Mentoring is one of the methods of teaching and developing an individual, where a more experienced person (mentor) shares their accumulated knowledge and experience with the less experienced individual (mentee, protégé).
Assessment of the need and opportunities for implementation the mentoring system. Before implementing the system, you need to determine how necessary it is. Usually, mentoring systems are essential in the following cases:
- Beginners, who have come to an already established team and are new at the workplace, need access to information so as to gain new skills. Moreover, they need human help and support to quickly overcome the difficulties of joining the new team.
- People who have great potential for self-development.
- To employees with low work efficiency - the overall productivity of the whole team depends on this.
The process of mentoring is realized through 4 stages:
- Developing a plan for mentee own development. The essence of the stage is in setting up the protégé (mentee) for the results necessary to them, and the role of the mentor is reduced to observation and minimal assistance in the plan development.
- Independent learning. At this stage, the role of the mentor is limited to the help in non-standard situations and the maintenance of the protege's motivation.
- Support. The most important stage. During this period the protégé will most often appeal to the mentor. However, an experienced mentor should not answer the question, but only point to the source of knowledge.
- Evaluation of results. Evaluation should be conducted by the protege, and the mentor should only indicate possible errors in the analysis.
The main advantages of mentoring as a method of personnel training. When used in production, mentoring can, at good cost, bring many benefits. All three parties, mentee, mentor, and business company, benefit from the mentoring process. To ensure mentoring success, it is desirable that the mentor and mentee work in the same organization.
Benefits for mentee:
- Accelerates mentee education.
- Develops mentee skills.
- Mentee learns to speak out their point of view.
Benefits for mentor:
- Mentor can learn new from the mentee.
- Develops leadership and mentoring skills for the mentor themselves.
Benefits for the company:
- Mentee, under the guidance of the mentor, is unlikely to make mistakes.
- Reducing the cost of training of a new employee at the workplace and make it easier for them to adapt to the new environment.
- Increasing employees’ loyalty to the company.
- The productivity of the mentor-mentee unit is higher than if they work separately.
- Decrease in staff turnover.
Common mistakes. In the process of mentoring, situations can arise that lead the whole process to unexpected results without any benefits. The most common mistakes are:
- Method mismatch. With all the advantages of mentoring, you cannot implement it in all spheres of business. And this method of training will bring very few benefits when it is being utilized in, for example, creative areas.
- Setting of incorrect goals and objectives. Mentoring must have concrete, achievable, and measurable goals. Otherwise, it can do more harm than good, or just lead to emotional exhaustion of all participants.
- Incompetence of mentors. Overestimation of own abilities by the mentor and, as a result, the lack of benefits of such mentoring.
Difference from coaching. Coaching is not aimed at transferring practical knowledge to the mentee, but on stimulating self-learning and self-development. More details about the difference between coaching and mentoring can be found in our article: https://mentoringgroup.com/what-is-coaching.html
Conclusion. It is possible to note a high increase in productivity and teamwork as a result of a properly structured mentoring process. Though, when referring to mentoring, you should always remember the possible shortcomings and peculiarities of the mentoring process.