Benefits to individuals and organizations.

With a mentor as a guide, an employee quickly becomes more valuable to the company.
People who have made significant accomplishments often are asked the question, “Who made a difference in your life?” In response, many of them reflect upon a parent, teacher, friend, co-worker, manager or some other individual who took the time to listen and understand. “He took me under his wing” often is the phrase used to describe someone who took the time to educate a novice or inexperienced worker. “Mentor” is the title now used for such a person.

How Mentoring Works

In business, a mentor shares gained experience with those who are less knowledgeable. With their mentors as guides, protégés are instructed about the “lay of the land” and where the potholes are along the way. Organizations consist of individuals from diverse backgrounds. They bring a multitude of life and business experiences, and use these experiences to accomplish job-related tasks and navigate organizational waters.

When individuals are encouraged to share skills, you increase the general level of knowledge and experience for the entire community. It's like cooking. When you add spice to a pot of ingredients and stir, the added spice affects the flavor of everything in the pot. Its flavor permeates everything and enhances the overall flavor and quality of the dish. This is how the sharing of knowledge can affect organizations.

Getting Started

The mentoring process begins by establishing a clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish. Is it your goal to increase general or task-specific knowledge? Do you want to help staff members to realize personal goals or cross-train? What do you want participants to take away from the mentoring process? How do you want participants and the organization to be affected by the process?

Once you've determined your goals, you'll be in position to fill in the steps that will help you reach those goals.

Positive Change

The changes your organization experiences largely are based upon the goals you set and the effort put into the process. Mentoring programs have been known to positively change the lives of individuals and the organization that supports them. When individuals within an organization positively change their lives, attitudes and skill levels, the entire organization will be changed. Best of all, the mentor and protégé learn more about themselves and the life-changing contribution that can be made by the giving of time, knowledge and understanding.