Why Mentorship Is the Key to This New World of Work

To survive in the new era of work, businesses need to understand the importance of mentoring.

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Mentorship programmes are a win-win situation for employers and employees, particularly now that the work landscape has changed. Mentoring relationships are very significant for employees, and our article on the Mentoring Statistics in 2022 highlights that 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered and confident through this mutually-beneficial setup. Unfortunately, only 56% of organisations have mentoring programmes in place, and they miss out on crucial benefits like increased employee retention and engagement.

To survive in the new era of work, businesses need to understand the importance of mentoring and invest in activities that support the growth of their employees. Here's a closer look at how.

What is the New World of Work?

The past few years have disrupted workplace practices, shaking the old foundations of organisations. Both employers and employees had to drastically adjust to a remote work setup where employees can’t stop by their leader’s desk for real-time guidance, and employers can’t directly supervise the operations of their workers. Though the remote work setup was unsettling at first, it formed crucial realisations among employees and led to the formation of the new world of work.

As the majority of professionals worked from home, employees realised the importance of work-life balance and autonomy in the workplace. At first, employees discovered the significance of asserting their preference for a remote or a hybrid setup— and moved on to new workplaces when these needs weren’t met. Now, employees don't only extend their autonomy where they work, but are also more vocal about how things should work. As such, more employees are pushing for the implementation of better work practices, such as greater inclusion and diversity, and improved mentoring programmes.

Understanding Mentorship’s Role in the New Era of Work

Inclusion and diversity are important in the new era of work because they provide professionals with a chance to get the positions that they deserve. So aside from improving recruitment practices, People Management notes that organisations can practice diversity and inclusion by providing mentoring for students or professionals who are held back by social barriers. In one of their interviews, the magazine illustrates how a mentor taught a first-generation student how to address his skills gap and seek opportunities that highlight his abilities. Mentoring allows underserved individuals to have a fighting chance to break down barriers and achieve their professional goals.

Aside from increasing the opportunities for deserving professionals, the new era of work also acknowledges the autonomy and capabilities of each employee. Given the rapidly changing conditions of work, leaders are considered by LHH as coaches that need to establish safe environments for each employee, embrace diverse perspectives, and provide meaningful feedback. Rather than simply telling employees what to do and how to do it, leaders now serve as mentors by engaging employees in finding solutions and supporting their growth in the workplace. Through this new approach, leaders get to harness the innate abilities of their employees, while also learning new skills from their own team.

How to Improve Your Mentorship Programmes

Learn how to conduct remote mentoring

Now that more professionals prefer the remote or hybrid work setup, organisations need to learn how to conduct remote mentoring. Rather than relying on Zoom, mentors can provide a comprehensive experience through dedicated mentoring platforms. These specialised programmes make it easier to schedule meetings, explore opportunities, and track the progress of your mentee, thus deepening the learning experience of both parties.

Embrace the individual situations of each mentee

As a dedicated coach, mentors need to consider the various facets that can affect the work performance of their mentees. One of these factors are the social backgrounds of employees, which is why tailoring a programme to a mentee's specific situation is always important. To illustrate, journalist Julia Gould explains that tailored peer mentorship programmes can be useful for professionals who want to seek support and guidance from people going through the same ordeal. Your business could also opt to provide one-on-one mentorship so that you can customise the programmes based on each person's situation and goals.

Implement reverse mentoring programmes

Mentoring isn’t a one-way street where a superior gives commands to his junior. In fact, a study on Reverse Mentoring for Senior NHS Leaders reveals that leaders can drive progress within their organisation by learning about inclusion, equality, and diversity from juniors who can serve as a reverse mentor. To achieve the same outcomes within your business, try to identify the objectives of your organisation before choosing a reverse mentor who can provide proper training for the leaders during the mentoring programme.

The world of work has changed, and mentorship plays a crucial role in it. By adjusting your mentorship programmes accordingly, you can meet the needs of your workforce and develop the capabilities of all your employees, and emerge with a stronger, more capable team.

Author Bio

Jack Mistry is a freelance writer with a passion for business. When he's not reading and writing about career development, he spends his time catching up on the latest historical novel.
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