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Why Mentoring Matters

Productivity and growth can be achieved for individuals when they are guided and mentored by those who were in similar positions before them. With Bangladesh experiencing growth across various fields, mentorship is going to play a pivotal role to be better at one’s work. Nurjahan Khan, a communications expert from the US, writes on how mentoring shapes the leaders of tomorrow through what they are taught today.

Corporations globally invest millions to billions of dollars yearly in training programs to promote specific skills and attributes among employees. However, according to a Harvard Business Review (HBR), most leadership programs do not work as people had to revert to their old ways due to the work environment and organizational structure.

The HBR findings have also discovered that leadership programs have only worked for those companies who have developed a culture where leadership skills are applied in daily work, and various training sessions were conducted as per requirement. What about most of the organizations where the programs do not work? What can they do?

The key to get the most from the multigenerational workforce and promote authentic leadership is to provide mentorship. A recent research by HBR discovered that mentorship could do wonders even in a hybrid workplace which has been created during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mentoring is a powerful way to develop skills, build confidence, and learn from others. Thus, it can be used as an effective tool for developing leaders for numerous organizations. Let’s check out how leadership mentoring can help the employees, the mentors, and the organization.

Producing positive outcomes

Most millennials perceive jobs to be opportunities to learn and grow. They want to develop their current skills and learn new skills while working at an organization. According to a study by Gallup, 87% of millennials stated that professional growth and development opportunities are crucial for them in a job. On the other hand, according to a study by CNBC, 91% of people who have a mentor showed satisfaction with their jobs. Managers who will get the opportunity to mentor younger employees and develop their skills will also be satisfied with the company’s thoughtful initiative.

Happy employees will stay longer with the company decreasing the rate of turnover. Additionally, mentoring has the power to attract high-quality candidates to the pipeline while nurturing the current employees. Thus, leadership mentoring will benefit the organization to achieve business goals.

Establishing personal fulfilment

Even if leadership mentoring is technically for the benefit of the mentees; however, mentors gain a lot of experience from it too. In addition, teaching the younger employees about specific skills allows the mentors to feel unique and proud with the notion that they are contributing their knowledge and expertise to create future leaders. Thus, it can motivate the leaders to enhance their skill-sets to mentor more people further.

Consequently, mentors trying to gain more knowledge to enhance their teaching style will further strengthen their leadership skills. On the other hand, mentees will gain valuable lessons from the mentors, which will boost their daily interactions, decision-making process, and responsibilities as team members. Both of these will be beneficial for the organization, which will continue to grow and innovate.

Building stronger relationships

Mentoring allows to create new relationships, establish networks and support systems for the mentees. Mentors are exposed to people from various backgrounds, interests, and personalities, which diversify their communication skills. The relationship can also trigger self-reflection among them, which will lead to improved self-awareness. Understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses can significantly impact daily work between mentors and mentees, especially encouraging them to work on their areas of improvement.

Mentorship helps to increase the inclusions of underrepresented employees of the organizations. According to leading international executive search company Heidrick & Struggles, 30% of women stated that a mentorship relationship has been highly crucial for them. It is also encouraged for men to mentor women employees because it will lessen gender inequality. Unfortunately, men still hold the vast majority of senior positions across multiple industries. Thus, they need to mentor talented junior women who might not get the advocacy and support they need for their career growth. We need to remember, inclusion cannot wait for anything, not even a pandemic.

Fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce benefits the employees while promoting innovation and the organization’s financial growth. 

Improving company culture

Mentorship demonstrates the corporation’s commitment to understanding employees’ needs and developing their skill-sets. When employees feel that they are being taken care of it will heighten productivity level and retention. Additionally, it will increase employee engagement. According to CNBC, 9 out of 10 workers with mentors are satisfied with their jobs. Employees with mentors are likely to receive better wages and feel more valued due to their contributions to their job. Strengthening the culture and increasing employee engagement will heighten productivity level, decrease turnover, and lower expenses of the corporation while enhancing the company’s branding in the market making the organization a great place to work.

In a time of dramatic change, mentorship can anchor us and build meaningful connections while developing the skills of the multigeneration workforce. Moreover, successful mentorship helps mentors and mentees enhance their skills and ultimately boost the organization’s growth. Thus, it has become vital for companies globally, including Bangladesh, to focus on mentorship.

According to a study by HBR, over 90% of mentors stated that teaching other employees has helped them become better leaders or managers at work. On the other hand, learning from leaders can help the young employees strengthen their current skill-sets, develop new abilities, experience career growth, and enhance leadership attributes. As a millennial myself, I can attest that mentorship is crucial for career growth and developing skills. Throughout my career, I have got the opportunity to be mentored by numerous talented people who helped me find and develop new skills and brought me out of my comfort zone to boost my leadership skills.

There is another simple way to confirm why mentorship is essential for anyone, especially for the growth of an organization. Ask yourself, if you are given the opportunity, then would you instead be guided and mentored by an expert who will help with your personal and career development, or would you like to be told what you should do or how you should do it?

In reflection of the question, we hope most people will understand why mentorship is crucial for the growth of both employees and the organization.

Nurjahan Khan is a communication professional with years of experience working with multiple industries under her belt, including telecommunication, technology, medical, hospitality, and education. She has graduated in Marketing from the State University of New York, The College of Brockport, USA. She can be reached at [email protected].

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