Mentoring - what is it and how to apply it?

Service Business

The foundation of the company is the people working in it. No wonder that not only employees care about development, also the employer wants his subordinates to expand their skills. There are many development opportunities, and mentoring is definitely one of them. What is it and is it worth betting on?

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is transferring knowledge to less experienced employees and introducing them into the company's structures. The student is assigned to a mentor who is his trainer and tries to expand his competences.

Mentoring is one of the ways of developing employee competencies and can take place at various levels: a mentor can teach a new employee, an employee who will be promoted or people who will manage the company.

The mentor usually knows the company very well, has extensive professional experience, is a specialist in his field and is able to transfer knowledge to others. It does not show superiority, does not instruct, and cooperates and supports.

The mentor may also be hired from an external company. This case helps, for example, in the case of superiors who would be afraid to talk about their weaknesses to those with whom they work on a daily basis. In addition, the external mentor looks at the company and its activities much more objectively.

What should mentoring look like?

In order for mentoring to be effective and to really broaden competences, it must be based on several principles.

The mentor knows that the student can solve problems and overcome obstacles, he has the necessary skills to do so. So if he encounters a problem that he cannot theoretically solve, the mentor does not give him a solution on a tray, but gives information that may help him identify the place where the obstacle is accumulating. Providing this information does not mean that the student will use it.

The student and mentor are equal, they treat each other as partners, try to understand each other, are empathetic, do not compete, trust and respect each other. Therefore, the cooperation between them is good. Neither side judges, condemns, and realizes that they do not need to have the same views to respect and understand each other.

The student should not feel submissive to the mentor. The mentor communicates his experiences, but does not instruct or give specific advice. She supports him by asking questions and awakening his potential rather than judging his abilities.

The mentor also looks at the situation broadly. It does not stop at the present, it takes into account the past and the future.

If the mentor and the student meet, the student chooses the topic of conversation or has to accept the topic suggested by the mentor. Mentoring is not about providing comprehensive knowledge, but about providing knowledge about a given problem.

The student must be mobilized to work and willing to develop. If one of the parties clearly shows that this form of cooperation does not suit them, then it does not make sense.

Why is mentoring worthwhile?

Mentoring benefits both parties - both for the mentor and the student. In addition to gaining knowledge and learning how to solve problems, it also allows the mentor to improve interpersonal skills.

In addition, thanks to this, introducing a new employee to the company is more effective, his adaptation is faster and more efficient, and the person associated with the company has no problems with such a task.

In addition, this form of competence training is simply free - usually the mentor is an employee of the company, therefore we do not invest money in external training or hiring, for example, a coach.

The mentor can also help the employee overcome the stress that comes with the new job. This is usually a situation that causes nervousness, which is lessened if there is someone we trust or respect with us.