What Is Mentoring?
Mentoring programs in the workplace are aimed at developing younger employees by pairing them with senior staff members who are more experienced and knowledgeable about the business. Mentoring as an employee-development strategy has evolved significantly, and now includes reverse, group, and situational mentoring. All these forms of mentoring are beneficial for the company as it is through this collaborative learning method that everyone gets to share knowledge, skills, expertise and experience.
Mentoring vs Training
Both mentoring and training programs focus on giving workers the skills they need to perform their jobs well. There is a slight difference, however, in the way mentoring and training approach learning.
Training is basically directive – it is controlled by the trainer who determines the content and the process so that staff will gain knowledge and develop new skills more efficiently. It can be said, therefore, that the effectiveness of a training program relies heavily on the trainer’s competence and the trainee’s aptitude.
Mentoring, on the other hand, is about giving a mentee the chance to explore how they can apply in the workplace everything they have learned in school, perhaps. In this program, it is the mentor who controls the process, but the only way this could be effective is for the mentee to control the content.
Benefits of a Workplace Mentoring Program
Transfer of Knowledge
Mentoring is an excellent compliment to existing training programs in an organization. What makes mentoring really valuable is its ability to empower workers in what that training programs cannot. Mentoring programs forms a culture where acquiring and sharing knowledge becomes part of a system and not a task to be fulfilled.
Career and Personality Development
Mentoring programs are collaborative in nature, which also ensures that there is a simultaneous development of professional skills and interpersonal links among the members of the organization. Mentoring also boosts worker productivity and employee retention.
Mentoring builds an environment where there is understanding, trust, support and the sense of belongingness for a diverse workforce. Such programs give workers the right and opportunity to speak up about their concerns, which then helps them overcome and find solution to their problems. For the organization, mentoring allows them to form and maintain diverse talent, which is a big asset in this era of globalization.
Mentoring gives employees a voice in the organization, and the chance to receive regular feedback. Consequently, it becomes easier for both the management and the staff to seek clarity on different issues including job expectations, importance of workers’ roles, reward system, career planning and career advancement. Through this improved and open communication in the company, the quality of relationship between superiors and subordinates is greatly enhanced, which also increases employee engagement.