Common Options for Program Goals

By Barry Sweeny, 2003

The following list is a compilation from a review of many mentoring programs. This list is provided here to help you decide quickly, what goals your program might be designed to address.

There is NO intention by the author that ALL these goals should be adopted. Just pick the ones that seem to relate best to your organization’s strategic initiatives and the needs of the potential protégés and mentors for your program.


  • A. For the Organization:
    • To improve employee performance through modeling by a top performer
    • To attract new employees in a very competitive recruiting environment, with specific skills or for a specific need in terms of staff diversity
    • To retain excellent veteran employees and keep their experience available as a resource for the organization
    • To reduce attrition of junior employees, reduce attrition costs, and increase their loyalty and success in the organization
    • To prepare a “pool” of highly qualified candidates for supporting a management succession program
    • To respond to state, professional, organizational, or contractual mandates, or collaborative program opportunities
    • To alter the culture and norms of an organization by creating a collaborative subculture which can expand as new staff are hired and mentored, and as experienced staff serve as mentors.
  • B. For the Mentors:
    • To increase the reflection on current practices and self assessment of veteran staff
    • To refocus veteran staff on their ideals and on behaviors and choices that reflect those ideals
    • To demonstrate that the knowledge, experience and contributions of veteran, experienced staff are valued
  • C. For the Protégés:
    • To speed up the learning of a new job and set of skills
    • To prepare a top performer for greater responsibilities in the future
    • To reduce the stress of transition to a new career or to a new assignment
    • To promote the socialization of new staff into the organizational “family”, values, and traditions.