I think mentor programs in the workplace are highly advantageous for everyone involved from the mentor, the mentee, to the organization itself. According to Labin, mentoring relationships “drive results, challenge talent, and change careers for the better” (Labin, 2017).
I think mentoring programs are excellent for aligning new hires with the organization and can often fill in the blanks of areas not learned through the traditional training class, such as the culture. Mentor programs foster relationships that are built on trust, provide exclusive insight, and can empower mentees to want to further their career to the next level.
There can be some disadvantages to mentoring programs such as:
Not having enough mentors involved
Not having the support from Senior leadership
Participants can be unsatisfied with the program
In order for the pros to outweigh the cons, it’s important to involve key stakeholders in the planning phase. The program should have a clearly defined purpose and a process should be designed to measure its success. The purpose should be based upon the talent needs of the business and from a senior leadership perspective (to gain and retain buy-in).
It’s always a good thing to sell the benefits of the program to all interested parties so that it is a win/win for all involved. The mentor has the ability to further develop their leadership skills. The mentee has a unique opportunity to connect and learn from a subject matter expert. The organization is able to recycle knowledge and talent which in turn increases the pool of internal candidates to fill vacant leadership positions.
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