If I were to ask you the question, “what are the benefits of mentoring to you” would you be able to answer that question. A lot of organizations struggle with the decision to implement mentoring. Of those that do, the success rate is not high. Perhaps the idea of failing on something that has a huge impact on the employees is the reason. I am mentoring/advising a passionate individual as she goes forward with implementing a national mentoring initiative. Failure is not part of her vocabulary, but she knows that we may stumble and fall and I am there to pick her up and we continue the journey. That is effective mentoring.
She has indicated that there is a need for change and that mentoring is one of the best ways to invoke that change. The program can impact people from the family level and then onwards through the school system and then into the work place. What she is doing is creating a mentoring culture in a nation! Think of all the people who will benefit from this initiative. I am truly honored and humbled to be part of her journey!
When I think of the benefits of mentoring and I reflect on the Deloitte report (http://dupress.com/periodical/trends/human-capital-trends-2015/) that I referenced last week I see a number of different benefits for people and organizations. Culture and engagement is the first on the list and mentoring plays a huge role in both of these areas. All we need to do is look at the mentoring initiative that I mentioned at the beginning of this article and that shows us the impact that mentoring can have as it touches people of all ages and stages in their life. Mentoring is part of our lifelong learning. It is a means for us to continue the learning and development journey. Without it we stop learning and leading. Mentoring helps battle disengagement in the work force by creating engaged, empowered and accountable employees. It is a process and a journey but well worth the effort.
Mentoring can provide benefits to leadership development programs. It is really awesome to have a mentor to review your week as a leader on an ongoing basis. For some reason though we don’t have a mentoring component built into our leadership development program. If we did we would definitely experience the benefits. I am working with a number of leaders today and the feedback that I get is that the organization needs to do this across the board for everyone – but they don’t!
Mentoring creates a learning and development environment. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new from one or more of the people that I spend time with. Each one is unique and has so many gifts to share. Imagine the benefits to having that process taking place in your organization every day of every week. The benefits are unlimited. Ken Blanchard says, “When we stop learning, we stop leading” (Heart of a Leader).
There are a lot of challenges on the horizon for us in 2015. We can take steps forward instead of going backwards or remaining stagnant like we have. Take a serious look at the benefits of mentoring to you as a person – do you want to grow personally and professionally? If you are a decision maker in your organization do you value your people? If so, then you need to invest in mentoring so that you too will see the benefits of doing so. Can you afford not to?
Doug Lawrence, President, TalentC®- People Services Inc.
Certified Mentor Practitioner/Certified Mentor Practitioner Facilitator