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The power of mentoring: creating connections

Today’s fast-changing environment means we can no longer rely on the way we’ve always done things. Our teams are not only having to work differently, but think differently, and be ready to adapt.

With a greater need for agility in the work environment, as employers, we all need to find ways to support well-being and keep employees engaged. Since only a third of employees describe themselves as thriving, if organisations ignore employee well-being, they will be affected by employee burn-out and high resignation rates.

In recent years we’ve seen increasing adoption of dynamic and hybrid working models that are already reaping rewards for both employees and businesses. However, with less opportunity for ‘spontaneous mentoring’, we believe these need to be accompanied by more holistic solutions, such as mentoring programmes, focusing on long-term career and relationship development.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a developmental partnership where a professional person shares knowledge, skills and perspective to invest in the development of a colleague. It is focused more on advice and guidance as part of a long-term partnership rather than a task- and training-focused coaching approach.

Our approach is to ask mentors to be flexible as they fulfil multiple roles throughout the mentoring relationship (Table 1). We want to help mentees think through important decisions and strategies, providing support and encouragement while recognising that the mentee needs to find his or her own way.

Table 1 Ways to support mentees

Guide Acting as a sounding board for the mentee’s ideas, goals and aspirations, and instilling an impetus for action toward achieving them
Advisor Advising the mentee about organisational norms and expectations as appropriate
Supporter Being open to new discoveries and possibilities for the mentee, resulting in a higher level of potential for both the mentee and the organisation
Developer Providing advice to the mentee on matters relating to his/her career development
Challenger Instilling in the mentee that the development of one’s career can be achieved through a process of intentional planned experiences and assignments
Inspirer Supporting the mentee in establishing a network of contacts by affecting introductions to others who might be able to help with advice and knowledge
Role Model

The key to success

Both parties need to commit the time and to developing their relationship. Sustaining a high level of engagement throughout requires motivation and dedication. Making time for mentoring meetings, even during busy periods, and consistently following up on actions agreed upon with your partner can be challenging, especially in a fast-paced and busy working environment. Having a clear agreed objective, ideally one that both are passionate about, and establishing a climate of trust, especially if the mentor and mentee don’t know each other well, will be critical to success.

Perhaps one of the behaviours most valued by our mentees includes the mentor’s ability to challenge individuals to help formulate their own solutions. Thought- provoking questions, exploring new areas, stretching discussions beyond the immediate problem and offering new or different perspectives can be incredibly powerful.

The benefits of implementing a mentoring programme

While the mentee is seen as the principal beneficiary of the mentoring relationship, a secondary benefit is that mentors gain a personal sense of achievement from helping others to reach their professional goals. It’s worth remembering that seniority in a role or with a company isn’t always the reason to select a mentor. Inizio Medical focuses on capability development and connecting employees with superior skills.

However, now more than ever, the real power of mentoring is that it creates an opportunity for connections, with both parties learning from one another, goal achievement and problem-solving. Mentoring is a win/win/win for the mentor, the mentee and the organisation. That’s why we’re looking to expand our mentor programme across Inizio Medical, harnessing a platform (Mentorloop) to manage the complexities of delegate matching and monitoring programme activities. Once implemented, the programme will be open to over 2,100 employees globally, giving everyone equal access to mentors and providing even greater opportunities.

By increasing awareness of the organisation and the strategic challenges the business faces, our mentor programme will help ensure our people are best positioned to play their part in realising our strategy and increase cross-functional collaboration and understanding. Creating connections, that’s the power of mentoring.

Kerri Bednarcik is Global Director of Talent Development at Nucleus Global and Nicki Davison is L&D Business Partner at Ashfield MedComms, both Inizio companies



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