Mentoring is the process by which a more experienced employee helps to guide and train a less experienced employee. It is incredibly common in most areas of management and tends to trickle down into most aspects of the business world. Mentoring can be an official or unofficial program. But it always works to transfer experience and knowledge between seasoned workers and newer hires. This is why we are going to discuss on the importance of mentoring.
Embracing mentoring is a key goal for any business that wants to create a more reliable labor base. Whether the goal is to promote more from the inside or to increase overall competency, the importance of mentoring cannot be overstated.
What Is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a fairly common concept throughout many fields. In business, though, it takes on a special connotation. Mentoring is a process used to help employees adapt and excel during the early portions of their careers. Rather than only giving employees pre-job training, mentoring allows for on-the-job instruction. Mentoring is also an important method of transmitting the aspects of a job that are not necessarily written in a job description.
When you look at companies with a successful, entrenched culture, you can see the importance of mentoring. It can be easy to explain how a job works on paper. But it’s harder to help a new hire adjust to the reality of working at any business. Good mentors are often individuals with significant experience or who are being groomed for leadership positions in the future. They can impart information in a friendly, accessible manner that might not be possible for those in management.
Who Uses Mentoring?
Mentoring is used by successful companies around the world. In many ways, the importance of mentoring has come to the forefront as more companies have opened remote locations and new blood has been brought in. Without mentors, it’s difficult to keep any type of corporate culture. Mentors are also important when a company wants to make sure that it retains its workforce over the long term.
Mentors are very common outside of the traditional business sphere. Public school teachers, for example, are required to enter into a mentoring relationship in some states before they can get their final teaching license. Mentoring is also common in the trades, especially in those where an individual must complete an apprenticeship. While these relationships have certainly always existed in business in unofficial capacities, formal mentorship relationships are a relatively recent development in most companies.
Ways in Which Mentoring Can Help Your Business
It’s hard not to see the importance of mentoring when you see how successfully it has been implemented in other companies. It can, however, be difficult to change one’s corporate culture to encourage these relationships. But there are several benefits to making sure that a good mentoring program exists in your company.
- First and foremost, mentoring helps to reduce turnover. Hiring and training new employees is expensive, especially if they tend to leave quickly. Many individuals don’t last at new companies. But this is not because they are incompetent, but because they don’t understand the way that company does business. When these individuals have mentors, they can learn how to adapt more quickly.
- Mentoring also helps management to identify leaders within the workforce. An individual who can successfully mentor another person may be someone that should be marked for project leadership or even a management position. Mentoring doesn’t give any official authority to an employee. But it does allow him or her to display his or her native leadership skills.
- Finally, mentoring helps to keep a consistent corporate culture. As a company grows, it is hard to keep what makes it special alive. When established employees mentor new employees, though, it becomes easier to transmit those values.
5 Tips for the Successful Mentoring of Your Staff
1. Make Sure that Mentoring Is Consistent Across the Board
If a new hire needs a mentor, make sure to do your due diligence in pairing them with someone who can actually provide the individual with help.
Not every employee will need a mentor. But every mentee does need a mentor who can help him or her to excel.
2. Reward Employees Who Take Their Mentoring Responsibilities Seriously
This is an extra duty on top of their usual work, and should be rewarded as such. This not only rewards those who are responsible, but it also encourages others to develop their own leadership potential.
3. Re-Assign the Individual Who Is Being Mentored
This, of course, is if you see a mentoring relationship that doesn’t work. The importance of mentoring can only be realized when it is successful. An individual who is assigned to the wrong mentor is more likely to learn bad habits or to end up leaving the job.
4. Train Your Mentors
A great deal of information can be transmitted through a normal working relationship. But you are enacting a mentoring program because you are looking for specific changes.
Let your mentors know what you are looking for – this will be your best chance to enact useful change. Don’t micromanage these relationships. But do provide a good guide map for how they can be successful.
5. Be Patient
It takes time for a mentoring program to take hold. This happens especially in a company that hasn’t previously expressed the importance of mentoring.
You’re looking for long-term results, not a short-term gain. Don’t stop the program because you don’t see major improvements in a few weeks or even months.
To the Reward
The importance of mentoring cannot be overstated. It helps businesses to retain employees, and helps employees to adapt to new businesses. It also works as a great method of identifying potential leadership candidates. Your business might not have a program in place yet. But it can begin the process by identifying individuals who need help and those who are best suited to help them.
Do you think a mentoring program can help your business? Have you already seen the importance of mentoring first hand? If so, be sure to leave a comment – we’re looking forward to hearing about your experiences in the field.
The images are from depositphotos.com.