Talent Management

Well structured programs increase ROI

You’ve recognised the value of mentoring to address a business challenge – whether it is succession planning, retention, supporting diversity, building leadership capability or driving change.

Yet successful mentoring programs take thought, planning and careful design to ensure maximum impact and outcomes for the participants and organisation.

Following best practice guidelines and a structured process will help achieve the best results. Here are five steps to follow when setting up your organisation’s program:

1. Formalise and design the program.

Clearly define the objectives and goals of the program. What does success look like for participants and your organisation? When designing the program consider the selection criteria, structure, participants, matching and resources. Set a clear time frame for the program to keep participants focused.

2. Communicate and identify champions

Position the program as a reward and recognition program that is highly valued by your organisation. Identify internal senior champions to inspire participation and promote benefits. Ensure all stakeholders are aware of the program, its objectives and the professional development opportunities for both the mentee and mentors. This will foster a mentoring culture and drive commitment to the process from all parties.

3. Provide training and resources

Provide training to both mentors and mentees on how to get the most out of the experience. Discuss their roles and responsibilities, the level of commitment required and mentoring best practice guidelines. Clarifying expectations and roles will build a more effective mentoring relationship.

Offer tools and resources to help facilitate and structure the process. For example, our one2one online resource increases structure and guidance to the mentor and mentee and shares tips and advice on how to get the most out of the relationship.

4. Connect carefully

Matching is critical to the success of the program. Consider goals, expectations, experience and personality of both parties. Each mentee needs to have the right person to challenge, stretch and guide them. The organisation can match strategically to help drive innovation, collaboration and communication across business areas and skill sets.

5. Measure the program’s effectiveness

Measure and evaluate the program’s effectiveness against goals and key business performance indicators. Reporting also helps participants to stay accountable and encourages them to reflect on key learnings and outcomes. Communicate the results to leaders, managers and participants.

When done well, mentoring can be a powerful unique professional development tool that delivers strong results.

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Jobs of the future

mentoring leadership

Jobs of the future will be more flexible, agile, networked and connected according to the latest CSIRO and Australian Computer Society’s report into the future of our workforce. All industries will be affected by automation and there will be more demand for people with science, technology, engineering and mathematics knowledge in future.

“We have an economy in transition and we need to upskill our current workforce to they can anticipate the jobs of the future,” said one of the authors. “They will need to develop skills, capabilities and aptitudes which complement (not compete with) artificial intelligence, computerised systems and robotics.”

The report also states there will be an increase in casual workers and  “the ideal job within a large organisation may not be awaiting an increasing number of future job seekers. This means individuals will need to create their own job, requiring entrepreneurial skills and aptitudes.”

Perhaps the role of the mentor may have even greater significance as education, the ability to adapt to change and accelerated learning paths become ever more important?

Click here for for the full report Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce: Megatrends and Scenarios for jobs and employment in Australia over the next twenty years





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New online program to guide, support and inspire

one2one is our new online program that will further engage and motivate mentees and mentors on their journey. Designed to support the unique one2one relationships, the structured 10 month program explores key leadership themes important to career success. The program features interviews on key topics with inspiring Australian leaders such as John McGrath, Sally Loane, James O’Loghlin and Wendy McCarthy AO and provides carefully selected resources, interactive exercises and practical advice on making the most of the mentoring experience.

one2one draws on our 18 years of experience to provide organisations and industry groups with an affordable online tool that allows scale and reach for their programs.

“One2one is a roadmap that is useful in ensuring that topics are covered” – mentee; “The one2one platform has given clear focus for conversations” – mentor 

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Your gender diversity strategy

external mentoring

The latest findings by Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) show not much has changed with gender pay gap and leadership figures. They show women are earning 24% less than men in total remuneration for full time work. That represents $27,252 per year. It’s 35% if you work in financial or insurance services.

In terms of leadership, the data continues to paint a bleak picture – only 15.4% of CEOs are women.

The challenges of gender diversity within organisations can be broad and complex. The discussions are around quotas; culture; persistent bias; women’s lack of confidence in pay negotiations; reluctance to ask for promotions; lack of flexibility at the top (just 6.3% of management roles are part-time) and leaders who aren’t supporting women into the top jobs.

Yet there is a strong business case for gender diversity at senior levels and in positive news, there has been an increase in employers who have put strategies in place.  

What part does mentoring play in your gender diversity strategy?

Our experience and the research shows mentoring can be an important part of a successful gender diversity strategy.

WEGA has cited mentoring and sponsorship programs within its ‘Strategy Toolkit’ that provides advice to businesses wanting to achieve gender equality. Mentoring is seen as an important initiative in both building capability and developing a strong talent ‘pipeline to leadership’ that is gender diverse.

In addition, McKinsey (2010) found that organisations with the largest percentage of C-level women encourage or mandate senior executives to mentor women in lower-level jobs.

For the individual, we know that common outcomes of mentoring – such as increased confidence, performance, leadership skills, more strategic career plans as well as ability to take risks in their career – can all impact on career progression.

Recent outcomes from McCarthy Mentoring programs designed to support gender diversity strategies:

  • 63% of emerging female leaders selected to participate at a large ASX listed company were promoted during the program or within a year of participating
  • 67% of female participants at a global professional services firm were promoted to Partner since starting the program

Mentoring can be a powerful initiative to strengthen your gender diversity strategy.


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Trusting colleagues boosts productivity & effectiveness

mentoring program

Trusting the people you work with and believing in what you’re doing are both more important to team success than your colleagues’ qualifications according to new research by Google.

Analysing their own employees, Google discovered that people work best when they trust their coworkers and feel like they can take risks, depend on one another and understand the team’s goals. They’ve come up with five successful team dynamics (shown in the image).

Their research is supported by recent academic studies reinforcing that how team work together is more important than who is on the team.

In mentoring, the most valuable and successful relationships have a strong level of trust and mutual respect, regardless of qualifications.

Google has discovered the 5 key traits employees need to succeed, Huffington Post, 19 November 2015


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