Which type of program makes sense within a company, coaching or mentoring? Because each type of program adds value, some companies have both or a combined effort. Because of time and cost considerations, some companies choose one or the other.
Mentoring programs serve to pass specific knowledge from experienced professionals to those interested in learning. When an organization has a number of experienced employees that are willing to pass on what they know, and a number of newer employees that want to learn or move up internally, a mentoring program makes sense.
Pros of a Mentoring Program:
* Pass knowledge from experienced employees to newer employees
* Minimal orientation or training of mentors necessary
* Experienced professionals feel good about mentoring
Cons of a Mentoring Program:
* Employee buy-in varies
* Mentor effectiveness varies
* Process effectiveness varies
Coaching programs engage employees by empowering them to explore possibilities, find solutions, and create their own action plans. When an organization is faced with change, wants to expand employee skill sets and productivity, or has an interest in expanding the talent pool, a coaching program makes sense.
Pros of a Coaching Program:
* Increases engagement and motivates productivity
* Proven impact on skill development and results
* Perceived as positive at all levels and appropriate at all levels
Cons of a Coaching Program:
* Cost: training for coaches and/or bringing in external coaches
* More up-front time to implement
* Approval to invest the time and money requires planning
Mentoring programs are often primarily a matter of coordinating the match between mentor and mentee. Coaching programs involve training coaches before matching them with a coachee or contracting for coaching services. In the next blog posts, explore the decision-making on choice of programs and implementation.