Posted: October 23rd, 2013
The process of mentoring involves the articulation of an individual progressive association between the mentor and the mentee resulting into career development for the latter (Bozeman & Feeney, 2007). The main purpose of mentoring involves the development of the mentee. Such a development does not relay intense focus on the mentee’s current job, but it concentrates on its future. Nonetheless, the area of mentoring in organizations is a different vocation from management and, therefore, it requires an intimate description involving the constituents and externalities of the profession. Another purpose of mentoring involves enabling ease of adjustment for the mentee. In instances of new mentees, mentoring will allow the mentee to adapt effectively to the processes and culture of the organization.
Concept of Mentoring
Usually, entering practice within any profession creates a significant challenge to recently eligible practitioners. This is because it comprises a seminal stage that involves the practical application of proficiency, mind-set and knowledge attained throughout an educational program (Zachary, 2000). As such, mentoring allows the newly eligible individual to undergo educational learning regarding his or her new field in order to gain a grasp of the vocation through the integration of the learned skills. Additionally, mentoring also allows sharing the experience, especially on the part of the mentor towards the mentee. Furthermore, the notion of mentoring provides the opportunity to ensure support and advice based on the personal and vocational challenges that the mentee may be facing in the process of adapting to the new environment.
Aspects of the Mentor-Mentee Relationship
One factor encompassing the relationship involves the adoption of a self-learning approach with regard to the mentee conducted by the mentor. Another aspect with respect to the mentor in the mentor-mentee relationship involves the recognition of resources and limitations. Usually, a mentor will assess the costs and benefits that arise from mentoring (Megginson, 2006). As such, the mentor focuses on facilitating or restricting learning by considering the availability of the required resources and their limitations. Another factor involves the ability to spare time by the mentor irrespective of numerous and vital duties.
The mentee also facilitates the progress of the relationship by observing various issues. One of them is the factor, which involves planning for the mentoring meeting. As such, the mentee should ensure that he or she plans for the mentoring process, constructs questions and sets particular goals. Another factor involves seeking feedback for the performance. By doing this, the mentee actually indicates interests in his or her productive capacity. The last factor involving the mentee’s perspectives is concerned with satisfaction. The mentee should determine whether he or she is satisfied with current relationship.
Models of Mentoring
One model of mentoring is the one-to-one model. The latter turns out beneficial due to its predisposition towards personalization (Zachary, 2005). With this pattern, the mentor is able to teach and change the mentee using techniques that receive exclusive application to the mentee. Furthermore, the model allows the mentor to pay close attention to and focus on the mentee. Another mentoring pattern is the group model. A merit of such kind of interaction involves the reduction of costs incurred. The model also allows the mentor to save time. The last pattern is associated with e-mentoring. A merit of the model related to e-mentoring is that it is easily accessible by the mentees in different locations. Additionally, the pattern allows the mentor to save costs incurred based on different regions the mentees live in (Zachary, 2005).
Suitability of Mentoring in Learning & Development Intervention
As development intervention, mentoring is useful in situations that feature the employee requiring considerable assistance in the areas of specialization, expertise and information. As such, mentoring provides the learner with the opportunity to enhance technical and personal aptitudes in order to address certain developmental tasks. In learning, mentoring may be efficient, especially in teaching new employees regarding their new vocations within the organization (Zachary, 2005). As such, mentoring will focus on augmenting job-related understanding and proficiency for the current timeline. As such, a situation in which mentoring is suitable involves enabling a new mentee to adjust to the new workplace environment through the interpersonal role played by the manager in ensuring relief. Nonetheless, mentoring may not be suitable where the supposed mentees already possesses the experience and knowledge required for his vocation within his organization. As such, mentorship in this case shifts to training.
Benefits to Individual and Organization
For the Individual
One benefit of mentoring involves the enhancement of development outcomes. This means that the individual gains understanding, methodological and behavioral augmentations regarding the respective vocation. Mentoring also enables a person to conduct an effectual and improved management of job goals and objectives. Furthermore, mentoring allows the individual to develop a broader network of impacts within the organization. Finally, mentoring enables the individual to gain improved poise and self-consciousness which assists in modeling of the performance and involvement in the firm (Stone, 2004).
For the Organization
Primarily, mentorship initiates considerable influence, especially with respect to recruitment and maintenance. As such, mentoring provides the firm with an accurate method of determining eligible employees that are beneficial to the firm. Secondly, mentoring allows firms to induce effectual sequential planning, which in its turn, provides the company with the ability to adjust to changes. Finally, mentoring amplifies productivity through better commitment and job contentment (Stone, 2004).
Introducing Mentoring at the Workplace
Before introducing mentoring at the workplace, two factors should receive consideration One of them involves the conduction of a needs assessment. The needs assessment will allow the organization to consider why mentoring is essential, what the firm seeks to gain from the program, and the elements that the program should comprise. Another factor that requires consideration involves planning for the program (Ragins & Kram, 2008). The firm should regard planning as an effective step, since the act would provide the firm with the guidelines necessary to design and implement the effective mentoring program.
Role of the Mentor in the Mentoring Relationship
The mentor plays various roles in mentoring relationship. Even though, the mentor holds a key authoritative position within such an intercourse, he or she occupies an interpersonal role in which his or her authority does not translate into a bureaucratic association with the mentee, but rather it relates to personal attachment with the mentee (Allen, 2003). As such, the mentor takes up the role of a guide, as he or she acts as a supervisor and a counselor in addressing the mentee’s issues.
Indeed, mentoring is a vital process within every organization. Even though mentoring gains applications in numerous areas, the objectives and elements encompassing the process are similar irrespective of its application context. Nonetheless, organizations should encourage significant use of mentoring as a viable means to perform the selection, recruitment and retention process within the workplace.
Allen, T. D. (February 01, 2003). Mentoring Others: A Dispositional and Motivational Approach. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 62, 1, 134-154.
Bozeman, B., & Feeney, M. (January 01, 2007). Toward a Useful Theory of Mentoring. Administration & Society, 39, 6, 719-739.
Megginson, D. (2006). Mentoring in action: A practical guide. London: Kogan Page.
Ragins, B. R., & Kram, K. E. (2008). The handbook of mentoring at work: Theory, research, and practice. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
Stone, F. M. (2004). The mentoring advantage: Creating the next generation of leaders. Chicago: Dearborn Trade Pub.
Zachary, L. J. (2000). The mentor’s guide: Facilitating effective learning relationships. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Zachary, L. J. (2005). Creating a mentoring culture: The organization’s guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
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