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Best Practices in Organizational Mentoring

Friday, November 04, 2016 6:22 PM | Nita French

Everybody talks about it and many organizations do it, but how many practitioners really know what the scientific literature has to say about mentoring, its effectiveness and success factors?  Those of us who attended GAIOP’s September 22, 2016 workshop had the opportunity to hear an evidence-based review of mentoring presented by Lilian Eby, Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Director of the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research at the University of Georgia. 

Lilian is a nationally-recognized expert in organizational mentoring and has published extensively on the subject as well as on the work-family interface and occupational health.  Nevertheless, her approach to the topic was very practitioner-oriented.  In addition to reviewing recent research findings, she identified best practices in mentoring programs, and suggested solutions for frequently encountered problems.

Among other things, we learned that:

  • Recipients of mentoring tend to be high-performing individuals and to have a favorable self-image.
  • The quality of the mentor-protégé relationship matters more to mentoring effectiveness than whether or not the mentoring occurs in the context of a formal, organizationally-sponsored program.
  • Matching mentors with protégés on the basis of similarity in personality, attitudinal, experiential and/or other deep-level factors improves the chances that they will have a good mentoring relationship.
  • Frequent interactions, geographic proximity, and absence of a large power differential also contribute to the likelihood of mentoring success.

You missed it?  Be sure to make your calendar (and register for) GAIOP’s final 2016 CE workshop followed by our first ever social hour.

November 10, 3:00 – 6:00p:  Technology-Enabled Assessment: Current and Future Directions, presented by A. James Illingworth, Assistant Professor of I-O Psychology at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and founder of talent management consulting firm Geode People, and Betsir Zemen, a doctoral student in the I-O Psychology program at UCF.  Stay for the social hour (6:15 – 8:00p) at Marlowe’s Tavern, a short walk away at Emory Point.

The Georgia Association for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc. (GAIOP) is a 501 (c) 6 non-profit professional association.
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