AMCI's Mentoring Program White Paper
Learning the Organization through Formal Mentoring
Mentoring is the art of using one's experience to help others learn, grow and mature while navigating the obstructions that inevitably arise in the course of a career. We describe good mentoring as providing possibilities, connections and direction, not necessarily telling protégés exactly what to do. It involves connection of the experienced and inexperienced, the seniors and juniors, to facilitate such growth. The end result is a community intent on pooling collective knowledge, sharing solutions to common problems in a systematic manner, reducing the ramp-up time of the junior workforce, and simultaneously building a trust-based community.
To accomplish this goal, a mentoring program must be customized to fit the organization and directly support its mission and goals. Successful mentoring programs require training and coaching of the participants to effectively transmit information and broaden the foundation of corporate understanding and culture. Any organization can benefit from a mentoring approach which involves mentorees tapping into mentors' support, guidance, and coaching to chart goals for professional development, identify developmental activities, recognize unwritten rules, and navigate the organization.
Why AMCI's Mentoring Program?
Today's workplace is top-heavy, but not for long. Companies
and Federal agencies alike have many baby-boomers who are close
to retirement and the last thing any organization wants is for
intellectual assets residing in the heads of senior employees
to walk out the door along with them. Tacit knowledge, the basic
organizational commodity that must be passed along, is difficult
to quantify and impossible to adequately record. The only effective
way to pass it along to junior leadership includes dialogue
and relationships. Because of time constraints, one solution
emerges ahead of others: a formal mentoring program. AMCI's
facilitated formal Mentoring Program turns an organization's
most experienced and valuable personnel into a cadre of relevant
trainers who by using the mentoring process share their expertise
to an attentive audience. AMCI's Mentoring Program is an action-oriented,
organization/culture-specific mentoring system designed to build
enterprise knowledge. The Mentoring Program is comprehensive,
process-oriented, and immediately usable. The program provides
experienced facilitators to assess needs and capabilities through
focused, strategic planning sessions, training of mentors and
mentorees, and building a system for feedback, evaluation, and
continued growth. The program's unique web-based matching system
is highly customizable and allows easy access and broad participation.
The AMCI program is multi-faceted and includes the following:
- Strategic Planning - We guide client organizations
to discern exactly what they hope to accomplish with a mentoring
program. We help identify:
Overall goals of the mentoring effort
Priorities for general communication and training
Which groups of personnel to invite for which roles
Details of the matching process
Roles and expectations for mentors, mentorees, and supervisors
Client-specific language to use
How and when to measure success
- Matching - AMCI uses a web-based tool to support the application and matching processes, proven repeatedly to be successful.
- Training - We provide customized dynamic, interactive training for mentors and mentorees to support a successful program for individuals and the organization. The most successful programs include face-to-face training sessions, Webinars and newsletters.
- Tracking -The AMCI team works together with the client program coordinators in tracking the progress of the mentoring activities and relationships.
- Coaching - AMCI coaches individual participants as necessary, as they progress through the mentoring process.
- Graduating - Successful participants are encouraged to continue the program with another partner in the next iteration of the mentoring program, perhaps moving from the role of a mentoree to that of mentor.
- Evaluating - AMCI conducts confidential midpoint, and end-of-program surveys to help the participants evaluate and report their experiences. The accumulated data results are reported to client leadership for planning purposes.
One feature that differentiates this program from the competition is the robust but flexible nature of our web-based software application. Using language chosen by the client (i.e., mentoree vs. protégé), the software:
- Gathers participants' demographic and career path information
- Allows them to identify up to five specific individuals for possible matches
- Allows them to identify up to five specific individuals who would not be suitable matches
- Suggests appropriate matches for them with others who have expressed similar desires for mentoring partnerships, including specific leadership competencies on which to focus
- Tracks their activities, training, and opportunities taken
- Evaluates their satisfaction with their mentoring experience and hence, the effectiveness of the program
Without this automated tool, management of the program would
be a tremendous challenge of tracking and administration.
The most common complaint among organizations who have been
disappointed by mentoring programs is that they started out
with plenty of spark and excitement, but faded once the program
was underway. The AMCI Mentoring Program maintains the excitement
and focus with a clear beginning and end for each year's class,
formal classroom training events, regular monitoring and intervention,
coaching, and evaluations at regular intervals throughout.
Some organizations match partners across great distances. Many of our client organizations routinely match military officers and civilians across continents and oceans. Other clients group their partnerships by location. AMCI's flexible Mentoring Program is able to address the unique needs of each client while providing the knowledge transfer necessary to meet 21st century challenges.