Five Mistakes to Avoid in Your Mentorship Program

Five Mistakes to Avoid in Your Mentorship Program-1

Five Mistakes to Avoid in Your Mentorship Program

September 8, 2019

Many companies offer mentorship program to their juniors, developing them by sharing the knowledge and experience possessed by the seniors. Mentorship is a keystone in the talent development plan that build a leadership pipeline for future success of an organization.

Unfortunately, research shows that 70% of mentoring programs do not yield desired outcomes. Do you know why?

Read on the five common mistakes organizations commit, avoid them and increase your odds of succeeding a mentorship program.


#1: No Intentional Process
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Most mentoring programs fail because they are inadequately structured. We should guide and lead mentors and mentees to experience the best of the program. Do not just bring them together and hope they will get together well. Mentoring is more than casual gathering.


#2: Lack Senior Management Support & Involvement
While management would recognize the importance of mentoring, we could do a much better job of “marketing” the mentoring program in order to get more buy-in and visibility at organizational level. A well-organized mentoring program will definitely impress the senior management. In return, they will invest more resources and time in the program.

– Use evidence-based thinking to convince
– Measure and evaluate results to show value
– Start small and do well


#3: No Training for Mentor & Mentee
Mentoring is different from day-day leading and coaching. It would blossom only if both mentors and mentees play their parts effectively. Providing relevant training to both parties definitely bring the mentoring programs to the next level.

Tips for Mentors:
– Embrace their role and responsibility as mentor
– Communicate effectively
– Build trust and rapport with mentee

Tips for Mentees:
– Be ready to learn rapidly and proactively
– Ask the right questions
– Be open-minded


#4 Outcomes Not Clearly Defined & Tracked.
Both qualitative and quantitative measures as well as process and outcome goals need to be clearly established, agreed upon and measured in order to gauge the success of the program. Back to the old adage: What gets measured gets done.


#5 No Established Criteria for Selecting & Matching Mentors & Mentees
For the mentoring relationship to work, care and consideration need to be given to match mentors and mentees based on learning needs, background, interests etc in a more objective fashion.


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<Further Reading>

Structured Mentoring Program



Leo Ng

Consultant (Assessment & Analysis)

I/O Psychologist



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