Mentors are any leader in any industry who can offer guidance to those who are further behind on the path than they are: usually someone starts new business who needs guidance from people with real experience. This is why a mentoring culture is so important. Merriam-Webster defines mentorship as influence, guidance or direction given mentor those. trusted adviser or guide.
Sometimes you can find informal mentoring in the workplace. It might look like an intern meeting with a senior employee or their manager over coffee. This way they can get advice or learn more about another department. Also, they can find someone they trust to talk to. However, initiating a culture of mentorship and relationships seems vulnerable, and it can be scary to ask for it. Also, the concept is not normalized enough to catch on. So what’s the solution? Offers a formalized mentoring culture and program at work.
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The many benefits of mentoring a team
A common belief about mentoring relationships is that the benefits are only for the mentee’s personal gain, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. AND Gallup Poll showed that 70% of team engagement is directly related to the qualities of the team manager/leader. This means that companies that create an enabling environment with good leadership have higher success rates than those that do not. Another Deloitte study suggests that millennials “demand mentoring” in the workplace and feel more valued when someone takes the time to invest in their leadership skills. When workers feel valued, they are encouraged to perform better so they too can thrive. Mentors also gently point out “blind spots” so that employees can work on what is preventing them from working, making them clearer, more efficient, and more successful in their work.
Are you creating workers or are you creating leaders?
Millennials want to feel valued just as much as they want to learn. When you offer sustainable mentoring programs, you create the leaders of tomorrow. Ask any good businessman, he probably studied with great teachers, or at least one excellent mentor. When you offer mentoring programs, employees don’t have to stand up for themselves and work hard trying to find someone to guide them (which can be hard to find) – it’s built in. Mentoring programs provide a foundation for learning so that the next generation feel empowered to do great things in the world because they have the support, education, and good relationship skills to move their work forward.
Mentoring can be especially helpful for women. As leaders continue to work to create a more inclusive workforce and to attract and promote female employees, mentoring programs can be an important element in developing their skills and providing the self-confidence they need to succeed in the workforce. Although women face unique challenges, they do not always need only female mentors. Men in leadership positions can rise up and share their privileges by guiding younger female employees. Wards care more not about the gender of the mentor, but about how he fits. Also, what they can learn from the mentor’s experience.
When you invest your resources in creating culture and mentoring programs, you are also creating better communicators. When employees feel comfortable talking to someone — be it a senior or a colleague — and can share their concerns and ask for advice, they can communicate better with just about anyone. This leads to a better team structure with easy flow and communication both between team members and leaders, and this support also leads to more courage and innovation overall. As a result, new and better ideas are generated on a regular basis.
Mentoring also leads to lower employee turnover. When the people you hire feel more valued, supported, invested in, and protected, they are much more likely to stay with you for the long haul. They invest in you by committing to your company. So what will you do to make the loyalty and time they spend with you reflect on them?
Feel good giving
In addition to making mentees become more effective employees who grow into leaders, being a mentor is extremely rewarding. The mentor learns in the process as much as the mentee. It’s also helpful to get an introduction from someone from a different generation. Or someone who may be less experienced than you on paper, but may have a wealth of knowledge and fresh ideas when it comes to doing business in a way that supports the future. And when new talent finds out that you offer this kind of support and training within your company, you’ll likely have a lineup of hot applications ready to take your company to new heights.