If you have climbed to the top of your game in your career or excelled in any way to establish yourself, it’s more than likely that you had help from an experienced and seasoned individual, who shared their knowledge and expertise to help you learn and grow. Now that you have accumulated so much knowledge and experience of your own, you can give back to the new generation of employees in your industry.
Of course, the benefit to the mentees is usually considered the main purpose of these relationships, but this article discusses how mentoring can have a positive impact on the mentee, the mentor, and the overall business or company you work in.
Before we break down some benefits, it is important to note that despite the words ‘coaching’ and ‘mentoring’ often being used interchangeably, they are not the same. There are many similarities between the two, but perhaps one of the main differences is that a mentor is often an expert (or at least highly experienced) in the area they are mentoring in, whereas a coach needn’t be. In a mentoring relationship, both the mentee and the mentors stand to experience a myriad of benefits.
There are several why investing in your workforce is important to success. Employees today are keen to learn and upskill; and tend to favour employers who invest in their development. A 2016 study by Deloitte suggests that the workforces of the millennial generation feel more valued when their employer invests in their leadership skills. The study also argues that employees are more likely to stay with a business for longer if they are offered mentoring.
After millennials come Generation “Gen Z”, the eldest of whom are now in their early 20s. As this generation steps onto the world stage and begin careers in all industries, it is important to consider how this rising workforce will impact businesses. A study by Robert Half reveals that clear communication and investment in mentoring is a key characteristic sought by Gen Z when finding work.
Not only does mentoring encourage commitment to you as an employer, but it also builds a workforce who have been guided through their growth with your business in mind. If you mentor your employees, you can set specific examples that will set the bar for how the mentee conducts future business. Thus, grooming your employees in the shape of your goals and mindsets to help your business reach its full potential.
Mentoring new or young employees is also a way to pay it forward, giving up your knowledge to help new professionals. Furthermore, it provides an excellent opportunity to better understand your workforce. If you are a superior or leader, mentoring your team members helps you get to know them and their individual strengths better. When new projects come up, you’ll know who may be perfect for the job. Not only does mentoring advance the skills of the mentees, but it also helps you put forward the right people for the right opportunities, enhancing your business further. It’s mutually beneficial.
Speaking of mutual benefits, whilst the mentor embodies the key educator role in a mentoring relationship, that does not mean there is not a great deal for the mentor to learn too. Younger generations have different strengths, be it in technological skills or familiarity with cultural changes. Of course, age gaps do not exist in all mentor/mentee relationships, but regardless of the 2 individuals backgrounds or skills, there is always space to provide one another with different perspectives. For a more experienced mentor, learning new perspectives from younger employees may prove useful as the industry continues to become more and more saturated with millennial or Gen Z professionals.
Moreover, when it comes to mentoring, you must learn new ways of explaining things. By definition, mentees will have less experience in the field that you’re guiding them in. New concepts and ideas that will likely be second nature to the mentor need to be communicated clearly and in ways that suit the individuals learning preferences. Learning new ways to communicate not only helps you as a mentor but can be beneficial in other areas of your work and life.
Finally, even though mentors are usually already in leadership positions and successful in their career, becoming a mentor validates leadership skills. Whether you are thinking about developing your own mentoring skills, or perhaps providing some of your senior staff with mentoring responsibilities, being put in a role-model position instils confidence. The skills that must be developed to be a mentor include the aforementioned communication abilities, the ability to motivate, and the confidence to deliver honest feedback, even when these conversations may be difficult.
Ultimately, being a mentor is enriching for both mentor and mentee, acting as a role-model or educator helps to boost a mentor’s own performance whilst they pass their skills onto new professionals. This all serves to boost business performance, new employees are likely to be loyal as their development is invested in, and they are trained in how to perform to the business’s specific standards and ideas. Everyone stands to gain through mentoring!
So how can you enhance your own or your employees’ mentoring skills to reap all the above benefits? Our mentoring e-learning course sets out to provide learners with a wide understanding of the role of mentoring and its many dimensions, as well as providing a key set of tools that they can transfer to the workplace. The course ensures the learners have everything they need to establish effective mentoring relationships.
If the professional focus of mentoring is not exactly what you’re looking for, we offer an e-learning course in Coaching for Success, where the focus is more on enhancing the workplace skills of employees, and their personal growth. More information can be found here.
If you’d like to make any personal adjustments to our courses or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out here, and see how we can help your business!