Why Everyone Needs a Mentor?
Nov 06, 2018
Mentoring is important because workers can obtain critical knowledge and skills from the mentor. Moreover, it provides socialisation and professional support to workers. Quality mentorship increases the collective productivity of employees paving way for organisational success.
Studies have shown that mentoring is associated with positive behaviours and attitudes at the workplace.
Researchers have found that mentorship has a positive motivational, relational, and career outcomes.1
In ancient Greece, mentors used to impact personal and social values to young men. The word mentor itself is derived from Mentōr, a Greek character in Homer's Odyssey who acted as an advisor to Odysseus son as he left for Troy.
Modern mentorship is loosely modelled around the craftsman-apprentice relationships where young persons learned the art of the craft from a master craftsman. There are many famous persons who have attributed their success to a mentor.
Billionaire Sir Richard Branson had mentioned Sir Freddie Laker as his mentor who had provided valuable advice and guidance that helped in the success of Virgin Atlantic Airlines.
Mentorship is a commitment and relationship of trust between individuals. It is about providing support and encouragement to employees so that they maximise their potential, learn new skills, improve performance, and unlock new opportunities.
Organisations can provide a strong support to workers through mentoring. Here are the top 9 reasons why you should consider hiring a mentor for your company.
1. Identify Areas of Improvement
Mentors can identify areas of improvement that can have a serious impact on the business bottom-line. They can see faults and develop a program to improve them. Instead of downplaying their weaknesses, they will be totally honest in telling the employees exactly what they lack. They can help workers to continually up their game and maximise their career opportunities within the company.
The constructive criticism will help employees to realise areas of improvement. This will help them to improve their skillset and increase their productivity. They will be motivated to take part in the self-development program to improve their job-related skills.
2. Encourage and Motivate Employees
Mentors also provide encouragement and motivation to employees. An effective mentor will motivate employees to get out of their comfort zone. He or she will push employees into gaining new experiences. The mentor can help workers to plan to thrive during uncertain times.
A good mentor will encourage employees to utilise their strengths to overcome weaknesses. The mentor will inspire the workers to make an effort in improving their skills. The mentor will tell employees about the rewards of improving the skills set both for the individuals and the company. The encouragement and motivation of the mentor will result in improved skill sets and knowledge of employees leading to greatly improved on-the-job performance.
3. Be a Role Model
A mentor with a successful corporate record in different executive positions will become a role model for the workers. The mentor will serve as an example for other workers that success is possible through hard work and continuous learning and development. The employees will have a living blueprint that they can imitate to achieve corporate success.
Following the footprints of the mentor, employees can also achieve success in their respective fields. The mentor can be a person employees will look up to in order to determine effective workplace behaviour. They will learn about the key traits that will enable them to be successful and contribute to organisational effectiveness.
4. Act as a Disciplinarian
Mentors can set the required boundaries to ensure that the workers behave in a particular manner. They can teach good work habits to employees. They can teach them to diligently use their time to maximise their productivity.
Working under the guidance of a mentor, workers will be able to improve their work ethics and strengthen their focus. It will let them become self-disciplined and know about their priorities. This will result in a more dedicated group of employees who will work towards achieving organisational goals.
5. Trusted Coach and Advisor
Mentors can be trusted to provide honest and rational feedback regarding employee performance. Your company can trust them in keep information confidential. They will act as a trusted coach and advisors to the employees. You can count on them in preserving propriety information and making sure that no one uses the information for personal gain.
6. Connect Employees
Mentors can act as a collaborator between employees. They can work toward improving teamwork. Teamwork can help achieve impressive results. Yet this is often ignored in organisation that results in stunted growth and prevents optimal productivity.
Studies have shown that a collaborative work environment with exchange of ideas results in improved success outcomes. Mentors can act as a pillar of effective collaboration within an organisation. They can help team members to thrive on each other for success.
One of the reasons for ineffective collaboration within a company is lack of common goals. A mentor can help team members see the bigger picture and establish joint goals. This can make employees feel part of a group and work actively to achieve group goals.
7. Employee Satisfaction
Hiring a mentor for the workplace will result in increased employee satisfaction. The employees will feel confident due to improved knowledge and skills. They will be able to perform the job in quick time and with increased efficiency.
Moreover, hiring a mentor will project a positive impression on employees. They will know that the management is considerate in meeting their needs.
8. Promote Career Success
Providing mentorship to employees is found to promote success. A multidisciplinary study published in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour had found that mentoring increased the chances of success at the workplace. The chances were higher as compared to non-mentored individuals.
A mentorship can introduce employees to influential individuals within their fields. Young people are especially likely to be influenced by these successful persons. The mentors can put them on a path to a more rewarding career within the organisation.
9. Life Coach
Mentors also act as a life coach advising workers on achieving work life balance. They allow employees to see the best in themselves. They provide moral support and guidance to employees in challenging times.
Every organisation faces ups and downs. A mentor will provide hope and confidence during dire times. The mentor will share experiences and provide personal insights into how to overcome obstacles. He or she will motivate the employees to keep their heads up and keep going until success is achieved.
Steps to a Successful Mentorship
The benefits of hiring a mentor cannot be emphasised enough. A critical first step to creating a mentorship program within the company is to recognise, define, and establish common goals for the program.
- Is the goal of a mentorship to improve employee productivity? Or is it to create a successful succession plan?
- Does the goal of mentorship is to develop leadership skills?
- Does the mentor have to delegate his/her duties to the mentee?
- Is mentorship a stepping stone to career progression for workers or improving collaboration?
Whatever the goals, make sure that you have it in writing. Having a clear goal will help in the hiring process of a mentor. There are certain guidelines when it comes to hiring a mentor. Researchers William F. Hogue and Ernest M. Pringle have suggested the following tips to develop an effective mentorship program within an organisation.
- Maintain Confidentiality —A critical point to build trust between a mentor and the organisation is to maintain an environment of confidentiality. Make sure that strict confidentiality is maintained regarding any information that is shared about the company.
- Focus on the Benefits — The mentor should emphasise on defined benefits from the start. It's important that the mentor clearly communicates the intended benefit of the mentorship. The mentees should know how they will benefit from the mentorship program. Each should know about the intended goal of the program and work collaboratively in achieving the goal.
- Effective Communication —Mentorship can only be successful if there is open, honest communication between the mentor and mentee. Both the members should easily share their viewpoints. They should feel heard and respected. The mentees should not feel reticent from sharing their concerns and difficulties. Moreover, mentors should remember that the mentorship is not just about them. The focus should be on the mentees so that they gain critical knowledge and learn important skills.
- Remain Flexible — Mentors should remain flexible during the mentorship program. They should have fixed goals, but the goals should be modified according to the exact needs of the mentees.
- Active Collaboration — Successful mentorship should be based on active collaboration between the mentor and the mentee. The mentorship should be structured to create a working partnership involving active consultation. This is important as it will lead to new discoveries about the knowledge deficit. It will help in modifying the mentorship program based on working needs and professional aspirations of the mentees.
Successful mentorship should be fulfilling to everyone. It should result in an effective transfer of knowledge and skills from the mentor to the mentees. The three R's of effective mentorship include a ready, respectful and responsible mentor. The mentor should be committed to regular reviews, progress meetings, and actively reach out to build an effective mentor-mentee relationship.
The right mentor can provide valuable advice and guidance that can help mentees reach the heights of career success. He or she would not just impart knowledge but also motivate the mentees to do their best utilising their abilities and talent.
Now that you know the benefits of a mentor and the tips to create an effective mentorship program, the main question is how to hire a professional mentor for your company.
Here are some tips that can help in hiring the right mentor for your organisation.
1. Hire a Mentor who can Supplement the Strengths
You should hire a mentor who should supplement the strengths of your employees. It's important to have someone as a mentor who can help employees in areas that they struggle. Mentorship is essentially about learning something new or challenging. For instance, employees may have strong technical skills, but they may struggle when it comes to collaboration. You should hire a mentor that fills the gaps in the skill set of employees.
2. Hire a Mentor with Leadership Skills
Every employee should be groomed for an executive position. This is important so that vacant managerial positions are quickly filled in-house. In this respect, you should hire a mentor with strong leadership skills. The mentor that you hire should have a successful track record in leading businesses.
3. Hire a Mentor with Successful Track Record
Before hiring a mentor, you should find out about the performance history of the candidate. Is he or she honest and reliable? Has the candidate shown exceptional performance in turning around the company? Has the candidate the skills, knowledge, and expertise that can benefit your employees? Answers to these questions will help in selecting an effective mentor for the program.
4. Know about the Coaching Strategy
You should ask the candidate about the coaching strategy that will be utilised to impact knowledge and skills to the mentees. How will the mentor customise the strategy based on the needs of the workers? This is important otherwise the mentor will request your company to provide a coaching guide instead of creating one as that's their job.
5. Contact an Executive Search Company
You can contact an executive search company to hire a mentor for your company. Executive search companies can save time and effort involved in hiring a mentor. As a result, you would concentrate on other aspects of the mentorship such as devising policies and outcomes regarding the mentorship program.
Jefferson Maguire is an experienced executive search firm providing services to businesses in the UK. We help in recruiting specialists to fill leadership positions within an organisation. Our staff is exceptionally skilled in convincing candidates with stellar records to join our clients' companies. If you want to know more about our executive search services in the UK, you can dial 01329 288 688 or leave us a message online.
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