The world of business is an extremely fast-paced environment, constantly changing. Many jobs that are commonplace today simply didn’t exist 20 years ago. Different industries and companies can have entirely different cultures and working environments. A business mentoring programme can help pass on the skills and experience that would otherwise take a lot of time – and many failures, as part of the learning experience – for new recruits to attain.
Mentoring doesn’t mean giving someone all the answers or telling them what to do: it means pointing them in the right direction to be able to make their own choices, and such a programme can have benefits not only for the mentee but also the mentor and the wider company.
As an employer, developing a business mentoring programme is a cost-effective means to help grow your hidden talent, as well as to make sure your more experienced staff members remain energised and enthusiastic. Mentoring furthers the development of future business leaders who, thanks to the transference of vital industry skills and knowledge, fully understand what is required to succeed in the company.
Investing in a mentoring programme helps spread desirable behaviours and attitudes and foster a culture of personal and professional growth. This enables your company to engage and retain key performers and, as a result, improve employee motivation and morale.
Benefits for Mentors
The job of a mentor is primarily to transfer knowledge, experience and insights, but the relationship with the mentee should be reciprocal. As well as the satisfaction that comes with skill-sharing and teaching a keen learner, mentoring provides important tangible benefits for mentors.
Over time, mentors come to be recognised as experts and leaders in their chosen subject area, gaining a valuable extension of their professional development record. Personal leadership styles and teaching approaches also grow and change in response to the needs of mentees. Additionally, mentoring provides a rare opportunity for reflection upon the mentor’s own long-standing methods and goals, and being exposed to fresh, novel perspectives and approaches could bring untold gains.
Despite all of this, the mentee is naturally the focal point of a mentoring programme. The experience has the potential to be one of the most effective and valuable personal development opportunities that you can offer. The advice, support and guidance of an experienced and friendly mentor in the context of an opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills can significantly improve the professional performance of the mentee.
As well as exposure to new ways of thinking and doing, and valuable guidance on overcoming weaknesses and developing strengths, successful mentees gain increased recognition and visibility within the company, paving the way for career growth towards potential leadership roles.
With mentoring, everyone stands to gain. From helping you to identify emerging talent to providing a space for reflection and personal development and fostering a company-wide culture of growth and development, the benefits of a mentoring programme are too great to be ignored.