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Designing and Implementing a Mentoring Scheme


A successful international leisure and hospitality business recognised that the ongoing effectiveness of their business relied on realising the full potential of their management population.

The organisation had already put in place a rigorous Development Centre process, which provided managers with in-depth feedback on their personal strengths and development needs. A range of development opportunities was already being offered in the form of modular workshops and E-learning modules. Nonetheless, the organisation believed that more personalised, one-to-one attention in the form of mentoring was required to enable individual managers to capitalise on their strengths and to build up areas in need of further development in order to make the next step in their careers.

Our Approach

Human Qualities worked with the Head of Human Resources to define how the mentoring scheme would work and design processes and training to facilitate its implementation.

These included the design of simple processes for the nomination of mentees and selection of mentors. We also designed and ran workshops to set clear expectations and skill up mentors. Supporting documentation was created to provide both mentors and mentees with ongoing aids to help structure and manage the mentoring process.

The success of the mentoring scheme largely rested on two factors: senior role models and a well-designed process. Firstly, top-level executives participated in mentoring skills training and acted as mentors, thus providing role models for other managers to emulate. Secondly, the Human Resources function took an active role in ensuring that mentoring took place, overseeing development activities and their outcomes. With senior role models and a clear process to follow, mentoring cascaded successfully throughout the organisation


The mentoring programme led to many benefits for all involved. Some of the benefits realised by the organisation, mentors and mentees are listed below:

Benefits for the organisation

The organisation found that mentoring increased management capability through the focused development of both mentees and mentors. Moreover, as a global business in which managers moved internationally on a regular basis, it offered the personal attention necessary to make an individual feel valued and committed to the business. One of the additional benefits was enhanced communication across the organisation – as leaders and managers formed mentoring relationships across the different parts of the business so information flowed more freely.

Benefits for mentors

All mentors underwent training in mentoring skills, equipping them with the knowledge and capability to mentor others effectively. This not only ensured the success of the mentoring scheme, but also equipped them with skills that were relevant to their own line management responsibilities. Mentors received increased recognition in the organisation for their leadership and corporate citizenship, whilst also gaining a sense of achievement in enabling a colleague to realise their full potential.

Benefits for mentees

Each participant in the mentoring scheme was introduced to an experienced manager from another part of the business to act as his or her mentor. Together they agreed on clearly defined development objectives and then the mentor provided individualised attention and support over a period of 12 months. The mentees were encouraged by the organisation’s commitment to their career progression and many attained levels of enhanced performance.