Research indicates that employees are more likely to succeed when they are in a mentoring program. Mentoring is about one person helping another to achieve their goals. It is about giving help and support in a way the recipient will appreciate and value, and that will empower them to move forward with confidence towards their goals. Mentoring creates an environment in which a person can feel encouraged to discuss their needs and circumstances openly and in confidence with another person who is in a position to be of positive help to them. There is no substitute for the personal advice, assistance, knowledge, and support from someone who knows the ropes. The roles that the mentor plays include:
Teacher - they share their knowledge and experience with the mentee.
Problem-Solver - they refer mentees to sources and offer options for troubleshooting.
Motivator - when the mentee is facing a challenge the mentor offers support and encouragement.
Guide - when the mentee is faced with performance difficulties the mentor helps with setting realistic goals and providing honest feedback.
When developing a mentor program for your organization, choose mentors who have done career planning of their own and have succeeded in overcoming obstacles. Their experiences will enhance the learning of the mentee as they face their own challenges. Choose mentors that are willing and excited to become a part of the professional growth of the mentee. Their enthusiasm will determine the success of their mentorship. Mentors and mentees should draft an objective of the mentorship stating what goals they want to accomplish. Mentors should meet with mentees at regularly scheduled intervals guiding in the goal setting and action plan processes, and then helping with the revision of those plans to facilitate success for the mentee. It is important for the mentor to remember there is more than one way to accomplish a task, and it is not their job to show the way and give instruction, it is their responsibility to let the mentee find their way by allowing the mentee to develop their own way of doing things. If your organization needs to prepare its people to fill future leadership positions, developing a mentoring program can benefit both the organization and the employee. Good mentoring programs attract the best candidates for a job, reduce turnover of talented people, help individuals achieve their professional goals, increase productivity, encourage communication up and down the organizational hierarchy, and assure a smooth transfer of leadership.