Mentorship can seem like a buzzword that people use to get fast professional development, but it’s much more than that. Mentorship can be a fruitful relationship between two people, especially when you consider the exchanging of ideas that takes place. But making that connection between mentee and mentor is not always easy. It can take quite a bit of dedication and additional support to make it function properly.
Members of the Forbes Technology Council weighed in on what makes a deeper connection between mentees and mentors. They agreed that mentorship is a two-way street, but it also needs support from the company for the best possible results.
1. Make Yourself Available
To connect mentors and mentees, take the initiative to make yourself available to new employees and mentor by example. Whether it’s face to face or through email, letting new employees know you are available for them is crucial in developing productive and prepared employees. Additionally, by demonstrating your work ethic and daily grit, they will learn more than by simply telling them. – Alexandro Pando, Xyrupt
2. Engage In Reverse-Mentoring
A mentor-mentee relationship can be established more effectively if the flow of information and knowledge happens both ways. Both parties mentor each other in the areas of expertise that they bring to table. If the mentee switches the role and starts mentoring the mentor, then the engagement goes up few notches. The joy of learning would establish a long-term relationship between both parties. – Mandar Bhagwat, SpadeWorx Software Services
3. Rely On Mentorship Software
There are amazing mentorship platforms out there. For connecting with alums, there’s software like FirstHand, and for engineering managers, there’s Plato. There are plenty of others out there, but why reinvent the wheel when there are dedicated companies for specific situations? – David Murray, Doctor.com
4. Make Mentoring A Priority
Mentoring is an excellent way to enable a new hire to adjust to the company culture and understand how to grow in their career. Make mentoring a formal program and buddy up every new hire with a mentor who’s not in the same group but rather in the same function. This enables an open growth path to learn more about the art and company culture beyond the responsibilities in the current role. This can then be extended with every promotion as well. Have mentors pair up with mentees at every level to enable coaching. – Pratik Bhadra, Bluecore
5. Look Outside Your Department
It’s easy for senior members of a team to take one of their coworkers under their wing. However, professional growth comes from working with members of other areas of the company. Try encouraging leaders to seek out non-technical employees who often have insight that can help the IT team, as well as broaden the non-tech employee’s horizons. You may find your next best IT pro in the mailroom! – Jason Gill, Attracta
6. Identify Additional Support
I think businesses too often think that having a mentorship program is simply assigning a mentor as a new associate enters the office. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Identify where mentoring or additional support is necessary. Is it only engineering or is it company-wide? Is it technical mentorship or professional development? What you may find is that a new associate has multiple purpose-based mentors. – Kyle Pretsch, Lucky Band Jeans
7. Create A Culture Of Servant Leadership”
Before a system is created, servant leadership needs to reign. New employees can benefit most from a veteran who cares about helping mentees connect their personal goals with business challenges ahead. What drives their career? How do they approach the pursuit of goals while doing the job? A systematic one-on-one approach needs to be honored for full effect. – Timo Rein, Pipedrive