How to Write a Mentoring Action Plan

Sam Cook


How to Write a Mentoring Action Plan

Creating a mentoring program from scratch is no easy task. On the surface, it seems deceptively simple: A) enroll participants, B) match mentors and mentees, C) measure engagement (somehow), and D) get accolades for your amazing program success. But as we’ve covered in multiple previous blog posts, including our guide on how to start a mentoring program, there are many, many steps involved and a large amount of legwork that should happen before you even start to enroll participants. To better guarantee program and relationship success, HR and talent development leaders should take a careful, strategic approach when building mentorship programs that streamline the approach using a mentoring action plan. 

What Is a Mentoring Action Plan?

A mentoring action plan is a strategic document framework for your mentoring program design. It looks at the mentoring program across all development points, starting with pre-launch needs. Your mentorship action plan will end with maintenance goals, e.g., how you plan to continually measure program and relationship success and how you plan to adjust your program design as needed in the future. 

At a high level, your mentoring action plan will answer some or all of the following questions:

  1. Is there an existing demand or need for mentoring at our organization?
  2. If so, what programs do employees want or would serve our organizational goals?
  3. How do we build buy-in for mentoring from executive leaders?
  4. How do we establish a baseline expectation of and participation from potential participants before we launch any programs?
  5. How long would it take for us to launch a mentoring program from scratch?
  6. What resources do we need to make sure our program launches effectively?
  7. What goals or objectives should exist for each program?
  8. How do we streamline the enrollment process?
  9. How do we match mentors and mentees to ensure each relationship is as effective as possible?
  10. How do we ensure mentees and mentors get adequate training before engaging in their relationships?
  11. How do we effectively market our programs once they’re launched?
  12. What engagement data is important for us to measure, and how do we measure that data?
  13. How do we benchmark success?
  14. How do we assess the success of mentoring relationships mid- and post-cycle?
  15. How do we make adjustments to programs?
  16. What do we do if a relationship isn’t working?

And on and on. There are probably dozens of questions you’ll ask along the way as you create your mentoring program. Each of these questions, and more broadly, each step in the program development process, will need an action plan that you can follow from start to finish so that you stay on task.

This is designed to help you framework through the important questions and steps you’ll have in creating and managing your programs. Here, you’ll find the exact steps to create a mentoring action plan that will work for each part of the process. You can then replicate that same template design whenever you need to tackle another part of the process.

Take it with you:

Create your Mentoring Action Plan with our free downloadable template

What Should a Mentoring Action Plan Include?

Your mentoring action plan should be unique to your organization, but you can take a fairly simple approach. We recommend that your mentoring action plan include all of the following sections, at a minimum:

  • Title
  • Phase (pre-launch, mid-launch, post-launch)
  • Objective
  • Key stakeholders
  • Tasks to be completed
  • Resources required
  • Budget (if applicable)
  • Measurement and evaluation (if applicable)
  • Timeline
  • Additional Notes
  • Approval status

Again, adjust as you see fit and in a way that makes sense for your organization. As most of us know, most companies and even most internal teams have a certain “way of doing things.” If that’s true at your company, make sure your mentorship action plan aligns with that general style.

Step 1: Get Organized Before Creating Any Action Plans

In his book, The Soul of the Firm, William Pollard, an American Physicist and founder of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, wrote that “Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a decision-making format, it is a burden, not a benefit.”

The same will be true of any mentoring plan that you create and how you ultimately organize your plans for yourself. Disorganization results in confusion and leads to inconsistent results. So, to get a consistent result out of your mentorship plans, we’ll start at the beginning: your project folders. 

Create a folder for Mentoring Action Plans

Whether your company uses Microsoft or Google, you should have access to a file management system. Create a separate folder in your file management system called “Mentoring Action Plans”. This is where you’ll house all of your action plans. Since we’ll be using the same general plan template, each one will look the same but contain different information. 

You may even want to break these up into additional subfolders. For example, you could create three folders around the different phases of launching a mentoring program:

  • Pre-launch action plans
  • Mid-launch action plans
  • Post-launch action plans
Image of Google Drive Mentoring Action Plan folders
Simple. Clean. Elegant.

Do you need to categorize these by years? Only if you feel like it. Generally speaking, your action plans should be broadly designed to allow you to repurpose them later. You may want to put details like years on the document’s title but not necessarily as a subfolder itself. But I wouldn’t stop you, all the same. Just make sure your structure is intuitive to yourself or anyone else who might be working with you. 

(Hot tip: Don’t forget to set your share settings so that people who need these documents can access them!)

Step 2: Create Your First Mentoring Action Plan Template

Now comes the fun part: writing your first mentoring action plan template!

As we noted above, you could ask many questions that need a strategy to solve. But, it’s easier to categorize your action plans around the phases: pre-launch, mid-launch, and post-launch

  • Pre-launch: You’re mostly concerned with building buy-in and support for executive leaders, verifying internal needs and organizational goal alignments, ideating the basic concepts and functions of the program, determining budgets, and drafting timelines. 
  • Mid-launch: You’re working on the specific details of the program structure, drafting training materials, creating the logic behind your matching strategy, and building your internal marketing materials and launch plans
  • Post-launch: You’re working on monitoring mentor-mentee engagement, measuring program success, and making adjustments as your program proceeds. 

Again, these are very general. But you need to start broadly before you get granular. The mentoring action plan aims to have a replicable approach so you can more quickly get granular when you need to, and then execute. 

With that in mind, let’s draft a mentoring action plan template. Then, we’ll walk through how you can adapt it to different use cases. 

Title : [Title of this Action Plan, e.g., “Getting Executive Buy-in for Mentoring Program”]

Phase : [Pre-launch / Mid-launch / Post-launch]

Objective : [Specific goal you aim to achieve with this action plan, e.g., “Secure executive approval and support for the mentoring program”]

Key Stakeholders: [List of key stakeholders involved, e.g., “CEO, COO, HR Director”]


  • Task Title: [e.g., “Draft Proposal for Mentoring Program”]
  • Description: [Brief description of the task]
  • Responsible: [Name(s)/Title(s) of the person(s) responsible]
  • Deadline: [Due date for task completion]
  • Status: [Not Started / In Progress / Completed]
  • Task Title: [e.g., “Schedule Meeting with Executives”]
  • Description: [Brief description of the task]
  • Responsible: [Name(s)/Title(s) of the person(s) responsible]
  • Deadline: [Due date for task completion]
  • Status: [Not Started / In Progress / Completed]

[Additional tasks as necessary]

Resources Required : [List of resources needed, e.g., “Budget estimate, Meeting room, Projector”]

Budget: [Detailed budget breakdown, if applicable]

Marketing and Promotion (if applicable) : [Strategies for promoting the program internally, e.g., “Internal Newsletter, Company Intranet Post”]

Measurement and Evaluation

  • Metrics: [List of metrics to measure success, e.g., “Number of executive approvals, Feedback from stakeholders”]
  • Evaluation Method: [How you will evaluate the success of this action plan, e.g., “Survey, Metrics Analysis”]

Timeline: [Outline of key milestones and deadlines]

Notes: [Any additional notes, assumptions, risks or dependencies]

Approval: Approved by: [Name/Title]

Date: [Approval Date]

There are a few essential reminders with this template that are fairly consistent with any template you might use:

  • Adjust the template as needed to fit the use case. If you don’t need a section, then don’t include that section. For example, maybe the action plan you’re writing doesn’t have any metrics that might be aligned with it. That’s probably going to be the case if you’re writing an action plan for getting executive approval, for example. 
  • Be as detailed as possible. When you complete your action plan for different use cases, make sure you are as detailed as possible. The more detail you use, the easier it is to follow through and execute those action steps.
  • Get a colleague to review your action plan. If you’re working with others to develop and manage mentoring programs, get those individuals to review your action plan. Work collaboratively on the plan so that everyone is clued in and can align around that plan.
  • Utilize project management tools. Mentoring action plans should be tied to project management tools that help you track progress toward the goals you’ve established in those plans. Tools such as Asana, Jira, ClickUp, or Google’s TaskBoard can help you keep up on that plan once it’s written. 

Now that we have a template, let’s take a look at what this template might look like with filled in details for a very common use case: Choosing the right matching option.

Matching is one of the most important things you can do for your program! This Mentoring Soundsbites video breaks down how to get matching right the first time.

Mentoring Action Plan Example: Choosing the Right Matching Options

This example of a mentorship action plan aims to ensure a structured and informed approach towards identifying and selecting the most suitable mentor-mentee matching options for a Sales Mentorship Program. Through comprehensive research, stakeholder engagement, and thorough evaluation, this plan outlines the steps necessary to make informed decisions that would contribute to the success of the mentoring program.

Title: Researching and Choosing the Right Matching Options for Our Sales Mentorship Program

Phase: Pre-launch

Objective: To explore and select the most suitable mentor-mentee matching options that align with our organizational goals, program structure, and the preferences of participants, ensuring the effectiveness and success of our Sales Mentorship Program.

Key Stakeholders: HR Director, Sales Director, Mentoring Program Coordinator, Executive Leadership.


  • Task Title: Research on Matching Options
    • Description: Conduct a comprehensive review of available matching options as outlined in the MentorcliQ blog post​1​.
    • Responsible: Mentoring Program Coordinator
    • Deadline: [Insert Date]
    • Status: Not Started
  • Task Title: Stakeholder Engagement
    • Description: Engage key stakeholders to understand their preferences and expectations regarding mentor-mentee matching.
    • Responsible: HR Director
    • Deadline: [Insert Date]
    • Status: Not Started
  • Task Title: Evaluation of Matching Options
    • Description: Evaluate the pros and cons of each matching option (SMART Match, Suggested Match, Self Match, Admin Match) in the context of our Sales Mentorship Program.
    • Responsible: Mentoring Program Coordinator
    • Deadline: [Insert Date]
    • Status: Not Started
  • Task Title: Selection of Matching Option(s)
    • Description: Select the matching option(s) that best suits the needs and structure of our program.
    • Responsible: HR Director, Sales Director
    • Deadline: [Insert Date]
    • Status: Not Started
  • Task Title: Documentation and Approval
    • Description: Document the selected matching option(s) and seek approval from executive leadership.
    • Responsible: Mentoring Program Coordinator
    • Deadline: [Insert Date]
    • Status: Not Started

Resources Required: Access to the MentorcliQ platform to take advantage of algorithm-based matching, stakeholder feedback, and evaluation criteria for matching options.

Budget: None

Marketing and Promotion: Internal communication to introduce the selected matching option(s) to potential mentors and mentees

Measurement and Evaluation (Post-Launch)

  • Metrics: Satisfaction levels among mentors and mentees, number of successful matches, and feedback from stakeholders.
  • Evaluation Method: Feedback surveys, strategy sessions with MentorcliQ customer success coaches on program design and recommendations


  • Research on Matching Options: January 1 – January 15 
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Feedback Period: January 16 – January 30
  • Evaluation and Selection of Matching Options: February 1 – February 15 
  • Documentation and Approval: March 1, 2023 – March 10 


  • It’s crucial to ensure that the selected matching option(s) align with the organizational culture, goals, and the specific objectives of the Sales Mentorship Program. We’ll need to confer with the sales teams on what their goals and objectives are before choosing the matching logic we plan to use. 


  • Approved by: Ben Bennerson
  • Date: March 2, 2023

Voila! A completed mentoring action plan, ready to help you get started on selecting the matching criteria for your sales mentorship program. Again, you can apply this action plan to template any part of your program launch or management needs. Everything from researching why mentoring is needed to ongoing program maintenance can be formulated around your repeatable action plans. 

The best thing about this is that once you have a plan structure in place that works for one program, you can go back and use that same plan but modified for a different mentoring program. 

Every step of this process can be aided with the right technology. Especially once you get executive buy-in, getting mentoring programs off the ground is far easier when you have expert tools in place that are purpose-built for effective mentorship. That’s where MentorcliQ steps in. Request a demo to see how industry-leading mentoring software can rapidly accelerate your program launches and led to far better results that make hard-to-please executives smile. 

Sam Cook

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