Business mentoring focuses on developing inexperienced employees (mentees) by teaming them up with more experienced employees (mentors) for several weeks or months. It facilitates the sharing of knowledge, skills, insights and experiences through discussion and collaborative learning and therefore endorses professional and personal growth amongst both mentees and mentors.
Why business mentoring is important
If some of your employees have gaps in their knowledge and/or experience, mentoring could work well for your business. It will provide you with a range of benefits including:
Mentoring relationships enhance employee engagement by granting both mentors and mentees the chance to give and receive regular feedback. They therefore improve employee communications and enhance the quality of working relationships. These factors cumulatively contribute to improved employee engagement and ultimately lead to increased productivity and retention.
Helping employees to acquire the knowledge, skills and expertise required to successful carry out their workplace roles is essential to the success of your business. Mentoring supports learning between individuals and groups, significantly reducing knowledge transfer times, and empowers employees in ways that formal education and instruction manuals cannot. It creates a culture where teamwork becomes an important part of the daily life rather than a forced, infrequent task.
Mentoring empowers a diverse range of employees to share their opinions and offer their ideas, creating an environment of belonging and understanding. It provides employees with the chance to raise their concerns, outline their problems and overcome barriers to success.
The collaborative nature of mentoring ensures that it focuses not only on the development of your employees but also on the interpersonal links between your employees and your business. It therefore helps you to understand your employees’ career objectives and identify ways in which you can align them with your business’ goals.
Mentoring is an effective strategy whenever there is a requirement for you to reduce the time it takes your employees to share knowledge and skills. However, if you choose to develop mentoring relationships in your workplace, you must help your mentors and mentees to agree on the degree of their involvement and the structure of their mentoring relationship. For example, some mentors and mentees may be happy to work closely with each other on a daily basis, while others may prefer to work together only once every few weeks or months. You must also consider the impact that being a mentor may have on the productivity of your senior staff. Whether you choose to make mentoring a formal, structured process or a casual arrangement, ensure that your mentoring relationships are beneficial for everyone involved.