A mentor, according to Webster’s Dictionary is:
- experienced adviser and supporter: somebody, usually older and more experienced, who advises and guides a younger, less experienced person; or,
- trainer: a senior or experienced person in a company or organization who gives guidance and training to a junior colleague
In the HR world, having a mentor at work can be beneficial for all employees: new hires and those that have been with the organization for years. Building these types of relationships can be a positive for both the mentor and the person being mentored.
Most mentor relationships happen organically, you have a manager that you look up to or they take you “under their wing” and train you in the organization’s culture and job requirements. You are able to witness firsthand what the more experienced colleague has to offer and then learn from an example. This is a very natural way to be successful at work. It also helps to have similar thinking behaviors to make this relationship fully beneficial. If your organization is willing to help “Assign” mentors, consider using an assessment program (such as PXT employee assessments available from ExactHire) to help match up similar thinking and behavioral styles. Management can use these assessments to help guide mentor programs within their organizations.
But what do you do if you do not have a mentor at your organization? This could be because you are in upper management yourself; or, because it’s a small company and there is not a good fit for this type of relationship. Whatever the reason, there are other options for finding a mentor. (Regardless of your age or work experience, everyone can benefit from a mentor because there is always something new we can each learn!) Think outside the box! Or in this case, outside the company! Check for local groups that meet based on industry or interest. Use your networking skills to meet more people from other organizations, bigger or smaller. You will be surprised how quickly you will find someone who would be a suitable mentor. In some cases, you may even be able to help mentor each other, since you will each have unique things to offer in terms of past experience and training capabilities .
A mentor can be important in all aspects of our lives, when we are 6 or 60, whether work related or personal. Having a mentor can keep you focused and on track to achieving many successes in life. To find out more about our employee assessment products, please contact us today.