In organizations with formal mentoring programs, the young, green employee is given a mentor soon after he hires on at the company. The company either feels they know best who should teach each young person or they assume it doesn’t matter and match people up based on availability.
At a company where I once worked, they had what was called a “counseling” program. Counselors were assigned to employees that were one level below them in rank. Every counselor had their own counselor that was a grade above. The counseling program was designed to provide more of an administrative service than mentoring.
This company had a matrix reporting structure. An employee could work on multiple projects throughout a year, reporting to a different person on each project. The person they reported to would provide feedback to the person’s counselor, who would consolidate the information for an end of year performance evaluation.
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