Mentorship: Five reasons why businesses benefit from mentors
Mentorship is one of the oldest and most trusted methods of passing along experience and practical knowledge in almost any professional lane or walk of life.
In the past, mentorship was commonplace. You started in a new position, you were introduced to a more experienced counterpart and they showed you the ropes, treated you to “secret knowledge” and generally expedited the onboarding process by providing a direct path to useful knowledge that had been tested.
The fact of the matter is that millennials—the generation making up the largest section of the workforce in many industries, including CPG—want mentors.
5 Benefits of Mentorship
Mentors provide invaluable knowledge to individuals just starting in unique working environments. They have been where the new employee is, can empathize and have seen their workplace grow and change. They know what not to do and what it takes to be successful within their company’s brand.
Confidence is key to being successful in any position, but it should always be a feeling rooted in effectiveness and efficiency. A mentor offers an outside perspective and the constructive criticism a fresh employee needs to excel, amending and adjusting their professional process or practices to fit their current role within a business.
A mentor is, as a rule, someone who is trusted, an employee who has established themselves and is personable enough to be granted the responsibility of introducing a new hire to their company culture. That mentor can and should provide introductions as well as guidance. Being the “new kid” can be a daunting prospect and mentorships can provide an inside track to starting those relationships that make us more comfortable at work.
We all fail at some point. We can’t initially grasp a concept or process. We say the wrong thing or nothing at all during a meeting. Being in the workforce can be a daily challenge to one’s confidence, especially if you’re in a place that is unfamiliar where you have yet to prove yourself. Mentorship provides that extra hand, alleviating a bit of weight from situations which seem very detrimental or important, but that are just part of growing within a company.
When a new hire stumbles, the mentor turns that instance into a teachable moment, offering perspective and examples of their own growth, educating them and showing what could have been done differently, guiding them to other coworkers who can offer support and a sympathetic ear, and encouraging them to get up and try again with this new knowledge and experience in tow.
The Reverse Mentorship
The amazing part about establishing a successful mentor program within your company is that it works both ways. Mentors become more effective communicators through the experience and, in turn, pass those communication best practices on to their mentees. They also gain knowledge and experience from their mentees, particularly in regard to the use of technology. If your mentor is a veteran employee, their ability to use new and developing technologies may not be ideal. Millennials and Gen Z employees statistically have grown up with technology and offer their own insights, allowing the mentor to grow as well during the mentorship process.
At Cameron Smith & Associates, we want our clients to have every advantage developing and retaining new talent. The CPG industry is evolving to meet the demands of the consumer, and we want to give you the most effective tools and advice to remain competitive within these new and growing hiring markets.
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