It’s an unfortunate fact that corporate mentoring programs often fail within the first six to ten months. Akram Sabbagh suggests that this can be because there is too much focus on the mentoring process and comparatively little focus on implementing a well-structured program.
“These things don’t just run themselves. Apart from having a budget set aside, a successful mentoring program has a clear pattern and structure to it, with specific events and actions required at specific points in the program’s evolution.
“Managing and maintaining the enthusiasm and energy levels throughout the program has to be a core concern.
“It starts with ensuring that there is genuine, committed support from the very top. As the program unfolds, action has to be taken at key points to maintain momentum. This is a balancing act because, while program participants will be looking for concrete pay-offs in the near term, the program as a whole has to be given time for an organisation to realise the incredible (read ‘ROI’) benefits it can deliver .
“In our experience it is essential to make a two-to-three year commitment and to stick to your guns. Nothing kills a mentoring program faster than the suspicion that senior management is having doubts about it.
“The bottom line is that it takes time to embed lasting change into a corporate culture.”