In the business world that we live in there is rarely company mentors for subordinates to learn and model themselves around. The word “mentor” is defined as a “wise and trusted counsellor”.
In the past, long term career path planning and succession planning was clearly outlined to employees. Thirty years service and a gold watch were not unusual.
As the market becomes more volatile, the less companies are providing cadet programs, apprenticeships and structured career path planning. There is a noticeable absence of mentoring programs and “captains” to learn from.
Companies and individuals need to make a concerted effort to identify “mentors” and “buddies” for new incumbents to learn from. Human resource departments need to structure “divisional” mentors to enable staff development and organisational development.
It is a well-known phenomenon that women talk and share more effectively and that young males need mentors such as sports coaches and teachers to learn from during their teenage years.
It only follows that the workplace also needs to provide these types of leadership and support to enable and empower the development of employees.
The school system has over the last decade adopted a buddy system where older school children assist in the induction of new school entrants. This has been an enormous success and reduced the amount of “bullyism” in schools.
When interviewing, I frequently have found that “high achievers” in the workplace have very often referred to having a number of mentoring programs throughout their career.
In conclusion, mentoring is certainly worth a mention. I encourage you to look inside your organisations and look for aspiring company mentors and mentoring programs.
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