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A Mentor Is Key in Employee Development

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A mentor is an employee who participates in a formal or informal relationship that is established between an experienced, knowledgeable employee and an inexperienced or new employee. The purpose of a mentor is to help the new employee quickly absorb the organization’s cultural and social norms. The mentor also assists an employee, new to a specific job or area of responsibility, to quickly learn what they need to know to succeed in their job and role.

A mentor is provided in addition to the other components in a new employee onboarding process. A mentor for employee onboarding may be the peer of the new employee, a coworker who is more knowledgeable and experienced or a supervisor or team leader.

Other relationships with a mentor develop spontaneously and over time. Or, an employee can seek out a mentor because he or she wants to experience the power of a mentoring relationship in his or her career growth. The mentor is often a more experienced employee or manager who can offer the mentee (employee receiving mentoring) additional information that the employee wants or needs.

All mentoring relationships are encouraged as research indicates that employees who experience mentoring are retained, learn more quickly, and assimilate into the company culture more effectvely.

The Mentoring Buddy

In some organizations, an employee called a buddy, is assigned to a new employee for new employee orientation and onboarding. The buddy performs a role that is like the mentor's but the buddy is usually a coworker and more experienced peer of the new employee. The mentoring buddy is expected to do everything he or she can to assist the new employee to become fully knowledgeable about and integrated into the organization. The buddy relationship can last a long time and the employees may even become friends.

Additional information about mentoring offers advice on what a mentor does and how to find a mentor. These are the top 15 characteristics of a successful mentor.

Describe the impact of a mentor on your work and life.

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Also Known As: buddy

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