What is the role of a mentor?

A mentor is someone who assists another person (a mentee) with their career, work projects and tasks, and gives general advice to help shape the mentee’s overall future direction. Mentoring calls upon a person’s (the mentor’s) experience, knowledge, and skills to guide the mentee to achieve their full potential. It is a very positive, supportive, and encouraging relationship and role.

Whilst mentoring has innumerable benefits for both mentor and mentee, mentors are also important to a business and fostering a strong team.

The role of a mentor

Mentoring is generally considered a long-term arrangement where the focus is placed on supporting the growth and development of the mentee.

The role of a mentor is to:

  • Be a personal advocate for their mentee in the workplace and in their career space
  • Take a long-term view for their mentee’s growth and development
  • Help guide and support their mentee’s journey to where they want to get to, and even offer up ideas that the mentee may not have considered before
  • Encourage and celebrate their mentee; they are their personal “cheerleader” and champion
  • Recommend resources, networks, and make introductions to people who could also benefit the mentee
  • Share experiences, expertise, successes, failures, and lessons learned so that the mentee can make decisions and choices based on someone who has already done what they are aiming to do and not make the same mistakes
  • Support their mentee in trying new things, move outside of their comfort zone, and learning new skills
  • Give feedback and ideas on how to continuously move forward
  • Be there to support their mentee when things don’t go to plan and help get them back on track
  • Be an overall positive role model, inspires, and supports them in a supportive and non judgemental way

Why are mentors important to a business and fostering a strong team?

A mentor can make a real difference in their mentee’s life and career, and an organisation will benefit when their employees have clear goals, are continually developing their skills and abilities, and are being inspired to do their best work.

Many organisations include mentoring in their onboarding process, but if your business offers and supports ongoing formal mentor arrangements it can lead to workers feeling more supported in their career and their role. This could lead to greater job satisfaction, increased teamwork, higher staff retention rates, elevated staff motivation, an improved workplace culture, and a higher likelihood of achieving goals and objectives from an individual employee level, but also from a team and organisational perspective.

From a future planning stance, mentoring can also assist in stronger knowledge transfer and succession planning, along with the development of leadership skills of staff. Creating this long-term resiliency will solidify the likelihood of ongoing organisational success.

It also encourages goal setting, and through inspiring and sharing knowledge, can lead employees to contribute more to the organisation.

What will mentees gain from a mentor’s guidance?

A mentor offers a great deal to a mentee with this form of partnership rewarding them with the opportunity to:

  • Develop their communication and interpersonal relationship skills
  • Improve self-esteem and confidence, allowing them to take greater charge in their career and life, and speak up and be heard
  • Further their education and knowledge in their chosen industry, role, and organisation
  • Build a professional network of industry contacts and supporters
  • Advance their career; a mentor will help them set goals, guide them to achieve those goals, and help keep them on track
  • Gain advice and insight on the best way forward and what to do to get ahead
  • Identify skills and experience gaps you need to fill in order to further their career and achieve greater success
  • Learn new perspectives and expand your viewpoints so that problems and issues can be tackled in new ways

If you would like to incorporate mentoring into your team, or hire candidates with mentoring potential and skills, contact us today.