A mentor is someone in the workplace with considerable experience who passes on their knowledge and skills to another employee who does not as yet have that experience. We can’t call the recipient of this assistance a ‘mentoree’ because there is no such word so I’ve opted for student – someone who is learning something. This mentoring is usually done on an individual basis. The mentor helps their fellow worker become better at their job. For the individual such assistance can be priceless. For the company, an improved work force, a better skilled workforce can only be good.
It’s easy to see how the inexperienced worker can benefit. Better skills, more knowledge and more confidence are just three of the precise improvements. But the mentor can benefit too. They can gain respect within the company, improve their chances of promotion, develop stronger ties within the company and find their self-respect continues to grow as well. As a successful mentor, others will seek him or her out wanting to benefit from their wisdom. Management will appreciate the mentor’s willingness and capabilities and look to reward such excellent service. And the company is now the third winner in this situation with better skills for its workers and better relationships within the company.
When individuals feel they are becoming better employees and can contribute well to the company, they are more likely to stay within the company. Staff turnover is reduced. Staff morale remains high when inexperienced workers know they can receive excellent support and skills from within the organization.
A worker who receives the benefit of the experience of a mentor is better able to see their career path for the future. They know more about their particular job and how it relates to the growth of the company. Promotion within the company now becomes a much more likely prospect. A contented worker is ideal for the business.
A mentor does not have to be a senior member of staff just simply someone who has the experience others do not. A mentor needs three qualities:
- A desire to help others
- A desire to share their knowledge and pass on their skills
- A desire to see others succeed
And having those qualities makes the mentor a highly valuable member of the workforce. Pride in the job, a belief in the company and a healthy respect for others makes for an outstanding mentor
A mentor has the added benefit of improving their own skills as they teach. One of the best ways to improve your own knowledge and ability is to teach someone. This act helps you better understand the material you are passing on to others. The mentor is also reinforcing their knowledge and seeing the fruit of their labor immediately as the student takes on new tasks and succeeds.
Every company should do all it can to encourage a mentoring program, to support and reward mentors who a highly valuable asset to their employer.
Want some help along with your mentoring journey? Here’s a great little product on the market that can do just that. It is full of actual exercises you can carry out with your mentee or team members on key topics such as time management, negotiation, goal setting and many more.
Active Development – Mentoring Activities, check it out here
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