Why Mentoring Works - A Tip from The Manager’s Answer Book

I’ve worked with many top-quality mentors during my business career and I hope you have been as fortunate as I was. It was an honor to work with generous people who willingly shared their expertise to help me hone my skills as a manager.

Remember when we thought that mentors had to be older people with many years of experience? Well, those days are over. A better definition of a mentor is “anyone who has knowledge you don’t have.” This new take on mentoring is playing out in organizations today as Millennials mentor Baby Boomers in how to get the most out of technology as often as Boomers mentor Millennials in how to survive office politics!

Mentoring relationships can be formal or informal and savvy organizations are installing mentoring programs to attract, engage, and retain the best talent available.  But, if your organization doesn’t have a mentoring program, don’t hesitate to look for a mentor on your own.

Mentoring is the classic win/win situation.  The mentee gains knowledge they didn’t have, and the mentor has the satisfaction that comes from doing something to benefit another. The organization wins as well with employees who are more engaged in their work and their commitment to your organization for providing them with mentoring opportunities!

Manager’s Tip:  If you want more ideas on mentoring, in our latest book, The Manager’s Answer Book -- we answer this question: “I’ve had wonderful people during my career who served as mentors and helped me get to the management level. I’d like to start a formal mentoring program and have the support of senior management to do so. Can you give me some ideas on how to get started?”

“Answer:  Good for you to want to ‘pay it forward’ and encourage mentoring in your organization. Mentoring is an excellent tool to develop staff that doesn’t cost much (or any) money but it can pay huge dividends for the individual and your organization, including your ability to hire talent employees. Smart job applicants ask if they might have a mentor to help them be productive if they join your organization. Other benefits of mentoring programs include the development of cross-organizational connections as people mentor employees from other departments and build channels of communication—often between people who might not have otherwise worked together.”

Check out more information on designing a formal mentoring program or selecting a mentor on page 138 of The Manager’s Answer Book available from Amazon -- https://tinyurl.com/y8umaqpz - Barnes & Noble or your local independent bookstore.  

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Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier. The Big Book of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.