A Mentor Is Key in Employee Development

Mentors for Onboarding and So Much More

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A mentor is an employee who participates in a formal or informal relationship that is established between an experienced, knowledgeable employee and an inexperienced or new employee.

A mentor relationship also exists between a knowledgeable, experienced employee and any employee who seeks to grow in their ability to contribute and build their career.

A mentoring relationship can also exist between an employee and an individual in another organization, but this information focuses on an internal organizational mentor.

The purpose of a mentor is to help the new employee quickly absorb the organization's cultural and social norms. Or, the mentor helps the continuing employee grow in their current position and become ready for new jobs and career opportunities.

The mentor also assists an employee, new to a specific job or area of responsibility, to quickly learn what they need to know to succeed in their new job and role.

A mentor can also serve as a sounding board as the new employee is assimilated into the company. The mentor can help the continuing employee become more knowledgeable and effective in their current job. They help the continuing employee reach new levels of knowledge, sophistication, and career development.

New Employee Mentors in Onboarding

A mentor is provided in addition to the other components in a new employee onboarding process. A mentor for employee onboarding may be the peer of the new employee, a coworker who is more knowledgeable and experienced or a supervisor or team leader.

Other relationships with a mentor develop spontaneously and over time. Or, an employee can seek out a mentor because he or she wants to experience the power of a mentoring relationship in his or her career growth.

The mentor is often a more experienced employee or manager who can offer the mentee (employee receiving mentoring) additional information that the employee wants or needs.

Another instance in which a mentoring relationship is powerful occurs when an employee identifies career skills that he or she lacks. The employee then seeks out an individual in the organization from whom the employee believes the skills can be learned.

All mentoring relationships are encouraged as research indicates that employees who experience mentoring are retained by organizations, learn more quickly, and assimilate into the company culture more effectively.

The Mentoring Buddy

In some organizations, an employee called a buddy, is assigned to a new employee for new employee orientation and onboarding. The buddy performs a role that is like the mentor's but the buddy is usually a coworker and more experienced peer of the new employee.

The mentoring buddy is expected to do everything that he or she can to assist the new employee to become fully knowledgeable about and integrated into the organization. The buddy relationship can last a long time and the employees may even become friends.

A buddy in conjunction with an effective new employee orientation will bring an organization a successful new employee.

Additional information about mentoring offers advice on what a mentor does and how to find a mentor. These are the top 15 characteristics of a successful mentor.

Also Known As: buddy

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