MENTORING IN THE WORKPLACE – DEFINED
Mentoring is almost always used interchangeably with the work coaching; however, mentoring is a situation where the focus is on supporting the growth and development of the (receiver) mentee. When we say coach, we are simply saying coach, we typically mean a relationship of finite duration where the focus is on strengthening or eliminating specific behaviors in the here and now. Both mentoring and coaching are incredibly valuable in providing developmental support. However, one offers high-level guidance for the long-term development, and the other helps you improve immediately.
According to Wikipedia, Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psycho-social support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé)”. It can also be defined as a long-term relationship between an older, more experienced individual and a younger less experienced and highly motivated individual.
Mentoring in the workplace would be focused on the development of the employees by the management towards their individual overall career goals and thus the development of the firm in the long run.
How: A firm can help its employees develop in the workplace by setting up a program where all senior employees, especially management staff are assigned new and upcoming employees in their dealing with daily activities, products and services of the firm and the best way to handle them to get the best result. Trainings and mentorship sessions are also another way of doing it.
However, getting the best out of this is dependent on the parties involved and what they hope to achieve in the relationship.
A firm that imbibes a strong mentorship program will most definitely experience a growth in the effectiveness and efficiency of its staff and their activities at the firm as they have now become more competent in handling their daily tasks. Mentorship doesn’t just bring about career advancement to the employee. It also develops interpersonal relationship and leadership potentials in the employees.