You are on page 1of 14

RUNNING HEAD: Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 1

Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies

Name

Course

Institutional Affiliation
Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 2

Table of Contents

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 3

Role of Mentors .............................................................................................................................. 4

Teacher ........................................................................................................................................ 4

Sponsor ........................................................................................................................................ 4

Cheerleader.................................................................................................................................. 5

Counsellor ................................................................................................................................... 5

Friend .......................................................................................................................................... 5

Different approaches to Mentoring ................................................................................................. 6

Nurturance ................................................................................................................................... 6

Approachability ........................................................................................................................... 6

Competent. .................................................................................................................................. 7

Inspiration.................................................................................................................................... 8

Conscientiousness ....................................................................................................................... 8

Workplace Professional Development Strategies ....................................................................... 9

Mentoring .................................................................................................................................... 9

Access to Resources and Training ............................................................................................ 10

Conclusion .................................................................................................................................... 11

References ..................................................................................................................................... 12
Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 3

Introduction

Mentors take part in the professional development of their juniors by providing the needed

guidance and support. For the successful mentoring relationship both the mentor and the mentee

must be genuinely committed (Allen & Eby, 2011). Eby, Allen, Evans, and DuBois (2008) give

two categories of the roles of mentors which include career and psychosocial mentoring. Career

related mentoring aims at stimulating the mentees career development. Psychosocial mentoring

on the other hand seeks to enhance personal relationships (Eby, Allen, Evans and DuBois, 2008).

Mentors have so many important roles and responsibilities. They are teachers, counselors,

agents, networkers and could even pass for mentees themselves. Meister and Willyerd (2010)

note that mentors are supposed to possess specific mentorship skills for successful mentorship

efforts. A mentor is supposed to be an active listener to be able to carefully listen to what the

mentee is saying. Besides that, a mentor is supposed to provide the uninterrupted time needed to

meet the mentee. They should be alert to all forms of non-verbal cues and must give the mentee

ample time to express themselves before jumping in. Mentors are also supposed to be

cheerleaders by celebrating the success attained by their mentees and by offering their mentees

comments to reinforce their belief in the mentorship techniques.

DuBois, Portillo, Rhodes, Silverthorn, and Valentine (2011) hold that mentors are also supposed

to be very good role models. They are supposed to lead by example by demonstrating a

professional behavior. They are also expected to uphold integrity. Besides that, mentors are

supposed to be mature enough and be secure in their professional status so as not to be

intimidated by the success of their mentees. Mentors are also expected to be mature enough to

respect all views even in areas where they disagree.


Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 4

Role of Mentors

Teacher

As teachers mentors are tasked with providing information to their mentees and modeling the

behaviour of their mentees. According to Straus, Graham, Taylor, and Lockyer (2008),

information provision and behaviour modeling ensure that the mentees gain a better

understanding of what is expected of them from the mentor mentee relationship. Besides that, the

role of mentors as teachers gives guidance to their mentees on the traits that are required for

success in their line of work. Mentors also teach their employees how to follow the laid down

rules within an organisation. Mentors also teach their mentees, the best work techniques and how

to achieve the best productivity in one's line of work. They also teach their mentees how to

respect authorities within an organisation and how to follow the appropriate channels of

communication. They, therefore, concentrate on making sure that the employees turn out to be

the best in an organisation (Rigg & O'Dwyer, 2012).

Sponsor

As sponsors, mentors help their mentees to get new opportunities. As Fransson (2010) states,

mentors act as a bridge between an employees current job or position and the next. The mentors

may pass onto their mentees, the skills, and knowledge required to move up the ladder in the

same organisation or a different organisation. The mentors may, therefore, play the role of

referring the mentees to other people within or outside the organisation thereby facilitating their

growth. They may also help in promoting the talents of their mentees through such kinds of

referrals. Promoting of employees talents either within or outside the organisation as Rigg and

ODwyer (2012) assert, ensures that they are recognised which makes it easier for the employees

to get other employment positions with other organisations or the same organisation.
Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 5

Cheerleader

Mentors play a very key role in the motivation of their mentees. Ali and Panther (2008) maintain

that mentees can gain a lot of motivation from intrinsic rewards which may involve shout outs

and praises. By praising the mentees for a job well done, the mentors ensure that the mentees

reinforce such kind of performance which is good for the development of their skills. Mentors

also play the role of challenging the assumptions of the mentees and encouraging them to

develop. The mentors constantly challenge their mentees to do better, which enhances their skills

and increases their performance.

Counsellor

Mentors also play the role of counseling. Carraher, Sullivan, and Crocitto (2008) hold that

mentors constantly counsel their mentees on how to explore careers, set goals, develop contacts

and identify resources. Most of the mentees may not be sure of the direction that they want their

career to take. It is, therefore, the role of the mentor to offer guidance and walk the mentees

down their career path and show the mentees what it means to be an expert in their career.

Mentors may also counsel their employees and help them to set achievable goals in their careers.

This could be the case in the situation in which the mentees do not know how to set appropriate

performance goals. As counselors, mentors may also assist with the psychosocial aspect of

counseling in which case they can help their mentees in dealing with their matters or even

achieving a healthy work life balance (Carraher, Sullivan and Crocitto, 2008).

Friend

Apart from the professional relationship, mentors can also act as friends and help the mentees in

dealing with their relationship. The mentors can engage in a more personal relationship with

their mentees to help with the personal and the professional growth of their mentees. Rigg and
Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 6

ODwyer (2012) argue that the mentors need to be approachable which requires them to be

friendly and easy going.

Different approaches to Mentoring

Nurturance

As Nurturer's mentors are supposed to be sensitive, kind, easy going, compassionate, empathetic,

patient and generous. The mentors must understand that the mastery of skills takes some time.

They must understand that just like a business that goes through the different stages of

development in the business life cycle, employees also go through a lot of stages when mastering

skills within an organisation (Lumpkin, 2011). They must understand that new employees need

to take some time to learn the new organisation and adopt to the new ways of doing things within

the organisation. They must be empathetic enough to understand the situation of their

employees. Their expectations of their mentees must be guided by the level of the employees in

the organisation. Employees at start up must be given time to grow and pick up new skills within

an organisation in a reasonable amount of time. As nurturers, mentors must also be very sensitive

to the feedback that they give to their employees. Employees can be very weak sometimes and

the feedback that they get from their mentors can either make or break them within their

organisations. Mentors must, therefore, be kind and sensitive and give feedback in a very

constructive manner. They must be easy going to make it easier for employees to deal with them

and like them (Rhodes and DuBois, 2008).

Approachability

Muldoon and Wijeyewardene, (2012) maintain that mentors must also be very approachable.

They must be very humorous and friendly to make it easier for mentees to easily approach them

with problems. Mentees are more drawn to mentors who are friendly and humorous since it
Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 7

makes it easier for them to approach them with any issue. Being friendly and humorous makes

the mentors a bit predictable which therefore makes it easier for the employees to approach them

with their concerns. Mentors are also supposed to be very encouraging. Encouragement

motivates employees to continue working hard. It encourages them to put on more effort on

whatever they have been doing at the organisation. Mentors must also be able to communicate to

employees. Communication is the best way of giving feedback to mentees on what is working

and what is not working. Mentors must be able to communicate to their mentees often and give

the needed advice (Rhodes and DuBois, 2008). Besides, that mentors must be positive. Negative

criticism only serves to discourage mentees and may make them appear inferior which could

eventually make them give up. On the contrary, mentors must learn the art of giving constructive

feedback to their employees. Constructive criticism shows that a mentor is considerate of their

mentees which set the ground for a positive working relationship (Carraher, Sullivan and

Crocitto, 2008).

Competent.

Mentors should be knowledgeable and intelligent. Heavin and Neville (2008) insist that

mentoring people involve passing on skills to them which can only happen if the mentor is very

competent. The mentors must, therefore, keep themselves up to date with relevant information.

They must be aware of all the industry trends and new things that shape how people work or

interact within an industry. Demonstration of such kind of knowledge inspires a lot of respect

and following from the employees. It builds the confidence of the mentees on the mentor which

is very essential for a successful mentor-mentee relationships (Gassman & Gleason, 2011). If the

mentees believe that the mentor is not skilled or competent, they will be take the lessons passed

on to them by the mentor less seriously which is not healthy for the career of personal
Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 8

development. Mentors are also supposed to be very confident. Confidence portrays a lot of

competence and can only be achieved by being an expert in ones field. Mentors can gain such

confidence by ensuring that they have enough knowledge on whatever subject they are talking

about. Confidence builds a lot of trust and assures mentees that they are in the right hands.

Competence also comes with experience. Mentors must ensure that they are extremely skilled in

an art before taking on the mantle of passing on the skills and techniques to other people. Proper

skills will ensure that one is properly informed before making any assertions which are important

for a good mentor-mentee relationship (Gassman & Gleason, 2011).

Inspiration

Mentors must be very visionary. They must be able to show their mentees their long path to

success or the achievement of the goals that they desire. They must be creative enough to apply

different solutions to different situations. Mentors must, therefore, realise that the art of

mentoring employees is not based on certain written rules but is an art that keeps on changing.

They must, therefore, be ready to apply different solutions to different problems. Inspirational

mentors must also be passionate about whatever they are doing (Munro, 2009). The best way to

prove to someone that a certain trait or skill is important can only be done by leading through

example. Inspirational mentors must also be challenging and assertive. They must ensure that

they give their mentees, problems that require critical thinking before getting the needed

solutions. Besides that, they must be assertive to ensure that mentees accomplish all that is

supposed to be done (Gassman & Gleason, 2011).

Conscientiousness

(Munro, 2009) Stresses that mentors are supposed to be efficient. They must ensure that they are

efficient in doing their tasks to give a good example to their mentees. They must also be
Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 9

organised. Before preaching principles of organisation and consistency, they must ensure that it

starts with them. The mentees must demonstrate this in the manner in which they organise their

tasks and the manner in which they accomplish their daily activities. Mentors must also be

disciplined. They must lead by example by making sure that they follow the stipulated rules of

conduct within an organisation and stick to their word. Doing that will be a sure way of instilling

such virtues in their employees. Mentors are also supposed to be strict to ensure that everything

that is supposed to be done by mentees is done. Adopting laissez faire attitude may only

encourage laziness and non-compliance among mentees (Heavin & Neville, 2008).

Workplace Professional Development Strategies

Mentoring

Mentoring exists as one of the people development strategies in the authors organisation. The

strategy as Adeyemi (2011) holds, is normally meant to ensure that employees pick up the best

skills from the best-skilled people within the organisation.

The purpose of mentoring just as Karcher and Nakkula (2010) states is to prepare new

employees for their roles within the organisation and also to prepare for succession planning

within the organisation. The organisation uses mentoring as one of the ways of preparing the

Millennials for the positions that are expected to fall vacant upon the retirement of the baby

boomers from the organisation.

Each employee is attached to one skilled employee within the organisation. The employees learn

from the experts and ask questions where things are not clear. The experts who are often the

supervisors, in turn, give feedback to the employees on how they are performing and what they

need to improve on in their career. The mentorship extends to include more personal factors like

how to build relationships and how to handle personal and job conflicts within the organisation.
Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 10

The mentorship program has been very effective in meeting the needs of the organisation since it

creates employees who are very open and who have a clear knowledge of the direction that they

want their career to take. It has also improved communication within the organisation and

ensured that there are clear lines of communication within the organisation. The mentorship

program has also reduced staff turnover as most employees feel happy to work within the

organisation. It has made succession planning much easier since employees can easily fit into the

positions left by those who are retiring.

The strategy can be made better, by getting specialists who can deal with certain issues as Davis

(2008) advice. When it comes to personal matters, the organisation should get professionals who

are well equipped with personal relationships and how to help employees deal with personal

issues within the organisation. Good mentors are supposed to be competent and professionals at

what they do. Getting line managers to handle personal relationship matters may not help.

Access to Resources and Training

This is done by making sure that all the employees have access to all the resources needed to

advance their career. The organisation has put together a library of all the important resources

needed to guide employees ion their jobs. Employees are also trained on several new ways of

doing their work and keeping up to date with the relevant industry standards.

The purpose of the technique is to ensure that employees are kept up to date with the happenings

in their line of work. It also ensures that the employees receive the relevant training in their lines

of work which as Harrison (2011) notes reinforces the best industry standards in their aspects of

work.
Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 11

The professional development program involves all the employees in the organisation and also

acts as a means by which professional and talented employees pass on their skills to other

employees within the organisation. The employees benefit from the program through the

application of new technology and new techniques in their respective lines of work just as

Kinicki and Kreitner (2012) asserts. The program also motivates employees and has been

instrumental in reducing staff turnover within the organisation.

Conclusion

Employee professional development strategies are therefore very important in improving the

skill sets of employees and in developing a motivated workforce. Improved skill sets and

motivated workforce translates into reduced staff turnover and better quality of work within the

organisation. However, mentors must ensure that they are competent and professional. They

must also be friendly and humorous to ensure that they are easily approachable by their mentees.

However, they must still be assertive to ensure that all their directives are followed. It, therefore,

requires a thorough mix of personal and professional skill set.


Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 12

References

Adeyemi, S. (2011). Enhancing organizational performance through effective mentoring:

Chapter 28. IFE PsychologIA: An International Journal, 2011(Special issue 1), 366-378.

Ali, P. A., & Panther, W. (2008). Professional development and the role of mentorship. Nursing

standard, 22(42), 35-39.

Allen, T. D., & Eby, L. T. (Eds.). (2011). The Blackwell handbook of mentoring: A multiple

perspectives approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Carraher, S. M., Sullivan, S. E., & Crocitto, M. M. (2008). Mentoring across global boundaries:

An empirical examination of home-and host-country mentors on expatriate career

outcomes. Journal of International Business Studies, 39(8), 1310-1326.

Davis, D. J. (2008). Mentorship and the socialization of underrepresented minorities into the

professoriate: Examining varied influences. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in

Learning, 16(3), 278-293.

DuBois, D. L., Portillo, N., Rhodes, J. E., Silverthorn, N., & Valentine, J. C. (2011). How

effective are mentoring programs for youth? A systematic assessment of the

evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 12(2), 57-91.

Eby, L. T., Allen, T. D., Evans, S. C., Ng, T., & DuBois, D. L. (2008). Does mentoring matter?

A multidisciplinary meta-analysis comparing mentored and non-mentored

individuals. Journal of vocational behavior, 72(2), 254-267.


Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 13

Fransson, G. (2010). Mentors assessing mentees? An overview and analyses of the mentorship

role concerning newly qualified teachers. European Journal of Teacher Education, 33(4),

375-390.

Gassman, J., & Gleason, M. C. (2011). The importance of mentoring relationships among youth

workers. New Directions for Student Leadership, 2011(S1), 55-76.

Harrison, R. (2011). Learning and development. Development and Learning in Organizations:

An International Journal, 26(1).

Heavin, C., & Neville, K. (2008). Mentoring knowledge workers. In Knowledge Management:

Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (pp. 1223-1230). IGI Global.

Karcher, M. J., & Nakkula, M. J. (2010). Youth mentoring with a balanced focus, shared

purpose, and collaborative interactions. New Directions for Student

Leadership, 2010(126), 13-32.

Kinicki, A., & Kreitner, R. (2012). Organizational behavior: Key concepts, skills & best

practices. McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Lumpkin, A. (2011). A model for mentoring university faculty. In The Educational Forum (Vol.

75, No. 4, pp. 357-368). Taylor & Francis Group.

Meister, J. C., & Willyerd, K. (2010). Mentoring millennials. Harvard business review, 88(5),

68-72.

Muldoon, R., & Wijeyewardene, I. (2012). Two Approaches to Mentoring Students into

Academic Practice at University. Journal of the Australian & New Zealand Student

Services Association, (39).


Mentoring/ Workplace People Development Strategies 14

Munro, C. R. (2009). Mentoring needs and expectations of generation-y human resources

practitioners: Preparing the next wave of strategic business partners. Journal of

Management Research, 1(2).

Rhodes, J. E., & DuBois, D. L. (2008). Mentoring relationships and programs for youth. Current

Directions in Psychological Science, 17(4), 254-258.

Rigg, C., & O'Dwyer, B. (2012). Becoming an entrepreneur: researching the role of mentors in

identity construction. Education+ Training, 54(4), 319-329.

Straus, S. E., Graham, I. D., Taylor, M., & Lockyer, J. (2008). Development of a mentorship

strategy: a knowledge translation case study. Journal of continuing education in the

health professions, 28(3), 117-122.