Mentoring is a formal or informal relationship between an experienced employee (the mentor) and a less experienced, or new, employee (the mentee). Typically, mentors provide mentees with actionable career guidance and expertise, helping them advance within their current roles and even prepare them for new ones.
Tips and Best Practices
A successful mentoring relationship is marked by trust and psychological safety, open communication, and collaboration on both sides. Both mentors and mentees are responsible for contributing to the relationship. Mentees must seek out advice when they need it, listen and evaluate that advice to determine whether or not to implement it, define their career goals, and play an active role in advancing their professional development. Mentors, on the other hand, are responsible for providing impactful advice and guidance, sharing best practices, and acting as a champion for their mentee’s career success.
Many companies across disciplines have implemented formal mentoring programs that have positively impacted the business. In fact, according to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, mentoring relationships improve productivity, engagement and retention.
A Mutually Beneficial Relationship
In the end, an effective mentoring relationship benefits both the mentor, who gains valuable leadership experience, and the mentee, who receives guidance and expertise as they work toward achieving their professional goals.