WRITTEN BY: CHELSEA PAYNE
Throughout history, some of the greats were mentored by the greatest. Without their mentor, who knows where they or even the rest of us would be today. Would Oprah have been able to build her empire if she didn’t have the advice of Maya Angelou? Would Facebook even exist if Steve Jobs hadn’t coached Mark Zuckerberg in times of struggle? Would our ears have been graced by the music of Quincy Jones if Ray Charles hadn’t shared his love of jazz? Luckily, we are able to enjoy all of these accomplishments today with great thanks to mentorship, or as Joey Tribbiani would call it, “mento-ship.”
Whether you are looking for a mentor, or debating whether to take on a mentee, there are various benefits for all parties involved.
Benefits for the Mentor
Being a mentor not only allows you to give back to both your company and the mentee, but it helps you on a more personal level. On the surface, the role of the mentor may be simply to help the mentee, but being a mentor strengthens interpersonal relationship skills, teaches active listening, and encourages the mentor to share knowledge, ultimately increasing their sense of self-worth. Other key benefits of being a mentor include refreshing the mentor’s career by giving them new perspectives and ideas, and providing a great opportunity to reflect on their own personal goals. As a mentor, you might be surprised how much you learn about your company and yourself.
Benefits for the Mentee
As opposed to the benefits for the mentor, the benefits for the mentee may be a little more obvious. Being a mentee is a great opportunity to improve your overall performance in the workplace with guidance, encouragement, and knowledge from your mentor. If you are new to a company, your mentor can help you understand the company’s culture a little better, and teach you things not given in the employee handbook. Oftentimes, the mentee is in a new phase of their life and having the guidance of a mentor will provide faster and more effective professional development as the mentee is able to develop new skills and different ways of thinking.
Benefits for the Organization
For employers, encouraging and investing in mentoring programs offers several benefits. Not only are you keeping your most talented and experienced employees energized and engaged – you’re also helping shape the future of your company by developing new leaders. A mentoring program is a free or low-cost way to instill leadership skills in both the mentors and mentees. Lastly and most importantly, mentorship is a simple way to improve employee morale. Entrusting a seasoned employee as a mentor shows that the company legitimately values their contributions, ultimately lowering turnover rates and creating a more positive work environment.
Have you ever had a mentor or mentee? If so, share your story below!