Why mentoring is important for a new employee, even when they have experience

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A well run mentoring program is an incredibly valuable asset for any large or medium sized corporation.

The role of a mentor is to assist in the personal and professional development of a mentee through knowledge sharing, and usually involves the mentor and mentee meeting regularly so that they can share any concerns they may have, discuss progress and set career goals for future development.

Mentors may also guide their mentees through a variety of work-related tasks, walk them through problem solving exercises and review and critique the mentee’s work.

This type of guidance is invaluable in a lot of job roles but is particularly helpful within the IT software support sector. As the world of technology is so fast moving and dynamic, having an experienced and knowledgeable senior colleague to turn to for support and tutelage can be absolutely priceless, leading to increased employee satisfaction, productivity and effective career development.

Corporate mentoring can also take on several forms, from something as simple as a buddy scheme for entry level employees, to more experienced career mentors for individuals who have been with the organization for a number of years and are focused on progressing to the next level.

Below are some of the key benefits mentees can take from an organization’s corporate mentoring scheme.

1. Increased self-confidence

Having a mentoring program in place sends out the right signals to new employees from the very outset. It demonstrates that management recognizes them as a valuable resource and is willing to invest in their future career development.

Mentoring, additionally, helps newer employees feel less isolated within an organization, as they know they have a friendly ear for them to ask any questions or voice any concerns.

This all speeds up the employee onboarding process, enabling new members of staff to integrate within the organization, in the fastest possible time.

2. Provides invaluable feedback and an opportunity to learn

A key aspect of learning is being able to listen to constructive feedback and gain an insight into personal strengths and weaknesses. This is exactly what corporate mentoring provides. Moreover, this is achieved in a very precise and targeted manner.

While traditional classroom training programs do have their place, mentoring is often specifically orientated around the achievement of personal goals tied in with on the job projects and assignments. This provides mentees with a sharper focus on what they really need to do to progress within the organization and reach their potential.

This exchange of ideas between mentor and mentee also helps develop vital communication, interpersonal, change management and leadership skills.

3. Develops familiarity with corporate culture and values

Almost every organization has its own culture and set of unspoken rules, requiring a period of adjustment for new employees to get to grips with.

Mentoring speeds up this process, helping new starters acclimatize faster. Mentors are also an important networking contact for their mentees, not only are they able to provide introductions to other members of staff from across the organization, but their seniority can help make ambitious young employees more visible to senior management, ensuring their hard work is not going unnoticed.

4. Helps promote diversity in the workplace

Mentoring is great for diversity because it ensures that employees, no matter what their background may be, have a voice within the organization, and have an outlet to discuss any issues they might have.

Corporate mentoring therefore helps maintain a well-balanced, diverse workforce, enabling talent from all walks of life and backgrounds to rise up to the top.

5. Mentoring helps mentors too

Mentoring actually benefits both parties involved, as well as the organization. This is because mentors take tremendous personal and professional pride from being able to give something back to the organization and help develop a younger colleague’s career.

This has an energizing effect on the mentor’s own career and helps identify them as something of an expert within a particular area of IT or business development.

Ha Le-Minh, a delivery manager at Tek Experts, Vietnam, explains what it takes to be a mentor and how the personal rewards are sizeable.

“To be a good mentor, first of all you have to know what you are doing. You need to have deep knowledge of the day-to-day job. Secondly you have to encourage the newcomer and help them understand the team environment and goals, so they know what their future path would be.

“My reward is the results the newcomers achieves. If, in a month, I feel that the new employee fits well in the team, engages with their colleagues in a meaningful way and are able to do their job well – that’s my job done well.”