What Does a Mentor's Role Look Like?
In working with younger or new employees, a mentor can support and help the firm grow while helping guide a mentee’s career. This can be achieved by allowing mentees to talk about what is on their mind, and by helping them become more involved with the operations and goals of the company. Implicit in this process is the compatibility of the mentor and mentee in terms of their roles, experiences, and skills. The process should help and should be divided into stages, not a one-time event.
The mentor explains the company’s culture, its values, the existence and value of teamwork, how the company treats and communicates with customers, and how the mentee’s actions can become compatible with the company’s goals. Mentees should be made aware of growth and advancement possibilities and be able to envision a positive future. They should receive an explanation of the company’s mission statement, how to relate, work with, and get along with co-workers and clients, and how and why people succeed in the company. The mentee should hopefully learn what the leaders in the firm expect of its employees.
- Coach with a sincere attitude of contributing to the employee's success.
- Nurture a relationship on a professional level.
- Create a mentoring environment in which the mentee can feel comfortable enough to ask for help in the development process.
- Emphasize support, not criticism.
- Help develop skills--through observation.
- Give and receive feedback. Mentors should feel secure enough to discuss the feedback received from others. In order to develop and utilize their talents and skills, as well as, to help identify strategies for success.
Mentor gives feedback
- To assist the employee on becoming self-reliant.
- At the beginning of a new assignment or a repeat assignment.
- Including praise for a good job.
- Offering ways to make improvements.
After each stage of the mentoring process, the mentor evaluates the mentee. In this way, the mentee’s development is bench marked, while skills and areas of improvement are identified.