Why Mentoring Programmes Fail

Shriya Sarang

2nd Mar'23
Why Mentoring Programmes Fail | OpenGrowth

Today's workplaces, governmental agencies, nonprofits, and educational institutions all have a new place for mentoring. Organizations with a more extensive membership base also have a bigger body of information and years of expertise. Starting a mentorship program allows sharing of priceless experiences with newcomers, greatly accelerating the onboarding process and enhancing inclusion, employee engagement, and corporate culture.

Like everything that depends on human connection, mentoring has its drawbacks. We at OpenGrowth oversee numerous fruitful mentoring projects. Also, we have encountered every trap and are aware of how to avoid it.

Why do mentorship initiatives fall short?

What mentees can learn from mentors?

Even while most firms begin mentorship programs with the best intentions, these programs aren't always successfully implemented or managed. It can be challenging to manage the mentor-mentee connection well, especially if neither party does not know how to make this relationship function as effectively as possible.

The initial step only involves matching a mentor with a single mentee or group of employees. The mentor must know how to engage and guide the group, to properly mentor all the people that look to them for expertise and sector knowledge. Read more about why mentorship is beneficial for mentors in this blog

1. Ineffective mentor-mentee matches

The mentor-mentee relationship may suffer if mentors and mentees are not suitable according to the objectives of the company.

New hires and employees who don’t have a lot of inside knowledge of your procedures, rules, regulations, and best practices make a terrific example. An experienced person who is eager and able to share their knowledge and isn't afraid of being questioned a lot would make the ideal mentor for a new hire. This mentor-mentee connection can either go very smoothly or disastrously wrong, depending on the mentor's disposition and openness to imparting their knowledge.

The best mentors can be executives or other managers with extensive expertise if a person is already well-established in their career and needs a mentorship program to push them into management or a leadership role.

Make an effort to pair up employees with mentors who are the best fit for their circumstances. Organizations that do not value appropriate mentor-mentee matching frequently run into problems later on.

2. Failure to Follow Up

Volunteer work, which involves mentoring, is not mandatory for anyone to undertake. Formal mentoring programs help mentors and mentees both grow, but since they aren't required at work, they frequently fizzle out and are discontinued. The administration of mentoring programs must provide follow-up and moderate direction. Relationships can stay new and fresh by giving mentors necessary questions to ask their mentees about job options or by encouraging mentors to learn skill sets that may be unfamiliar to mentees. Program administrators occasionally need to give mentoring programs a little push for them to stay alive.

3. Lack of Goal Clarity

Spend some time up front defining the main objective of your organization's mentoring program. What obligations does the mentor have? What obligations do the mentee(s) have? By drafting a mentorship plan paper, this can be determined.

Without a specific objective in mind, mentors and mentees will be forced to "improvise" and come up with the conversations they have. This can occasionally be beneficial since it propels teamwork between mentors and mentees. But most of the time this results in a disorganized strategy that will only confuse both parties.

4. Your mentoring programs are not customized


Reinventing the wheel is frequently not worth it. It's okay to use this knowledge to create your own mentorship programs. There are efficient mentorship platforms that your company can use.

Organizations that use this information without adapting it to their unique requirements and expectations are the problem. You should update all mentorship program materials to reflect any new corporate policies, lingo, or words that may have been adopted.

Although this may seem obvious, it is frequently overlooked. Spend the effort necessary to accurately update and customize any external content you utilize to your organization's standards; it will be well worth it in the long run.

5. Lack of Participation

The advantages of mentoring that result from a mentoring relationship are sometimes overlooked by businesses. A mentoring program may not succeed if senior managers don't participate if mentors don't perceive a benefit to them.

To get around this, businesses could implement a mentoring program to find the best mentors and acknowledge their achievements as part of their employees' professional development. You can also think about implementing a rewards program as a method to recognize your best workers and their contributions to improving the working environment at your company.

Tips for Overcoming Hurdles In Mentoring Programmes

1. Establish the mentoring program's aims and objectives at the outset. Evaluating the program's success is not easy, without a clear understanding of your goals.

 2. Choose your participants wisely. The people selected for the program should have what it takes to be successful mentors and mentees.

3. Encourage a mentorship culture within the company. Encourage your staff to participate in mentoring relationships and give those who already do your support.

4. Educate mentors and mentees on the best ways to involve in the program. The topics of communication, boundary-setting, and conflict resolution should be included in this training.

5. Use compatible goals, interests, and personality types to pair mentors and mentees. The mentoring connection is more likely to be successful the more compatible the duo is.


You can avoid issues before they arise by considering these mentoring blunders while designing your program. Keep in mind that developing an effective mentoring program takes time. With each program you try, you'll learn more and more, and you'll amass a network of mentoring role models in the process.

We at OpenGrowth, are committed to keeping you updated with the highest quality content on the latest trendy topics from any major field. Also, both your feedback and suggestions are valuable to us. So, share them in the comment section below.

Writing has been my natural get-away and peace-place. Eventually, I have been drawn to the depths of the world of writing with numerous topics which have fascinated me through time like -
- Business and Finance
- Professional Communication and Skill Development

Through writing, I hope to find the bigger and better purpose of our lives beyond the work-life bitter banter and truly feel worth living in every breath.


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