Mentoring for Talent Management

The issue

Following their acquisition by a global textiles manufacturer, the UK and European design, sales and marketing divisions needed to develop the talent of high potential managers in ways that would also strengthen and develop the potential of the company to retain such talent and ensure succession planning from within the organisation.

The solution

I was a member of a team of Taylor Clarke Partnership facilitators who designed and delivered workshops to set up mentoring programmes in the UK and European organisations.  The workshops comprised an initial 2-day event with a 1-day follow-up after paired mentors and mentees had experienced one or two mentoring meetings together.

The initial 2-day workshop introduced mentees and a pool of prospective mentors to the process, roles and skills involved in being a mentor or mentee.  We felt it most important that both mentors and mentees had a common understanding of the process and its challenges, and the process of sharing such a learning experience was a good start to building mentoring relationships.  It also aids the selection process since mentees discover who their most appropriate mentor might be through the workshop activities.

Key outcomes from the initial 2-day workshop:

  • To be clear about the organisational drivers for the context, opportunity and expectations for the mentoring programme
  • To increase self-awareness and understanding through diagnostics and feedback
  • To appreciate others’ styles, personalities and career experiences as the basis for developing a meaningful and sustained mentor/mentee relationship
  • To understand development mentoring — the benefits, roles, skills and responsibilities of being a mentor or mentee, exploring initial mentoring issues, such as relationship boundaries; contracting; building rapport; and goal setting
  • To appreciate the characteristics of good and poor mentors and mentees
  • To gain insight into the key stages of a mentoring relationship.

The 1-day follow-up workshop focused on the further development of skills, and included individual discussion or coaching for the mentoring pairs with the facilitators.

Key outcomes from the follow-up 1-day workshop:

  • To further develop mentor and mentee competencies through roleplay activities, and identify areas for personal development
  • To review the learning to date, using the workshop to discuss particular issues that may have arisen between mentor and mentee
  • To manage challenge and give effective feedback.

Evaluation process

As part of the mentoring programmes, a structured evaluation was conducted after six months with each mentor and mentee, focusing on the outcomes of the mentoring relationship in terms of its development, behaviour, commitment, successes and areas for improvement.

The Taylor Clarke Partnership

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