For most companies, employee retention is top of mind. And one way to foster this is through career development. Employees want to see if they can either move in the company or be in a role that matches with their overall career goals. While not all executives and managers can be hands-on in this process for the employees they manage, there is one person who can be: a mentor.
A mentorship program is a great way to help employees with their career development. What’s more, they can act as a confidant for an employee if they have a problem to tackle. Choosing a mentor can be a tough process, but a good rule of thumb is to choose someone you think you have something in common with, someone you admire, or someone you look up to as a role model for your career.
In this post, we are going to discuss the benefits of having a mentorship program—for mentors, mentees, and the organization.
Mentorship works for people at all levels of their careers but works especially well for employees who are just starting out. And what they really want is advice. Advice on their career, on a project, or a decision they may be considering. Mentors have been there done that, so they are the perfect people to solicit this advice. They can give their mentee guidance on how to approach the situation and what their next steps should be. They can help you properly navigate through the waters of the company, something family and friends can’t do.
Expanding your network
Your mentor is a great person to introduce you to people inside and outside of the company. If you are looking to make a career move, a mentor can suggest who you could talk to within your current company to see how you can get involved. If you are looking elsewhere, they can make some introductions and help you set up some informational interviews. Additionally, this network can lead to job referrals or a Rolodex of clients you can leverage if you decide to go out on your own and start your own business.
Venting with someone you trust
Sometimes you just have a bad day at work and need to vent your frustrations. And you don’t feel comfortable telling your coworkers or partners. Your mentor is someone that you have already put your trust in to give you guidance on your career. This translates to them being the perfect confidant for you to vent to when something goes wrong. Not only can you vent to them, but they can also give you some suggestions of what to do next to mediate the situation.
There are typically two main types of mentors: a company mentor and a career mentor. The difference is that a company mentor only stays with you when you are at the company. They may or may not stay with you when you leave the company. On the other hand, a career mentor is someone who stays with you for the duration of your career. They won’t only be your mentor, but a friend, someone who you can build a personal connection with.
Confidence to make better decisions
Very rarely will anyone go throughout their career without having to make a hard decision. Your mentor can give you the pep talk that you need to make those decisions, which will make you feel more confident. Mentors can be your own personal cheerleaders, giving you the praise you need to keep moving forward. You will instantly feel more confident and capable of knowing you have someone in your corner supporting you.
A chance to give back
Like mentees, mentors gain a lot from a mentorship. Mentors have a chance to use and improve their skills when helping their mentees, which can propel them in their own careers. They benefit from collaborative learning and problem solving while enhancing their own management skills. Additionally, mentors may be inspired with new ideas, meet new contacts and learn new business strategies from their mentees.
Gaining a different perspective
As an employee, you might only look at one perspective when it comes to solving problems or making decisions. Talking with a mentor can help to provide a different perspective, which you may want to take into consideration. This can help you to be more open-minded and willing to consider a different approach, especially in light of a difficult decision. Let your mentor be the one to offer you that different perspective that you need to be successful.
There are countless benefits to a mentorship. You gain the skills you need to be more confident and make better decisions. You also find someone within the company that you can trust to give you advice. Lastly, you find someone you can create a personal connection with for a long-term relationship.