Sustainable Benefits of Successful Mentoring Programs
Mentors in My Life
Mentors always played a big role in my career and personal development. I always saw the value and actively seeking out these role models who could help me grow and improve my skills. Fortunately, the wonderful experts I have approached, said 'yes' without any reservations. Although, I must admit, in my earlier career, it took a lot of courage to ask for help.
For some people, it is a more difficult task to overcome this fear of asking for assistance and guidance. After all, in order to grow, we need to go to someone who has a lot more experience and knowledge, who has respect of many, and maybe a highly visible status in the organization. It could be downright intimidating. To help the individuals who are unsure how or afraid to approach an influential person, the organizations can help with building a facilitated mentoring program.
The biggest learning for me continues to be giving back to humanity by sharing my own experiences with those who can benefit and improve their lives. While I share, I learn more about myself. The more I know myself, the better I am able to connect with others. This is why I feel it is important to mentor others.
Mentoring in Organizations
The circle of giving and receiving in a mentoring relationship is a conscious act. When organizations make a decision to launch a mentoring program, they need to carefully define the purpose for the roll out of this program. This cannot be a "tick-in-the-box" exercise because it is a trend of the year. A clear purpose and the expected outcome have to be tied to the company vision and strategic goals. The first step to success of the mentoring program is its design that is suitable to the culture and structure of that organization.
Frequently, even when the purpose is clear and the approach has been identified, mentoring programs still fail for the following reasons:
Lack of or poor support from the organization's leaders
Lack of training on what mentoring relationship means
Inaccurate match between mentors and mentees
Mentoring is an effective strategic tool that can address organizational skill gaps, increase brand recognition, improve morale, attract more talent, improve on-boarding experiences, leadership development, succession planning, and many other benefits.
Helping leaders understand the benefits of how mentors impact apprentice’s life in the long term can bring a profound benefit to them as well.
Someone once said: "A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could." -- Anonymous
Making a choice to mentor is the start on the path of not only giving but also receiving the benefits to personal growth. If this is understood, then why not invest and create a sustainable mentoring program?
Here are a few steps on how a company or a community can implement the mentoring program:
Get sponsorship and buy-in from the stakeholders (help them see the benefits)
Determine the structure of the program that will effectively work in your culture
Create tools and clearly communicate the purpose. Communicate, communicate, and over communicate!
Provide training for mentors and mentees
Continuously assess progress and adjust when necessary
Evaluate success, effectiveness, and relationships between the mentor and mentee
In closing, if you decide to implement a mentoring program, choose the path that will bring lasting positive changes. Many mentoring programs start with good intentions, but without a buy-in, skill, process, and passion, they can die quickly. Sustainable success depends on many factors, but if done correctly, anyone involved in the process can reap lifelong benefits.
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