" are envisaged by Human Resources department to induct inexperienced new employees to the company's work ethics. The need, scope and benefits to individuals and organization are well understood by Human Resources practitioners. The need for "Corporate

Mentoring" and devising a workable, measurable "Corporate Mentoring Program" are as follows:

* Management of workforce diversity.
* Building capabilities for the future.
* Succession planning.
* Retaining High performers in the Organization.
* Management of the Knowledge pool in the Organization.
* Reducing the cost of learning.

The benefits derived from mentoring program benefits the Organization as well as employee who is a part of the program. The benefits attained from Organization point of view is stated below:

* It improves dissemination of knowledge and best practices to the new entrants.
* A tool for Succession planning.
* It creates a Learning Culture.
* It improves the productivity of the organization.
* Improves the Quality of Employees.
* Provide Motivation and boost the Morale of Employees.
* Improved Communication and Sharing values.
* Provides Role models.
* Facilitates effective implementation of Change.

The benefits obtained by the employee is listed:

* Improves Knowledge, Skills and Confidence.
* Setting clear Career goals.
* Smoother transition through Management levels.
* Provides insight into the Organization Culture.
* Greater Job satisfaction through recognition, satisfaction and empowerment of the employees.

The Corporate Mentoring Program generally has four levels. The base of the program is a common understanding between Mentor and Mentee that they are working together for the improvement of the knowledge and skills of the Mentee, so that the Mentee will be able to take higher responsibilities and set up the ladder of his career.

Level One-Responsibility

This is introductory stage were information about the members of the Mentoring Program, Objectives of the program, Introduction of the Organization to the participants as to Tradition, Culture, Structure and Responsibilities of members is provided. The new members orientation is generally for three months. Older employees of the organization provide the guidance.

Level Two-Relationship

Here the main premise is to establish departmental leaders. Building Strong relationship, developing Organizational Skills and Teamwork are the main areas of concentration. The level Two responsibilities onus is assigned to senior employees who act as Mentors. This level needs to be completed within six months period.

Level Three-Results

This focuses on the Evaluation skills of the mentor. At this level, the actual results of the program are compared with the objectives, which were set at level one. If the results match with the set objectives, then one can state that the program was effective, otherwise it needs to be modified accordingly. The reasons for failure are ascertained to take corrective actions. The main emphasis at this level is to developing accountability for results.

Level Four- Replication

This is the final level of Corporate Mentoring Program and having reached this stage the Mentee has to plan his Succession. He should pass on the knowledge gained during the mentoring and show the output in his work. Some capable mentees are also inducted into the main stream as mentors. In this way, corporate mentoring programs are planned where new employee go through all the four levels and the more experienced employees start their mentoring at level three.


Mentoring and Corporate Mentoring Programs are one of the most effective approach towards grooming new employees to understand the company work nature and also ways to identify good performers in the beginning itself. It is a mutually rewarding tool to the employees as well as the organization.

Prof. S. Sudhakar
Assistant Professor
School of Management
VLB Janakiammal College of Engineering & Technology
Coimbatore-641 042

Source: E-mail February 20, 2007


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