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How to Cultivate Growth through Mentorship

by Charlotte Freed | Nov 30, 2018

Centerline is a Career CoachThe significance of mentorship shouldn’t be ignored when 75 percent of executives say that mentoring has been a crucial part of their career development. One of a number of surveys by the American Society for Training and Development show that organizations benefit from mentoring, with higher employee engagement and retention along with growth of high-potential employees. Mentoring aids growth in personal scenarios as well: 76 percent of at-risk young adults who have a mentor aspire to enroll and graduate in college, while only 50 percent of those without a mentor have these ambitions. Research and practice also suggest that specific attributes displayed by those in mentoring relationships include the ability to listen and to offer guidance, strengthened empathy and authenticity, and improved flexibility and openness. 

So how can you implement a mentorship program across your business to drive success, strengthen your team, and develop your own skills?

The American Society for Training and Development’s report highlights a number of recommendations, including:

Test the program

Instead of launching your entire workforce into a formal mentoring program immediately, try testing one among a select number of your team. You can use their feedback to determine the best steps moving forward or what to tweak with a larger group.

Evaluate results

While mentorship may seem like a difficult thing to gauge in effectiveness, it’s important to measure its success and evaluate what is and isn’t working. Determine what will be success points for you; checking in frequently allows you to make adjustments where necessary before the program ends.

Offer guidelines and training

Program participants should be trained well prior to taking on mentees: communication, listening, and feedback skills all play heavy roles in a mentorship role. If the participants have a clear idea of what is important and expected, they’ll be more likely to meet their goals.

Find a mentoring program that works for your business needs and your target audience. Not all plans are created equal, so take the time to research what makes sense for you. To reiterate the importance of a mentorship program in your organization, polls show that mentors develop new perspectives, improve leadership skills, and increase insight into their organizations. Just as importantly, mentees reap the benefits of professional development, better understanding of organizational culture, and cultivating new perspectives: all-around wins for everyone.

Written by Anna Mischke

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