New-hire mentoring programs are set up to help new employees acclimate more quickly into the organization. In new-hire mentoring programs, newcomers to the organization (protégés) are paired with more experienced people (mentors) in order to obtain information, good examples, and advice as they advance. It has been claimed that new employees who are paired with a mentor are twice as likely to remain in their job than those who do not receive mentorship
These mentoring relationships provide substance for career growth, and benefit both the mentor and the mentee. For example, the mentor gets to show leadership by giving back and perhaps being refreshed about their own work. The organization receives an employee that is being gradually introduced and shaped by the organization’s culture and operation because they have been under the mentorship of an experienced member. The person being mentored networks, becomes integrated easier in an organization, gets experience and advice along the way. It has been said that “joining a mentor’s network and developing one’s own is central to advancement” and this is possibly why those mentored tend to do well in their organization.
In the organizational setting, mentoring usually “requires unequal knowledge”, but the process of mentorship can differ. Bullis describes the mentoring process in the forms of phase models. Initially, the “mentee proves himself or herself worthy of the mentor’s time and energy”. Then cultivation occurs which includes the actual “coaching…a strong interpersonal bond between mentor and mentee develops”. Next, under the phase of separation “the mentee experiences more autonomy”. Ultimately, there is more of equality in the relationship, termed by Bullis as Redefinition.
Mentoring is a tool that organizations can use to nurture and grow their people. It can be an informal practice or a formal program. Protégés observe, question, and explore. Mentors demonstrate, explain and model. The following assumptions form the foundation for a solid mentoring program.
Deliberate learning is the cornerstone. The mentor’s job is to promote intentional learning, which includes capacity building through methods such as instructing, coaching, providing experiences, modeling and advising.
Both failure and success are powerful teachers. Mentors, as leaders of a learning experience, certainly need to share their “how to do it so it comes out right” stories. They also need to share their experiences of failure, ie., “how I did it wrong”. Both types of stories are powerful lessons that provide valuable opportunities for analyzing individual and organizational realities.
Leader need to tell their stories. Personal scenarios, anedcotes and case examples, because they offer valuable, often unforgettable insight, must be shared. Mentors who can talk about themselves and their experiences establish a rapport that makes them “learning leaders.”
Development matures over time. Mentoring — when it works — taps into continuous learning that is not an event, or even a string of discrete events. Rather, it is the synthesis of ongoing event, experiences, observation, studies, and thoughtful analyses.
Mentoring is a joint venture. Successful mentoring means sharing responsibility for learning. Regardless of the facilities, the subject matter, the timing, and all other variables. Successful mentoring begins with setting a contract for learning around which the mentor, the protégé, and their respective line managers are aligned.
A checklist – to become a good mentor; Are you one?
2. Character (Trust /Admire)
3. Similar Goals
4. Availability for interaction.
6. Caring (care about success just as much as the protégé do)
7. Positive (People want to work with other positive people)
8. Focus ( not only focus on protégé and what would like to achieve, but also help you focus)
9. Believes in You (believe in your potential)
10. Open and Honest (Openness and honesty also help build credibility and trust among the mentor and protégé)