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How Mentorship Can Benefit Your Business & Its Culture

Photo courtesy ©iStock/Getty Images/Thinkstock
Photo courtesy ©iStock/Getty Images/Thinkstock

I wonder if Benjamin Franklin had any idea how much power his statement,

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”

would carry for more than 223 years? 

When I read this quote, I immediately thought of the power within the statement, yet the lack of power he wanted to gain by saying it.

What exactly is power? Power should be defined as the ability to empower others. If you have the courage to pass along empowerment to your family, friends and your team, you are a powerful person.

Empowerment Through Mentoring

Empowering others through mentorship is an undeniable benefit to all parties involved. Mentoring is matching less experienced employees with seasoned employees to achieve specific goals. Mentoring produces a multitude of benefits for all parties involved including:

  • Open communication
  • Identifiable goals
  • Recognition of values
  • Shared expertise and experience

In addition, mentoring will secure engaged employees and provide your firm with a normal progression for succession planning.

Creating A Mentorship Program At Your Firm

You can create a mentorship program at your firm with just a few basic steps. Although these are basic steps, they are vital and will ensure your program starts with a solid foundation.

  • Establish expectations of each other
  • Determine how often you will meet
  • Set goals/agenda for each meeting
  • Evaluate progress

It is important to remember that both a mentor and a mentee contribute to the program. Each holds valuable skills and knowledge contributing to the overall success of your firm.

Who Should Be A Mentor

Mentoring is an incredibly fulfilling experience. Not everyone can or should be a mentor. A good mentor is wise and willing to share knowledge and experiences in order to help another person succeed. The number one characteristic a mentor must embody is trustworthiness.  The success of a mentorship program lies in the relationship between a mentor and a mentee. A mentor gains satisfaction by guiding others to success as well as obtaining a fresh perspective from the mentee. Innovation is vital in today’s business culture to stay in tune with new technology and trends. Therefore, the mentor must keep an open mind to modern ideas and advanced technology to enhance systems within your firm.

Knowing what to expect as a mentor is a key component to successful mentorship. Download our Mentoring Survey.

If you were to write a job description for a mentor, you should include some of these key responsibilities:

  • Skilled in a specific profession
  • Able to coach others in skill development
  • Willing to help others grow and develop
  • Willing to contribute professional knowledge and experience
  • Able to provide constructive feedback
  • Provide insight in relation to the core beliefs of your firm
  • Encouraging and patient
  • Ability to let others take credit for achievements

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”  John Crosby

Who Needs A Mentor

In actuality, everyone needs a mentor!

In today’s competitive landscape a mentoring relationship can give you an edge both personally and professionally. Having access to someone who can provide knowledge, support, insight and guidance will differentiate you from others.  A mentor can aide in shortened learning curves, provide new ideas and identify opportunities.

Having a mentor can be one of the most important keys to success.

Benefits of Mentoring

Company leadership should embrace, promote and value mentoring programs to realize a return on investment, according to Harvard Business Review writer Anthony K. TJan. He advises that business leaders develop a structured and staged approach to mentoring. For example, new employees should receive a “buddy” to learn the ropes and employees with a few years of experience should be matched with a career mentor to help them grow in their position.

Benefits of implementing a mentorship program are truly endless. You can expect employee growth and engagement, decreased turnover, higher employee satisfaction and increased production levels.

While fostering an employee’s growth, mentoring will aide your firm in time management, changed roles and responsibilities as well as succession planning.

“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.”-Unknown

How Does Your Firm Use Mentoring?     Share Your Comments!