How rewarding is Mentoring as a Business Leader

May 25, 2019

For those who already hold management positions, mentoring may seem like it doesn’t hold much opportunity. However, even business leaders can gain several benefits from a mentoring relationship

Essentially, mentoring is a learning experience. Good business leaders know that learning is a lifelong process that never ends. Those who approach mentoring with a willingness to grow and learn can benefit in many ways. 

Mentoring relationships can help focus you, it can inspire and encourage you, a mentor can help you learn things or new ways of seeing business opportunities. It can even open up a network of contacts that you might never have had access to before. Mentors can act as advisors, sounding boards and even a good friend. 

Benefits to the Mentor

There are several key rewards that a mentor can find through their relationship with a mentee. This include further skill development and an opportunity to learn new things. While there are many ways that a mentor can benefit from a workplace mentoring program, here are a few of the top ones:

1.Enhanced listening skills

Business leaders often suffer from information overload. There are countless issues, problems and concerns that can overwhelm any individual. However, in a mentoring situation listening is key. For the business leader, practicing active listening can be a good thing. By honing your listening skills you can ultimately become a better leader.

2.Expanding your view

Diversity has become a major keyword in business today. In fact, research has shown that workplaces with higher levels of diversity are more successful. A report by McKinsey noted that companies can earn 35 percent more than the industry average if they have a diverse workforce. While there are several ways to make your workplace more diverse, business leaders who gain an understanding of different perspectives can be a powerful force. Mentoring someone who is different from you in some way, whether it be race, culture, gender, or age. Workplace mentoring can open up your eyes to new viewpoints. 

3.Stress reduction

A mentor can help reduce stress by acting as a confidant. By listening to your issues, problems and challenges they can relieve the burden. Mentors can provide support and help you come to solutions. They can be a sounding board for you, helping to clarify you thoughts on the issues. In short, by having someone to discuss your problems with it can help reduce your stress and concern.  

Benefits to the Business Leader

Business leaders often have a lot to offer a less experienced mentee. However, leaders can also benefit from having a mentor themselves. 

A mentor is a cross between a coach, an advisor, a good friend and a critic. They can often encourage, inform, support and offer feedback, all of which is valuable to have if you are the leader of a business. 

Some leaders often find a gap between the goals they want to achieve and the steps they need to take to get there. This is essentially where a workplace mentor can be of most help. By focusing on the goal and clearly defining the steps needed to get there, a business leader can find they are more effective at bridging the gap and getting their goals accomplished. 

In addition, mentors often have more experience and skills than you do, which makes them great sounding boards and advisors. They can offer some suggestions that you may have not thought of or that you overlooked. 

Good mentors can also push you out of your comfort zone. Although they way each mentor may do this is unique to their personality, the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and try something new can breath new life into your career and company. According to Brian Rashid, a Forbes contributor, good mentors may be challengers, cheerleaders or coaches. Rashid said that business leaders should consider which of these they need before they go searching for a mentor. In turn, if you mentor someone, Rashid advises you consider which of these roles you should play for them.  

Benefits to the Organization

The positive outcomes of a workplace mentoring program do not stop with the mentor and mentee, but they also extend to the organisation. Companies who opt to develop a mentoring program in their workplaces create a cost-effective way to develop more employee engagement and better retention rates. Mentoring programs also help the workplace become a more positive environment. Although each organisation and mentoring program is unique there are several benefits that any program can bring to a workplace. This is why 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have established workplace mentoring programs, The Atlantic reports. 

1.Employee retention: One of the best studies that demonstrates the connection between mentoring and employee loyalty was done by Deloitte. The results show that younger workers were more inclined to stay at a company if they had a mentor. Because the cost of replacing employees can be thousands of dollars, the opportunity that a workplace mentoring program offers make it an attractive option for most organisations. 

2.Training: Having an older employee teach and train a younger employee in company policies and practices is one of the best training methods for new hires. 

3.Positive atmosphere: Workplace mentoring programs demonstrate to employees, new hires and potential candidates that the organisation cares about its workers. Through the training and learning that mentoring brings, employees will feel more connected and more loyal to the company. This, in turn, creates a positive environment in the workplace as a whole. 

4.Skill transfer: Mentoring is one way that companies use for succession planning. When an older employee is due for retirement, cultivating a mentoring relationship with a talented younger employee can help the company. It helps retain the knowledge and skill of the older employee by creating the opportunity to transfer it to the younger employee. 

Conclusion

Business leaders have much to gain and offer for workplace mentoring programs. They not only can help others by acting as a mentor to them, but often leaders benefit from having a mentor themselves. Research and statistics show that organisations can improve employee engagement and retention with internal mentoring programs.

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