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How to Mentor Someone At Work

Mentoring in the workplace is crucial for good employee development, but being a good mentor isn't always straightforward.


March 3, 2019

To be a successful mentor you should equip yourself with skills and knowledge that will make the task easier and help develop a good relationship between you and your mentee.  

Some of the important things to know are what makes a good mentor-mentee connection, what skills are key to mentoring such as communication and planning capabilities, as well as how to best serve the mentee’s career growth. There are some characteristics that good mentors possess, which can help you decide if mentoring is the right fit for you.

There are a variety of workplace mentoring programs and depending on the style that your company has you may or may not have a lot of say in who your mentee is. However, most workplace mentoring programs opt to do a match themselves based on the personality of each candidate. Mentoring software, like Together, is able to simplify the match process on its platform. A mentoring program manager simply enters the requirements they have for the program and within minutes a match can be made. 

Why Mentor

Mentoring is not about helping someone out who is not performing well in their job but rather it is helping a co-worker who has shown some leadership capabilities. The mentor is one who guides the mentee and sets them on a good career path. It involves goal setting and achieving, training and networking.  

A mentor is an extra support for an individual just getting started in their career. You can be the extra advisor that helps them navigate their way through the company culture or even direct them in their next professional steps. Research has demonstrated that mentoring can also have a positive impact on the emotional and mental health of both the mentee and the mentor. 

However, mentoring programs can also have a positive impact on the mentor by connecting them with other people in the organization. In addition, because technology and industry can change rapidly, the ability to connect with a younger individual can help the mentor learn new things. They can also discover different ways of doing things. All of these help the mentor grow professionally and personally, but can also prove an advantage to the company as a whole. 

Another major reason that individuals decide to mentor is succession planning. If you are considering retiring from your current job, a mentorship can help adequately train a replacement. In these cases, your skills and company culture know-how will be your biggest assets. 

How To Mentor

Mentoring involves regular meetings. While it can be difficult to organize these get-togethers in a busy world, mentoring software like Together can help. The Together platform has the capacity to assist the mentor and mentee in deciding on how often to meet. It can also track your mentoring sessions so that you know how well you are doing. 

A key part of mentoring is to help the mentee further develop their skills and abilities. This means as a mentor, you will need to help them set some professional goals. In addition, you may need to guide them on the steps to achieving those goals. 

Acting as a mentor also means that you simply share your experience with your mentee. Let them know how you got to where you are and don’t be embarrassed to share your failures as well as your successes. You should also tell them more about the company, its policies and corporate culture. This will help them as they move forward with the organization. 

Don’t be afraid to get to know your mentor personally. Find out what personal goals they hope to accomplish along with their professional path. It is okay to celebrate milestones with your mentee. Creating a personal connection will enhance the mentor-mentee relationship and lead to success. 

One way to help your mentee is to inform them about any company programs or training opportunities that they may be interested in. This includes any workshops or chances to develop their talents or learn a new skill.  

Keep in mind that every mentee is different, and you should approach each mentoring relationship differently. The goals and objectives of each mentoring situation will be unique to the individuals involved. It is best to sit down and write out goals and boundaries for the mentoring relationship. This can include how often you will meet, what the mentee hopes to get out of the experience, what the mentor can offer and how long the relationship will last. 

How Long Should Mentoring Last

There are no hard and fast rules about how long the mentoring relationship should last. However, there is a basic idea that six months to a year is an adequate amount of time for the mentee to outgrow their mentor. Yet, there are some mentors and mentees that continue the process for years. 

When looking to set a timeline on the mentoring commitment let your individual desires be the guide. Together’s mentoring software program is capable of tracking a mentor-mentee meeting schedule over the short or long term. 

It may also be necessary to alter the timeline with each mentee, depending on their needs. Some mentees may only need a few months of guidance while others will benefit more from a longer-term connection. 

One way to determine if the relationship is working and should continue is to do a periodic evaluation where both the mentor and the mentee can offer feedback on the relationship. You can use Together to track both the development and the results of the mentor-mentee connection. This can be done at the three-month, six-month and eight-month mark or whenever one of the individuals involved feels it is needed. 

For more information on getting the best mentor-mentee match click here


Mentoring can be a rewarding experience for both the mentor and the mentee. Young mentees benefit from having an experienced professional teach and guide them the ropes in the organization. It can also help them develop a plan for their career. For the mentor, the opportunity to give back and make a difference in the life of someone else has countless benefits, particularly emotional and mental. It can also be a learning opportunity for the mentor by giving them a chance to learn new technologies or techniques to become more efficient. 

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Download our Whitepaper on Best Practices for Running A Mentorship Program

We draw from the first-hand experience of managers at various companies leading mentoring programs and our own expertise to outline the best practices for running a mentorship program. This white paper is a comprehensive guide to help you build a world-class mentoring program.