Mentoring program

How to Create a Mentoring Agreement + Free Templates

A mentoring agreement is more than a simple formality. It's a great opportunity to align on expectations and start off on the right foot. This article is your guide to crafting a mentoring agreement for your program.

Together Team

Published on 

October 11, 2022

Updated on 

November 10, 2023

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Mentoring programs are a sure-fire way to boost engagement, upskill from within, and increase employee satisfaction. 

A mentoring agreement is a great way to start your mentoring program on the right foot. This document outlines the mentor and mentee's expectations and responsibilities within a mentoring relationship. While it may seem unnecessary, it can help set clear boundaries and prevent misunderstandings.

Plus, mentoring agreements are more than a simple formality. They're an excellent opportunity to align on mutual expectations and start on the right foot.

In this article, you’ll learn how to craft a mentoring agreement outlining any mentorship experience’s major components. Then, you’ll find two examples of effective mentoring agreement templates you can use immediately.  

Templates 2 Mentoring Agreement Templates to Help You Get Started

What is a mentoring agreement?

A mentoring agreement is a contract between a mentor and a mentee that establishes the parameters of their relationship. It outlines the expectations and responsibilities of both parties, as well as the duration of the mentorship.

A well-drafted mentoring agreement is clear and concise to ensure that both parties understand their roles and responsibilities, as well as the expectations of the mentorship. It also helps prevent misunderstandings or disagreements that may arise during the mentorship.

Both parties must also sign a mentorship agreement. Make sure to give HR a copy to keep on file as well. 

It's important to note that a mentorship agreement is entirely optional. We recommend always putting an agreement in place so that participants can define what they want to accomplish and hold each other accountable throughout the process.

Why is it important to have a mentoring agreement?

A mentoring agreement is a critical first step in any mentoring relationship. 

It creates the foundation for a productive and successful experience by outlining both parties' expectations, roles, and responsibilities. It ensures the mentor and mentee clearly understand what the commitment entails. 

When you enter into a mentoring agreement, you are committing to invest time and energy into the development of another person. In return, your mentee commits to following your lead, meeting regularly, and adhering to the terms of the agreement.

A mentoring agreement can help to:

  • Set clear boundaries for the relationship
  • Define the roles and responsibilities of each party
  • Establish communication and confidentiality protocols
  • Determine the format, structure, and frequency of scheduled meetings
  • Outline the goals of the mentorship
  • Address any potential conflicts of interest

Moreover, a mentoring agreement allows the mentor and the mentee to frame the mentorship relationship on their own terms. This can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure both parties are comfortable with the arrangement.

Who leads the mentoring relationship after the agreement is signed?

Ideally, mentees should take the lead in driving the mentoring relationship forward. They should come prepared to each meeting with questions or topics they want to discuss.

The mentor's role is to provide guidance, advice, and support when needed. Ultimately, it is up to the mentee to take action on the mentor's advice and guidance.

However, there may be times when the mentor needs to take a more active role in leading the relationship. For example, if the mentee struggles to meet their goals, the mentor can introduce several mentoring program ideas to help them get back on track.

In any case, putting a mentoring agreement in place ensures that the mentor clearly understands what the mentee wants to achieve from the relationship. That way, the mentor can tailor their advice and support accordingly.

👉 Check out this mentoring checklist designed to help mentors monitor activities, tasks, and goals to make the most out of each mentoring session.

What’s included in a mentoring agreement?

A good mentoring agreement lays out the desired outcomes, sets clear expectations for both parties, defines the meeting schedules, establishes communication channels, and outlines confidentiality protocols.

Any standard mentoring agreement should include the following: 

  • Goals
  • Expectations
  • Schedule agreements
  • Preferred ways to communicate 
  • Confidentiality agreement

Overall, it can reduce ambiguity and increase accountability, making it easier for the mentor and mentee to establish a successful mentoring relationship.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the key components of a standard mentorship agreement. 

Goals

Any successful mentoring relationship starts by establishing clear-cut goals. 

What does each party hope to achieve through mentorship? Answering this can ensure that both parties work towards the same goals.

Consider a mentee who is looking to develop their leadership skills. In this case, the mentor can guide and advise on assuming a leadership role within the organization.

Whether your workplace mentoring program aims to help employees develop specific skills or provide career guidance, make sure you document it to stay on track.

If you need of inspiration, check out this detailed list of mentoring program goal examples you can include in your mentoring agreement. 

Expectations

In any mentoring relationship, setting clear and realistic expectations for both parties is essential.

Here are a few questions you may want to answer to establish clear expectations: 

  • What does the mentor expect from the mentee and vice versa?
  • Are there specific topics that the mentee would like to discuss? 
  • Does the mentor have expertise in a particular area they can share with the mentee?
  • Who will set meeting agendas for each session? 
  • How will we document our sessions? 
  • Do we want to establish check-ins at certain milestones to ensure the mentee hits their goals? 

To take things a step further, you can also include an individual development plan to outline what you need to accomplish to reach your goals and expectations, making the mentoring relationship even more efficient and effective.

Schedule agreements

With the mentor's and mentee's schedules in mind, the agreement should establish when, how long, and how often the two parties will meet.

Mentoring sessions usually take place during the workweek, so it's essential to be realistic about the time commitment required from both parties. Keep in mind other commitments like workplace projects, managing a team, and other training programs. 

Consider using a scheduling tool like Google Calendar, Calendly, or Doodle to help find a time that works for both. 

Another aspect to consider is time zones, especially if your mentee lives in a different area or region from you. If the mentee is based in a different time zone, you may need to be flexible with meeting times, or you may need to set a regular schedule for your sessions.

Communication processes 

Establishing communication protocols early on ensures both parties can stay in touch and continue working towards the mentorship goals.

Here are some questions you will want to ask to build an effective communication plan: 

  • How will we speak with each other outside of meeting sessions? 
  • Do you have a preferred method of communication? 
  • Can I email you about last-minute scheduling changes? Or do you prefer Slack DMs? 
  • How quickly do you expect me to respond to your messages? 

The mentee may choose to send the mentor a weekly update to inform them of their progress. They can decide how they prefer the update to be presented, whether face-to-face, via a video call, or just a simple email.

Confidentiality

A mentoring agreement should also establish confidentiality protocols to protect sensitive information shared between the mentor and mentee.

Work together to discuss what each party will consider confidential, including what information can and cannot be shared outside of the mentorship. It’s also worthwhile to determine what topics will be off-limits for discussion.  

Talking through confidentiality protocols will ensure both parties feel comfortable exchanging sensitive information, like discussing a mentee’s performance with their manager.

The mentoring confidentiality agreement should also outline what happens if either party breaches the contract. It can either be a formal agreement with legal consequences or a simple understanding between the parties.

Planning a mentorship program? Together can help

In every mentoring relationship, it’s essential to clearly understand the expectations, roles, and responsibilities of both the mentor and the mentee.

A mentoring agreement is a great way to establish these parameters and can also assist in setting clear boundaries and avoiding misunderstandings down the road. 

A well-drafted agreement can create a productive and meaningful mentoring relationship that leads to tangible results.

Our team of experienced professionals at Together has years of experience designing and implementing mentoring programs to help your organization create one suited to your needs and goals.

Book a demo to learn how the Together platform can help you launch a world-class mentoring program.

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