Mentorship programs today involve a much larger cross-section of the workforce than ever before. Mentoring is no longer just a program for the chosen few; it is now a larger and more important management tool to promote a culture of talent development and to provide growth experiences that transform and build people throughout an organization.
What are the benefits of having many mentors?
Strong mentoring programs can improve job satisfaction and employee retention. They can also motivate and encourage workers to seek growth experiences to build their careers while working to drive organizational success.
On an individual level, mentoring can support both personal and professional development and help guide you on your career journey. By having many mentors, you gain access to a broader pool of knowledge and a wealth of experience. And this, in turn, can lead to more opportunities for learning and development. Having many mentors allows you the opportunity to build close relationships with multiple people, whether that be within your personal or professional network. As a result, you benefit from a variety of opinions and viewpoints to challenge your thinking.
The preliminary results from our 2021 Fuel50 Talent Mobility Benchmarking Study show that out of 11 development options in our survey, mentoring was the 4th most frequently offered development option for employees (74%).
But, despite 74% of organizations offering Mentoring, only 20% use a digital platform to support the matching and maintenance of these important relationships.
When asking employees if their organization offers mentoring, it was interesting to see a 50 / 50 split, with half saying yes and half saying they ‘Don’t know.’ This raises questions on how effectively organizations are building and maintaining awareness of their mentoring programs over time.
How to keep mentor relationships going, even as you start to drift towards other potential mentors?
Building a company culture has never been more challenging than it is today. With so many employees working remotely, often without regular personal contact with their managers and peers, it can be hard to build a positive and thriving culture.
That’s why it is important now to remember the value of a strong mentorship program.
Tips for keeping mentor relationships going:
- Create a cadence for your conversations and stick to it.
It is important to set clear expectations, establish boundaries around time requirements, and respect it.
- Be honest and open about your goals and where you’re at.
A good practice for the mentee is to come equipped with an agenda and key focus for what you want to achieve from each interaction. Also do not be afraid to share your vulnerabilities and share where you may be struggling to really develop an authentic relationship.
- Measure the success and effectiveness of your mentor relationships.
Keep revisiting how the relationship is going against your goals, if it is no longer meaningful for either party, address it. This may result in realigning your focus or connecting with another potential mentor in accordance with shifting needs.
- Remind yourself why you are doing this.
There are many benefits for both sides. Mentees – don’t forget to share how much you value the support of your mentor.
When to become a mentor yourself and offer up your knowledge and wisdom to potential mentees
A key part of capability development is the support and guidance of others. Becoming a mentor allows you the opportunity for further personal and professional development, particularly in terms of your leadership and coaching skills.
Development implies progression and progression does not come from standing still. Taking on this new mentorship responsibility will help broaden your business impact, raise your profile, can be a great platform particularly for those considering management or leadership positions.
Reverse mentoring has also been growing in popularity. No matter which stage of your career you are in you should not discount your value you can provide as a mentor, nor should those in senior positions ever stop learning. As HBR identifies “reverse mentoring pairs younger employees with executive team members to mentor them on various topics of strategic and cultural relevance.”
Fuel50’s AI-powered talent marketplace matches you to mentees based on your skills and capabilities. Fuel50 delivers a full-cycle mentor experience that supports productive conversations by providing mentors with rich insights into their mentees’ development needs and target roles.
Being willing to take risks and try new things is a necessity for your career growth and can help you realize the true extent of your capabilities. We should always be striving to take our skills and talents to the next level of expertise and becoming a mentor might be your next step.