Types of Mentoring

The Sodexo 2013 Workplace Trends concludes with different types of mentoring and say that new approaches to mentoring can empower workers to direct their own career development in greater ways. Here are some different types…

Topical mentoring
Topical mentoring leverages both the expertise of leaders and the collaborative experience of other learners. One or more advisors lead numerous learners in conversation, knowledge sharing, and practical application related to a specific learning topic or around a point of affinity. People can find or create learning groups on their own, or organizations can manage the process. People learn from the advisors and from other learners, helping to build deep expertise across the enterprise.

Situational mentoring
Situational mentoring gives individuals a way to address immediate learning needs with one or more advisors. Several people can offer solutions and ideas at the same time so that learners get quickhitting answers on a high-impact issue, problem, challenge, or opportunity within a short amount of time. Learners then synthesize this knowledge into a solution that fits their need and bring that solution back to their job in a timely manner.

Peer mentoring
Peer mentoring connects colleagues at the same hierarchical level in the organization but who may be in different functions or divisions. Learning relationships of this sort are particularly beneficial because peers can be a great source of social support and encouragement. They understand and experience the same organizational pressures based on position in the organization, and can provide breakthrough insight and advice from someone who truly gets it.

Reverse mentoring
Reverse mentoring places those who would typically be considered advisors into the learner role, and those typically considered learners into the advisor role. Reverse mentoring often exposes organizational leaders to new trends in technology, new ideas and innovations, and new perspectives of younger generations, while also bringing bright young minds to the attention of seasoned leaders.

Open mentoring
Open mentoring programs that promote self-directed relationships allow people to address their own learning needs in a manner of their choosing, while still aligning with overall organizational goals. Using technology to facilitate distance mentoring lets people collaborate with one or more mentoring partners on a global basis and allows the programs and mentoring networks to grow organically throughout the entire organization.


Both open mentoring programs and reverse mentoring is old news, but interesting enough. I have been in this business over a decade and been doing both reverse mentoring and open mentoring programs and I know they works.

How did we come to this?

This new mindset around mentoring is not a fad or “flavor of the month” type of HR process; it is an emerging approach to enterprise-wide self-directed development. It is the natural evolution resulting from people’s desire to connect with and learn from others, and the organization’s desire to have a better understanding of the impact and ROI of learning and development processes. It is what both individuals and organizations have been asking for, without really knowing what to call it.


Modern mentoring is fast becoming a must-have solution for companies of all sizes. Those organizations that wait too long to make the transition to the modern view of mentoring will find themselves struggling to retain and find talented employees who feel they can grow with the company. 


Generational Views on Mentoring Traditionalists (born between 1922 & 1945)
are hardworking, loyal to their organization, and respectful of those in authority. They want learning that is predictable, practical, and delivered by experts. They also need to share their experience and expertise with others to feel valuable.

Baby Boomers (born between 1945 & 1964)
believe in participative management and work hard for personal gain. They want to be involved in learning that has an immediate payoff to their job. They need more help in developing the complex relational skills involved in leadership.

Gen Xers (born between 1965 & 1980)
tend to be skeptical of those in authority and seek a better work/life balance. They are also often fiercely independent and have more of an entrepreneurial spirit. They want learning that is collaborative, peer driven, and relationally balanced. They need help settling on a career path that is both challenging to them and fits the needs of the organization.

Millennials (born between 1981 & 2000)
are hopeful, multi-tasking Web-surfers. They want learning that is on-demand but highly social and network oriented. They need help learning the foundational skills and social awareness needed to be effective in the organizational culture. Due to the exposure and ready access that they have had to information and resources as they have been educated, they don’t have patience for learning processes that take too long.

This is so very interesting and I can´t wait to be a part of the future of mentoring, with more than a decade of experience I am all for the future…

Tehcnology in modern mentoring

The last blog post from Sodexo´s 2013 Workplace Trends called: Modern Mentoring, some of the big thing was modern technology brought to mentoring. In this blog post I will talk more about the technology.

Technology plays a large role in enabling this to happen because it allows organizations to view mentoring as a “for the masses” practice that harnesses the collective knowledge, skills, abilities and passions of an

organization’s entire workforce. Employees can create their own personal learning and advising networks that grow and flex as their individual needs and strengths change. This adaptability means insights are shared and applied on the job in a just-in-time manner, with people seeing real work results from their mentoring activities.

Adults want to drive their own learning, and as they address their own personal real-time learning needs by connecting with colleagues from anywhere in the organization, they are in control of their learning. These

knowledge-sharing connections help break down silos and spread expertise and innovation quickly across the enterprise, which can spark new solutions and creative ideas among employees that they can then bring to the job.

An ideal mentoring and knowledge-sharing network is:

• 5-15 people

• Learners and advisors come from across functions, locations, generations, etc.

• People shift in and out of the network and of the roles themselves, as learning needs and knowledge strengths evolve, creating a diverse, fluid and dynamic network


The diverse networks that people form can help them generate creative solutions, novel ideas, and unique approaches to organizational problems or issues they are facing. In fact, researchers Christoph Lechner, Karolin Frankenberger, and Steven W. Floyd found that among colleagues who are collaborating for work, the more diverse the networks were in terms of values and viewpoints, the more they increased their performance


In light of this result, organizations looking to foster and encourage major creative solutions and thinking among workers, as well as innovative improvements in current processes throughout the business, would do well to encourage more diversity in individual learning networks. This type of inclusive knowledge sharing thrives at Sodexo, where they actively support learning connections across generational, geographical and organizational boundaries.

Modern mentoring

Mentoring has proven again and again to be a powerful and effective workforce development tool, and the need for mentoring, knowledge sharing and skill building continues to grow.

However, traditional mentoring is no longer adequate in today’s hyper-connected and fast-paced world. Companies today must embrace a new form of mentoring and knowledge sharing that allows workers to find and connect with their colleagues so they can learn while on the job, share best practices throughout all areas of the business, and collaborate with people no matter where they may be located

As you can see from the figure traditional mentoring with standard meeting between the mentor and the mentee ones a month at the same place and the new mentoring mindset. Where it could be one mentor and one, two or more mentees, and different kind of meetings. Meetings could be Skype, Chat as well as face-to-face meetings.

With the help of technology, the age-old practice of mentoring is being redefined into modern mentoring that centers around connecting people across an organization to share critical knowledge and skills. Virtual relationships and multi-participant engagements form the basis for modern mentoring, which incorporates a more inclusive mindset about who should participate, a broader scope for making meaningful learning connections, and an open flow of knowledge among participants. No longer just about one-to-one relationships between senior leaders and potential successors, today’s mentoring is focused on removing the barriers between people and engaging them in rich learning and teaching opportunities in a broad, networked manner so that knowledge can flow to the point of need.

More about the technology in the next blog post.

Accenture Skill Gaps Study

One of the studies that Sodexo is looking too is the one  Accenture did in november 2011, where they found that 55 percent of workers in the U.S. reported they are under pressure to develop additional skills to be successful in their current and future jobs, but only 21 percent said they have acquired new skills through company-provided formal training during the past five years.

They concluded that to support workers for future challenges, the organizations must:

• Plug into and leverage the collective intelligence of the enterprise through learning connections.

• Encourage creativity and innovation through diverse learning networks.

• Accelerate speed to competence through self-directed approaches that generate real-time learning content.


Well I see lot of  mentoring programs in U.S both in past and in future…



Accenture conducted an online survey of 1,088 employed and unemployed U.S. workers to assess skill development. The resulting Accenture Skills Gap Study is part of Accenture’s
ongoing research into the workforce challenges faced by employers today. 


Sodexo trends

I am so very happy that mentoring is in the trends for 2013, for me that is important. Telling me that mentoring still is important, so important that it is among the other «IMPORTANT TO DO IN 2013».

I am working on mentoring for entrepreneurs and that really is the future. The future for business and the future for personal development.

More on mentoring entrepreneurs is to come, so stay tuned