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Creating a Mentoring Culture: The Organization’s Guide

In order to succeed in today’s competitive environment, corporate and nonprofit institutions must create a workplace climate that encourages employees to continue to learn and grow. From the Creator of the best-selling The Mentor’s Guide comes the next-step mentoring resource to ensure personnel at all levels of an organization will teach and learn from each other. Written for anyone who wants to embed mentoring within their organization, Creating a Mentoring Culture is filled with step by step guidance, practical advice, engaging stories, and includes a wealth of reproducible forms and tools. 


Q&A with the Creator

Author Lois Zachary

What is a mentoring culture and why is it so important?
Organizations that ceaselessly create value for mentoring achieve amazing results. They report increased retention rates, improved morale, increased organizational commitment and job satisfaction, accelerated leadership development, better succession planning, reduced stress, stronger and more cohesive teams, and heightened individual and organizational learning.

Effective organizational mentoring can and does exist without the presence of an established mentoring culture but it requires considerable more time and effort to maintain and ensure programmatic growth and sustainability. A mentoring culture raises the bar of mentoring practice for everyone. Individual mentoring programs and relationships achieve greater long-term affect because the mentoring culture sustains a continuum of expectation, which, in turn, generates a standard and consistency of good mentoring practice.

There are eight hallmarks that contribute to creating a vibrant and full mentoring culture. Each hallmark is differentiated from the others, yet they are interdependent. The eight hallmarks — accountability, alignment, communication, value and visibility, demand, multiple mentoring opportunities, education and training, and safety nets — manifest themselves otherwise in each organization depending on the organization’s current mentoring practices. In a mentoring culture all hallmarks are present, at least to some degree. The more consistently that the practices of each hallmark are present, the fuller and more robust the mentoring culture and the more sustainable it is likely to be.

What did you hope to accomplish by writing this book?
I wrote this book for organizational leaders charged with strategic mentoring launch and implementation, change agents, mentoring leadership, mentoring program developers and administrators, program managers, staff developers, corporate HR learning and development departments, and mentoring task forces. My goal was to help my readers take mentoring in their organizations to the next level – whether they were thinking about starting a new initiative, implementing an existing one, jump starting a stalled one, institutionalizing process improvements or keeping mentoring fresh and creative. I felt it was important to stimulate purposeful reflection and action and to raise the level of discourse and dialogue about mentoring in order to strengthen organizational mentoring practices.

How does this book fit into the mentoring family of resources that you have written?
My books, along side our Mentoring Excellence Toolkits, provide a comprehensive set of resources for promoting mentoring excellence within organizations. Creating a Mentoring Culture (2005) is a practical guide for thinking about mentoring from a broad and deep strategic perspective, for creating a culture in which mentoring is a well-honed and practiced competency. It is a guide to creating a culture in which mentoring lives as natural and normative– and in which mentoring excellence is the standard of practice. The Mentee’s Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You (2009), that I wrote with Lory Fischler, takes readers through all four phases of being a mentee and provides answers to many of the most continuously asked questions about how to take advantage of a mentoring relationship, whilst providing strategies for success. The Mentor’s Guide, 2nd Edition (2012) provides the framework needed to help other successfully navigate their journey – no matter what career, profession or educational setting the mentee is situated in.


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