Mentoring as an Impactful Business Tool
Large as well as small successful companies use mentoring to combat complex human resource challenges such as employee retention, improvement of workforce productivity and enabling company succession plans. In fact, corporate mentoring is on the rise with a large number of companies offering professional mentoring programs to their employees. So in what ways are these successful organizations and businesses using mentoring? Mentoring is basically being used in the workplace for employee career development, leadership development and knowledge transfer.
A mentor in the workplace provides guidance to a mentee or a less-experienced employee. A mentor may be a member of the company or may also be a professional from outside the company. In either case, the mentor is a role model who shares advice and knowledge to help the employee reach greater heights professionally. Mentoring relationships possess long-term advantages for the employee, as well as the employer and mentor.
An employee benefits from a mentoring relationship as he has someone with greater experience and knowledge for advice. However, a mentor won’t do the employee’s job for him, but may demonstrate a task, guide the employee to solve a problem, or analyse or critique the employee’s work. This may help an employee to interact more with others and also encourage him to feel less isolated at work. A mentor can provide tips on career growth and introduce the employee to other professionals. As the employee grows in his career, the mentor may remain as a valued adviser to the employee.
It’s not just the mentees, but the mentors also gain from the mentoring relationship. The opportunity to advise or guide others can increase the mentor’s confidence and job satisfaction. The mentor understands the concerns of the employee and helps develop a better understanding of employee issues and strengthens the employee’s communication skills. In a case, wherein a mentored employee leaves the company, the mentor and mentee may continue to maintain a professional connection. This may help expand the mentor’s connections and enhance reputation.
Greater productivity at the workplace also serves as an advantage to the employer of a mentored employee. As employees depend on their mentors for advice, they tend to make fewer mistakes on the job, thus reducing losses for the employer. Employees tend to have greater job satisfaction as well, which can lead to the development of a more positive work environment. As workers begin to feel a greater loyalty to the company, employers might also notice less turnover of employees. The company can also use its mentoring program to attract prospect employees.
The long-term benefits of mentoring at the workplace include employees developing stronger problem-solving and communication skills as they become more independent. This gives a business the scope to become more creative and focus its attention on its growth, rather than training. Mentored employees value the sharing of information as well as collaboration, which can lead to the development of a stronger organization. Mentored workers are also prone to become more involved in professional organizations that further both their careers as well as the profession.
In today’s fast-changing business world, it’s extremely important for organizations to engage employees both emotionally as well as intellectually. Because it is through mentoring that employees identify themselves as an essential part of the organization, while creating an increased level of ownership at the same time. By improving not only employee engagement, but also employee retention, mentoring helps the company by ensuring that employees feel committed to accomplish their responsibilities and reach the desired targets or goals, in accordance to the vision of the organization.