In spite of the tradition of good, informal, on-the-job coaching within the Irish public service, there is currently no standard approach to mentoring newly appointed, promoted or transferred staff across the civil and public service. Individual departments, bodies and agencies are free to decide what type of mentoring programme, if any, to implement. While mentoring is a proven, successful, cost-effective internal form of both training and development, its success does depend on mentors receiving the appropriate training and on both mentors and mentees evaluating the programme.
The benefits of successful mentoring programmes include:
· Improved loyalty, motivation and staff retention
· Enhanced management performance
· Improved teamwork and internal communication
· Positive impact on public opinion
· Mentees gain in confidence and competence
· Built-in succession planning
Introducing mentoring arrangements may also participate in tackling gender inequality and improving the social and professional integration of minority groups. They may also be particularly useful for decentralized departments, with geographically dispersed staff.