The Aim of the Mentoring
The aim of the formal mentoring programme is to provide a platform through which experiences can be shared on a one-to-one informal confidential basis thus providing support to people at various stages in their career.
What is Mentoring
Mentoring essentially is a whole person development tool used by organisations to nurture and develop their staff. Mentoring occurs when there is a relationship between two people in a work setting for the purpose of passing on knowledge and information, sharing wisdom and experience, and offering advice and help in a confidential manner. Mentoring therefore can be defined as:
“…….off-line help by one person to another in making significant transitions in knowledge work and or thinking”
The term “off-line” in this context, means that the mentoring relationship is not between the manager and the immediate subordinate. Mentoring generally means to give advice and guidance to others by either helping newcomers settle in or in providing a role model for existing staff. For example, a mentor can highlight organisational cultural issues and invisible roadblocks which an organisation chart cannot do. Mentors focus on the development of the learner, giving time and attention beyond the extent of the manager. Development usually takes place ‘as required’ at a pace which suits the individual.
Definition of Mentoring
Understanding of the term ‘mentoring’ varies widely and is often used interchangeably with the word ‘coaching’. It is important to start by being able to give a definition of what is meant by mentoring in the context of what is being attempted. The following are some examples of definitions of mentoring from a variety of organisations and some of the classic generic definitions:
- Mentoring is a term used to help, advise and guide employees through the complexities of the business.(Avaya).
- Mentoring at EDS is a mutual learning partnership inwhich individuals assist each other with personal and career development through mentoring, role modelling, counselling, sharing knowledge and providing emotional support.(EDS).
- Creating possibilities and providing guidance and support to others in a relationship of trust; it includes facilitating, bringing visions to life and enabling people to achieve. (Henley Management College 2000).
- Offline help by one person to another in making significant transitions in knowledge, work or thinking. (Megginson& Clutterback1995).
- A relationship, not just a procedure or activity, where one person professionally assists the development of another outside of the normal manager / subordinate relationship.(Abbey).
- A mentor is that person who achieves a one-to-one developmental relationship with a learner; and one whom the learner identifies as having enabled personal growth to take place. (Bennetts1994).
Benefits of Mentoring
To the Mentee
- A smoother adjustment to a new role orposition
- Help in acquiring more quickly and comprehensively the skills and knowledge that theyneed
- Help with the necessary choices in the development of their careers
- Access to someone more senior than themselves, otherthan their linemanager
- A greater understanding of both the formal and informal workings of theorganisation
To the Mentor
- Increased motivation and self-esteem brought about by the mentoringrole
- Greater respect and recognition from staff in theorganisation
- An opportunity to hone and improve their own management skills, particularly advisory and supporting skills in a safe environment
- An opportunity to learn about the perspectives and views of others less senior than themselves and in other parts of the organisation
- A chance to influence and improve communications with others in theorganisation
To the organisation
- An opportunity for staff to be encouraged, supported and motivated to reach theirpotential
- Greater job satisfaction, morale and commitment by mentors and mentees to theirwork
- Improved work performance ofmentees
- Leading to a more stableculture
- Improved communication through linking different departments and levels within theorganisation
- Established routes for effective career development that can aid the recruitment of high calibrestaff