Common Mentoring Program Mistakes

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Mentoring programs can be very beneficial for new employees to gain knowledge and information from experienced staff.

However, not allprograms are beneficial and successful. If mentors aren’t properly supported, they can end up being of no help and leave the mentor and mentee both frustrated.

No mentor program can be properly tailored as all individuals are different, but there are some mistakes that can be avoided. Here are the most common mistakes to avoid:

Grouping employees

Possible mentors should always be specially chosen, not paired at random. A lot of businesses just randomly group new employees with experience employees. This isn’t a great idea because the mentor might feel embarrassed or not want to assist. You want to find people that are interested in mentoring, and people that are going to be a good influence on new employees. The more knowledgeable and willing to help, the better.

Defining the role of the mentor

It’s important to spell out what your expectations of an employee are. This is completely dependent on what you would like, whether you expect a weekly catch up, or a constant level of communication between the mentor and the mentee. Every mentorship should have an end date.

Not allowing enough time

Mentoring often gets forgotten when an office gets busy. To ensure the successful operation of a mentoring program, ask your participants to make it a priority and add meeting dates to their calendars. Ensuring there is a schedule will in turn provide an opportunity for a mentorship meeting.

One-way learning

Mentoring needs to be two-way, there needs to be collaboration and questioning between the mentor and the mentee. Effective mentoring plays out as a dialogue between the two as mentees often provide valuable information about their observations too.

Failing to monitor

Failing to monitor the mentoring program. A decent program must be monitored over time to ensure that it is effective and there is improvement. On a regular basis, looking at how mentoring relationships progress and what can be done to make them more successful is key.


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