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A new Association for Talent Development (ATD) research report finds that nearly half of organizations surveyed (48%) had formal mentoring programs in place, and of those that did not, 42% were planning to implement one in the next few years.

In addition, most surveyed organizations in the Mentoring for Success report that had mentoring programs had multiple programs, with 23% offering four or more programs.

Respondents said that their mentoring programs’ primary goals were professional, leadership, and career development, and more than 40% believed their programs were highly or very highly successful at meeting those goals.

The most common mentoring program was a traditional one-on-one, in-person program (78%). Virtual mentoring, when a mentor works with a mentee through a video platform, increased 24 points from
ATD’s 2017 survey to 63%.

Other key findings include:

  • The mentoring programs’ primary benefits were reported as better job satisfaction for mentees (61%) and a stronger organizational culture (57%). The primary challenges were a lack of metrics to track the programs’ success (56%) and difficulty in finding potential mentors (47%).
  • More than six in 10 organizations (63%) offered a mentoring program designed for a specific employee audience or group. Employees in the leadership pipeline were the most frequent audience (55%) followed by early career professionals and employees in a particular department or division (39% each).
  • Less than half of organizations (46%) rewarded or recognized participants in mentoring programs. They were most likely to do so by considering mentoring participation or effectiveness when giving promotions or through awards or other nonfinancial means, each cited by 25% of respondents.
  • Most organizations (89%) provided program participants with tools or supportive resources. More than half offered a general program guide, conversation starter ideas, and a mentor-mentee agreement. Only 30% offered a biography of the mentor or mentee, and just 18% provided job descriptions.