7 Types of Mentoring Programs: What You Need to Know

Mentoring is an effective tool for personal and professional development. Learn about 7 types of mentor programs that organizations can use to meet their objectives.

7 Types of Mentoring Programs: What You Need to Know

Mentoring is a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. It can help build trust, foster relationships, and provide guidance and support. Organizations can use different types of mentoring programs to meet their objectives. Traditional one-on-one mentoring is when a mentor and mentee are paired, either through a program or on their own.

This type of mentoring allows for a long-term relationship to be built and nurtured over time, which can have a profound impact on trust, mental health, and other areas of personal development for both parties. Peer-to-peer mentoring is when two people come together in mentoring, but both parties have a similar work level or age range. This type of mentoring works well as part of a specific program, such as for onboarding new employees or providing support for first-time parents returning to work. It can also provide employees with the opportunity to develop leadership and communication skills in an autonomous, peer-to-peer environment.

Group mentoring helps reach and impact more learners in less time than traditional mentoring and is particularly useful when organizations lack good mentors. It can also be used in conjunction with other types of mentoring, such as one-on-one mentoring, to get the most out of the session and reach a larger number of employees. Reverse mentoring is when a younger person mentors an older person in an organization. This type of mentoring recognizes that there are skill gaps and learning opportunities on both sides of the relationship.

Reverse mentoring can be used to improve senior employees' skills in digital technology or as part of a diversity and inclusion initiative. Flash mentoring is useful for creating a space to share knowledge in an impactful way, without the pressure of developing a long-term relationship. It can also be used as a test for a new mentoring relationship and help people expand their networks before committing to longer-term mentoring. Team mentoring involves a group of mentors and a group of trainees who conduct team mentoring sessions.

The key difference between group mentoring and team mentoring is that team mentoring often involves several mentors working with the group instead of just one. Team mentoring is good for teamwork and eliminates any potential for favouritism or elitism that can sometimes be associated with individual mentoring. Identity-based mentoring has gained popularity in recent years after companies realized that their employees from diverse backgrounds felt that their needs were not being met within a structure that does not allow the voices of minorities to be heard. This type of mentoring allows companies to appreciate the fact that people come from diverse backgrounds.

Different types of mentoring programs can serve different objectives. Perhaps the goal is to encourage greater collaboration between departments; perhaps it is to connect executives with junior employees. Organizations can choose from formal, peer-to-peer, reverse, flash, team, or identity-based mentoring programs depending on their needs. High-potential employees bring 91% more value to organizations and work 21% more than the rest of their colleagues.

Investing in these people ensures that the value they can offer reaches its full potential and remains within your company. If you're looking into starting a mentoring program in your office, you'll want to take a look at our customizable MentorCruise course. In this program, participants can learn how to ensure that a mentor-mentee relationship is highly valuable to both parties.