Employee Mentoring Program Characteristics

February 23, 2015

All 18 organizations (that participated in an EY/MENTOR study about mentoring) encourage employees to mentor, making it possible for them to volunteer during business hours, but that mentoring happens in many different ways.

  • In person and online. Most programs connect mentors and youth in person, but several also support e-mentoring options. For example, many AT&T employees participate in e-mentoring relationships in which they help youth explore careers using an evidence-based curriculum. Both Citi and IBM use a blend of in-person and online meetings for their employees — through a partnership with iMentor in the case of Citi, and at IBM, where employees travel extensively, through use of an in-house e-mentoring platform.
  • At worksites and at schools. Our research found an even mix of programs where employees visit schools and those where youth meet with employees at the business or out in the community. EY has found, as have many organizations, that there are benefits to both approaches. Having students participate in mentoring at the office makes it easier for employees to volunteer and exposes the students to an office work environment. Mentoring at the school, in turn, allows EY mentors to connect with the students in their environment and to interact with teachers and school administrators, gaining a sense of the real-life experience of the students.
  • Both short-term and longer-term relationships. We found several program models where the employee-youth engagement is fairly short-term — a few career-day visits or a series of facilitated meetings to build skills or do focused teaching. Other programs, such as those offered by State Street, provide relationships that last three to six months. Still other programs are building the kinds of long-term relationships — a full school or calendar year and beyond — that produce the strongest impacts.

Northwood University Partnership:
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