Who have been your most effective mentors?

What mentoring brings to companies, mentees and mentors

Even in our time of accelerated change, the experience of experienced workers counts. One way of ensuring the transfer of experience is through mentoring. Long established in large companies, mentoring programs are also beginning to gain a foothold in medium-sized companies.

Mentoring programs are possible within and across companies. In a series in the HR channel from buchreport.de describes the coach and mentoring expert Agnes Senger using the example of theMentoring program for young publishershow professional mentoring works. In the second part of this series it highlights the advantages that mentoring has for companies, mentors and mentees.

Mentoring is a win for everyone

Mentoring has proven to be one of the most valuable and effective development opportunities a company can offer its employees. Not only do mentees benefit from the personal and professional advantages of mentoring, but the companies carrying out the work also benefit continuously.

From recruiting and promoting skilled workers, expanding management skills to strengthening the entire corporate culture, mentoring promotes a special professional and emotional bond with the company.

In addition to my own experience from various workshops with mentors and mentees, in this article I will refer to various current studies and surveys that demonstrate the effectiveness of mentoring.

Basically, it can be said that with the right conception and qualification as well as conscious expectation management, all those involved - companies, mentors and mentees - benefit equally from mentoring.

Benefits for the company

On the one hand, companies need to position themselves well in the battle for skilled workers. A mentoring program can be used to attract attention. This advantage is reflected in the survey by Robert Walters Germany & Switzerland among 130 employees and employers, where 86 of the respondents consider mentoring for aspiring young professionals to be particularly important. Prof. Ulrike Weber and Prof. Ute Rademacher, University professors at the International School of Management in Hamburg, examined the topic of mentoring in today's context. This shows that just by mentioning a mentoring program in the application process, graduates and young professionals have positive expectations with regard to culture and development in the company.

In addition, it can be proven that mentoring can promote both the professional and emotional bond between mentors and mentees and the company, which can reduce employee turnover. An investigation in 2017 by the ATD (Association for Talent Development) With 969 participants, 285 of whom took part in a formal mentoring program, the results were very positive: It showed that 50% of the companies with a mentoring program showed a higher level of employee engagement and loyalty.

46% of the respondents also said that they were using the mentoring program Development of their leaders support. Mentoring not only improves the soft skills of the mentees, but mentors also say they develop “professional self-confidence” and are strengthened as managers. 49% develop new leadership qualities from mentoring such as active listening, other communication methods and a change of perspective.

Mentoring promotes a culture of exchange and employees experience that the company is ready to invest in this exchange of knowledge. Mentoring can be a cost-effective and high-quality solution to preserve the knowledge of employees and to disseminate it in the company. Mentoring gives the mentee the knowledge they need for projects or processes that is geared towards their professional development needs. This increases both productivity and engagement.

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Benefits for mentors

As already mentioned, mentors develop important leadership and social skills through mentoring. It also improves the mentor's ability to develop and develop human relationships.

Mentors have the opportunity to reflect on their own professional career and share their most important (learning) successes with their mentees. According to the 2017 ATD study, 59% of mentors report that working with mentees has opened up new perspectives and horizons. Mentors who encourage their mentees to think about important aspects of their work (life) and to question goals and habits tend to use this method more often on themselves.

The feeling and the ability to pass on knowledge and experience to the mentee promotes one's own self-esteem and is perceived as satisfactory - especially when one receives appreciation and recognition from the mentee and the company for the work as a mentor.

In my groups, the mentors - like the mentees - find networking with like-minded people at eye level to be particularly enriching. In addition, mentoring promotes a positive attitude, since as a mentor you strive to promote positive traits, skills and abilities. This not only encourages the mentee, but also the mentor.

Many mentors enjoy dealing with fresh starters, mentees from other hierarchical levels or even other departments. In this way, mentoring promotes the general satisfaction of the mentors, as they promote other people and can thus participate in their successes.

Benefits for mentees

Mentoring gives mentees the opportunity to reflect on concrete examples from their everyday professional life with an experienced person and thereby develop further both professionally and personally. Through an external perspective and the feedback from the mentors, mentees can review and adjust their perception of others and themselves and their impact within the company.

The requirements of a company for young professionals become clearer through mentoring. In addition, mentees gain a better understanding of the explicit and implicit rules and expectations of the organization. In the 2017 ATD survey, 30% of mentees mentioned that mentoring gave them a better understanding of the culture of their organization or company.

Mentoring gives mentees the security that many of them need so that they dare to ask questions - but also to ask for help. Mentoring gives them new perspectives on their abilities and supports them in their process of self-reflection.

The input from mentors is also particularly enriching and groundbreaking for career planning, communication skills and time and self-management. The strengthening of the skills and effectiveness that usually result from mentoring also enables mentees to confidently stand up for their own concerns.

Mentoring helps many mentees to compare personal goals, ideas and values ​​with those of the company and to find a better fit. This is one possible explanation for the reports of many mentees that they have made great leaps forward in their career development through mentoring. There are even Studies that prove itthat participants in mentoring programs earn more on average and are promoted more often.

Summary and conclusion

Profit for companies:

  • Increase in attractiveness as an employer
  • Share and keep knowledge in companies
  • Retaining employees and promoting commitment

Benefit for mentors:

  • Receive appreciation and recognition
  • Expand social and leadership skills
  • Develop new perspectives

Profit for mentees:

  • Career development
  • Expansion of social and self-regulation and leadership skills
  • Expansion of action and problem-solving skills through feedback

The advantages of mentoring for companies, mentors and mentees can hardly be contradicted. However, in order to successfully establish a mentoring program, individual and organizational potential must be identified on the one hand, and risks and limits must be weighed on the other. In the third part of this series, I show what that means in concrete terms and how to start a mentoring program and thus establish a mentoring culture.

Agnes Senger is Manager Training & Operations at the Berlin TAM Akademie GmbH, which supports companies in personnel development by working in TAM Leadership Program Trains managers to become coaches and mentors for their employees in the New Work Facilitator Training Turns organizational developers into change experts and in the BusinessTrainertraining trains and certifies trainers himself.