Why Are Mentoring Programs Important For Organizations?

Mentoring is an area of the professional development that increasingly is having a greater influence in companies. There is a reason that many businesses prefer to promote the value of the figure of the mentor.  Mentoring is cost-effective.  The company’s own employees have this authority, this challenge.  It is a strategy that has become innovative in terms orientation and support.

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Image courtesy of Brian Ujiie at Flickr.com

So, having a mentoring program is a great tool for human resource development in organizations.  It has been demonstrated that mentoring programs provide benefits both for mentees and mentors as well as for the organization.  When it is implemented properly, the organization will have a simple and effective way to help new or young employees receive support, help them understand the organizational vision, share experiences, provide useful networking, help them get used to the demands, challenges and tasks of the workplace and enjoy other benefits.   

Here are some reasons that will show the importance of mentoring program in an organization.  

  • Mentoring encourages a sense of belonging and employee retention: When a mentor, passionate about his job, accompanies a new employee in the process to show him the way, this newcomer will have a sense of belonging and will feel that the company is the right place to be.  Being a part of a mentoring program from the beginning will enrich the experience in the company, both for the mentor who is collaborating and for the recruits.

  • Mentoring values individuals:  The companies that incorporate mentoring into their work philosophy are those that focus beyond the results of tasks, to invest in the worker as an essential and valuable element of a team.  Mentoring is essential for workers not to feel as a mere number, but someone whose is valuable as an individual who either deserves care and guidance (mentee) or provides leadership and advice (mentor).

  • Mentoring encourages commitment:  being a mentor not only requires an important level of commitment, but it increases the sense of identification and creates emotional ties with the company.  Mentors confirm their responsibility, and reaffirm the organizational values they have learned by passing on the baton to their mentees.  Mentors that are part of these programs have a sense of purpose and feel more satisfied about their role in the company.

  • Mentoring provides feedback:  the need of feedback comes from the search for improvement.  New people in an organization need constant feedback, clear guidelines and tools for revision and renovation.  A mentoring program allows an organization to be close to its employees, know about them, know about how they feel to help in any eventuality or dealt with risky situation with new employees.

  • Mentoring preserves organizational culture and values:  Each organization has its own cultural legacy, which can be easily communicated through mentoring by means of the direct communication and interaction between senior professionals and the new recruits. Mentoring programs are concerned with developing professionals who can be part of the organizational culture of the company, in a way that this organizational culture and values can endure and the employees can keep them for years to come. Organizational culture and environment have to prevail.

  • Mentoring encourages healthy work relationships:  the bond that is built between mentor and mentee through the program is hard to forget.  Having a mentor provides interpersonal relationships that are easier to start, become meaningful and inspiring, not only for those that are involved, but promotes a healthy organizational environment as well. Mentees tend to feel more comfortable when interacting with a colleague.
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Image courtesy of Kevin Dooley at Flickr.com

Mentoring should never be considered as something isolated, but rather considering the goal of its implementation.  The human resource department should identify and appoint potential mentor analyzing the possible assistance they can provide.  

The purpose of mentoring will never be to create a dependent relationship between mentor and mentee, but a human relationship that is enriching and rewarding for both. In addition, although it is the mentor who primarily shares his experience and knowledge, he also learns and is challenged by the questions and desire of learning shown by the mentee.

Offering professional training will help employees but a mentoring program is a great complement for that.  Training will only cover the formal technical part, but mentoring is about conveying, not only knowledge, but expertise, experience, stories of success and failure, methods for dealing with criticism, stress and emotions in the workplace.  

To sum up, what is the main reason why a company must implement such a program?  Because it potentialize the individual human talent of workers -and more importantly – it adds a component of enjoyment in the organizational environment; the emotional reward makes a positive impact on the level of motivation. This is essential to prevent job desertion, stress and chronic anxiety.  Increasingly, many companies are using mentoring as part of their organizational policies, and results will be seen.