APQC’s research reveals rich diversity in terms of how organizations design, administer, and support workplace mentoring programs. Nearly every potential option for mentoring was represented in APQC's Workplace Mentoring study, including tightly and loosely structured mentorships, one-on-one pairings and group structures, short- and long-term relationships, and face-to-face and virtual interactions.
Interestingly, one common theme across all the mentoring programs in the study is that each has a distinct, articulated business purpose. The featured organizations do not pursue mentoring as an end in itself—or for vague reasons such as "to make employees happier." Instead, each program focuses on a specific set of mentee learning objectives and associated business outcomes.