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Use Mentoring to Develop Employees


A woman leans over another woman pointing out something on the computer screen

Mentoring Is Available from More Experienced Coworkers

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Mentoring is a formal or informal relationship established between an experienced, knowledgeable employee and an inexperienced or new employee. The purpose of the mentoring relationship is to help the new employee quickly absorb the organization’s cultural and social norms. Mentoring 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.

Mentoring can involve a formal exchange of knowledge and information and can be evaluative in nature to assess the assimilation of the new employee in his or her new role. Mentoring is provided in addition to your new employee onboarding process and should have different content and goals.

The best mentoring relationships involve the exchange of a particular body of knowledge that helps the new employee quickly come up to speed as a contributor within your organization. Mentoring helps the employee navigate the learning curve inherent in any new role and relationship.

Many organizations assign a mentor as part of their formal employee onboarding process. Other mentoring relationships develop spontaneously and over time. 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.

A mentoring relationship frequently occurs between an employee and their immediate supervisor; in fact, this was the normal mentoring relationship in the past. These mentoring relationships are still encouraged, but it is recommended that employees and organizations pursue additional mentoring relationships. A mentoring relationship with a supervisor never loses the evaluation aspects necessary for the employee to succeed within your organization.

Mentoring is a skill and an art that can be developed over time.

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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