You may already be aware, but the term mentoring comes from a poem that was written in 800 BCE. Homer’s Odyssey contained a character called Mentor, who takes care of Odysseus’s son while he heads off to war.
Mentors are people that have knowledge and experience in one or more areas and choose to impart this information to someone who has less understanding. Mentoring in business is seen as an essential way to train younger or less experienced employees, and it can be done while on the job.
Nowadays, mentors have tools to help and assist them, including apps and platforms. The global mentoring software sector’s value was around $519 million but is predicted to double in the next four years.
This growth is not surprising, as some of the biggest enterprises in the world believe mentoring is a critical part of employee development now.
How essential is mentoring today?
One interesting statistic about mentoring stands out. A survey showed that 92% of small business respondents said that mentorship had a direct impact on growth. Not only that, but they said mentors played a big part in their business surviving.
A mentoring template can be downloaded and put together to make a plan to decide on a mentee’s development and growth. These are living documents that change as the mentee progresses and learns.
Mentoring is important because it helps the individual learn new management skills and better decision-making. It provides knowledge and gives alternative perspectives and approaches to business problems.
The mentor can also benefit from the fresh ideas the mentee may bring to the table. For the mentee, a mentoring program can provide encouragement, and ideas, and helps with networking. Training and studying alone can lead to plateaus, and it is easy to lapse. But, a mentor will be there to listen to the mentee, and to help them develop.
What exactly is a mentoring platform?
A mentoring platform is a digital solution that is becoming more commonplace in small to medium businesses, and heavily used in larger firms.
This type of program helps connect the mentor to their student as it were. But, it can do more than allow for communication between those involved in a mentorship program, it can actually match people. This means that a mentor will be selected for a mentee based on their suitability with knowledge and skills used as criteria.
Platforms such as Together Mentoring Software allow people in the program to connect and share ideas, and network. It also allows mentors to make action plans and points to concentrate on for the mentee.
A mentoring platform provides a digital space for anyone involved in the mentorship program to communicate. But, the platform also allows administrators to measure results, and drive the program onward for increased progress.
How do mentoring platforms assist employees and mentors?
It will come as no surprise that not every employee is happy with their job. And this isn’t something to be ignored as it can affect many aspects of an employee’s life.
Job satisfaction affects mental well-being, and can have other health consequences too. 21% of employees who were unhappy at work felt drained every day one study found. Happier employees are more productive, and more likely to stay with their employer.
Mentorship programs can help the employees involved with career progression, more stimulating work tasks, increased confidence, and a feeling of fulfillment. Mentors especially can gain satisfaction from watching and helping a mentee to grow and move on to a promising career.
Can a mentoring platform be used in a remote working environment?
Virtual mentorship is on the rise, not least in part to the pandemic. By the last quarter of 2021, 45% of American workers were working remotely at least part of the time.
Many employees found remote working more satisfying and efficient than going to the office. 91% wanted to continue remote working. And this led to 58% of those polled saying they would think about quitting if they had remote working taken away.
A mentoring platform will be accessible to any authorized individual and can be used by remote workers as long as they have internet access. There are other tools to help communicate online, so there is no reason why many mentorships couldn’t take place remotely.
What benefits will your business get from a mentoring platform?
Training costs could be reduced for a start. Instead of sending off a group of employees to an off-site training camp where many of the lessons may not be relevant, you can instead develop a dedicated in-house mentorship program.
Businesses will help to develop their staff, and this can lead to promotions within the company instead of expensive recruitment. Employees will develop loyalty to the company, and help the organization grow with fresh ideas and leadership.
Another employer benefit could be increased worker retention. 53% of business leaders have concerns about employee retention today. If a business invests in mentoring its workers, they are more likely to care about the company they work for.
The benefits of mentorship stretch to every person involved including the business operating the program itself. Fresh perspectives, new ideas, networking, and development, can all come from mentoring, and not just for the mentee.
Mentors will keep developing too as they impart their knowledge and meet new people in the program. And digital mentoring platforms can help the participants grow even if they are working remotely.