Did you know that Steve Jobs mentored Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet mentored Bill Gates and Barbara Walters mentored Oprah Winfrey? They all speak highly of the impact and influence that their mentors had on their lives and success. Oprah famously told Barbara during an interview “Had there not been you, there never would have been me.” By definition, a mentor is a more experienced and knowledgeable person who teaches and nurtures the development of a less experienced and knowledgeable person.
Whether you are just starting out in your career, starting a new business, going for a promotion with your current employer, or considering looking for a new role, mentoring can have a positive influence and impact on each and every step of your journey.
I consider myself to be incredibly lucky to have had amazing mentors, both in my personal and professional life for many years and I have also been fortunate enough to have mentored some amazing people over the past 15 years. I find significant joy thinking I helped them become better professionals, but also better people. I therefore firmly believe and have many examples to prove, that a mentor can be an invaluable asset and can play a significant role in your professional and personal success.
There are so many benefits of mentoring to the mentee, mentor and the organisation as a whole, such as:
Benefits to the mentee
- Strong professional and personal development
- Focuses on specific development areas/issues and provides an opportunity to identify a clear sense of personal direction and set goals
- Knowledge sharing with a more senior person, leading to opening doors and new possibilities, opportunities and provides expertise to tap into
- Increased self-confidence and motivation
- Opportunity to develop new skills and experience
- Opportunity to think about things in a different way and look at things differently
- Receives regular updates and feedback on performance
- Increases confidence levels and improved communication skills
Benefits to the mentor
- Increased job satisfaction from seeing others develop and succeed
- Increased recognition from peers
- Increased challenge, stimulation and motivation from the increased responsibility
- Creates opportunity for self-learning and development
- People are able to collaborate and manage change better
- Refreshes skills and experience, providing a renewed focus on their own development
- Helps to see issues from additional perspectives
- Helps to recognise and manage barriers to achievement
Benefits to the organisation
- You can use your own people to grow and develop your key people
- Better recruitment, retention and development of staff
- Enhances knowledge, experience and best practice transfer and promote cross-company learning
- Opportunity for leadership development, developing people and provides a solid succession plan
- Improved productivity, motivation and communication
- People are supported and encouraged to progress
- Employees have a clear direction and objectives
- Increased levels of innovation and continuous improvement in the way that employees approach their work
- Leaders and managers have productive conversations to solve business problems and capitalise on opportunities
- Facilitation of a learning culture
Mentoring has proved so beneficial to larger organisations that 71% of Fortune 500 companies offer mentoring programs to their employees. However, mentoring is also beneficial to small businesses. Research has shown that 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate compared with non-mentored entrepreneurs.
Whether your goal is to start a new business or to improve employee engagement, commitment, inclusion, or retention, mentoring may provide a valuable solution.
“A lot of people have gone much further than they thought they could simply because someone else believed they could.” Zig Ziglar