Mentorship – The Overlooked Benefit
Posted: 23rd Mar 2016 | Share this Article:
Mentoring is arguably the most cost-effective developmental intervention an organisation can introduce. It has significant positive impacts upon the participants (both mentors and mentees), the organisation and key third parties such as mentees’ line managers.
Professor David Cutterbuck
Mentoring is a rewarding investment not just professionally but also personally.
When was the last time you bounced ideas around with someone that you admire, respected and who was engaged and interested in what you had to say! Or asked an experienced colleague their opinion or advice on a project, your career or how about this – having a confidential, open conversation with a trusted individual about issues that you may have encountered.
I am confident in stating that every employee needs ongoing support, direction and someone to listen to your ideas and goals.
A mentor can help you problem solve, improve your confidence and motivation. Mentors are actually confidantes – someone who pushes and encourages you to excel and succeed at the highest level in your chosen profession.
The definition of a mentor is as follows: A trusted counsellor or guide – someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person.
Please be mindful although most definitions mention the fact that the ‘mentee’ is younger that is a sweeping generalisation and may not be the case.
Invest In Yourself – It Is A No-Brainer
Many organisations have mentorship schemes running for their top leaders if it is good enough for the top leaders than it is good enough for all employees.
Now is the time for organisations to be fully inclusive with their mentorship schemes. My view on the often overlooked administrative profession is well known – make sure they are included! Invest in everyone..
Even if your organisation does not have a scheme set up I would strongly advise that you find your own mentor but please choose carefully, not everyone is suitable or wants to become a mentor. You will need to do your research as you want the best mentor that suits your aspirations, personality and understands you, your career to date and what you want from the mentorship. There also has to be a commitment, a time investment of at least 6 months or longer would be the ideal.
If you are still not convinced about mentoring see below the significant benefits:
Benefits of Mentoring for all employees: (source: extracted from NI business org)
- broaden staff’s insight into your business
- increase productivity and improve the mentee’s performance
- help to engage employees, which should lead to better retention levels
- give the mentor a sense of responsibility and the satisfaction of passing on their knowledge
- builds relationships between employees by encouraging the exchange of information and experience
Benefits to the Mentee:
- help the mentee integrate better
- increase mentees’ confidence
- give the mentee a stronger awareness of the culture and objectives of the business
- allow the mentee to acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, which can in turn lead to faster learning and personal development
What make a good mentor?
- Good communication skills – the mentor will share information with the mentee and should encourage the mentee to develop their own views and opinions.
- The skills and experience to develop and provide guidance to the mentee – the mentor should be able to clarify the mentee’s ideas and help them plan to achieve their goals.
- Good social skills – the mentor should help the mentee expand their network of contacts by developing networking skills.
In conclusion: Mentoring is a highly developed skill and a rewarding investment. The best mentor is rarely your best friend, you want a mentor who makes you think outside of your comfort zone, challenges you and ultimately someone who brings out the best in you.
So what are you waiting for……
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