Mentoring has been a part of life and the workplace since life began and since workplaces were formed. The skills and knowledge to survive and to learn were passed on from older wiser people.
In today’s complex and ever-changing world, mentoring is important. The benefits for the mentor, the person being mentored and the workplace are enormous; creating a learning environment that encourages knowledge sharing, networking and productivity.
Knowledge is listed as one of the most valuable assets in organisations today. Much of that knowledge will leave organisations over the next ten years as ‘baby boomers’ leave the workforce.
Importing labor is seen as one solution for managing a shrinking workforce. The transfer of knowledge to people from different cultures through mentoring is key to success.
Mentoring assists people to feel more connected to the workplace, promoting career and leadership development and encouraging big-picture thinking. Mentoring is the key for developing and sustaining a satisfying career path.
J Vocat, 2009, says that mentoring is associated with a wide range of favorable behavioral, attitudinal, health-related, relational, motivational and career outcomes.
Mentoring is an integral part of developing and retaining a diverse workforce.
Employees who are a part of a workplace mentor program, often report greater job satisfaction, which is an important factor when it comes to increasing employee retention and productivity. Trainees and/or apprentices who are mentored into work have an opportunity to form a trusted relationship with someone who is outside of their direct line of supervision and who is able to assist them to overcome barriers that may be preventing them from remaining in the workplace.
Managing diversity within the workplace means creating an environment where everyone is empowered to contribute to the workplace. Managing a diverse workplace requires sensitivity and awareness of other people’s cultural beliefs. Knowing how to articulate workplace expectations and understanding the expectations of employees with diverse backgrounds is vital to supporting diversity efforts and understanding how to use these differences to support the organisations core values.
Social mentoring, when done well, decreases recidivism, builds stronger families and increases participation in education. Mentoring within communities builds capacity and empowers individuals to create positive change for generations to come.
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