“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” said one of the world’s foremost business sages, Tom Peters. A valuable lesson but many organizations seem to fail in realizing the importance of mentoring in creating leaders. The ability to develop leaders is incredibly valuable if it can be ingrained into the business strategy of an organization. And this is what we have tried to do at Codifyd India.
But the question remains as to what exactly does a culture of mentoring really mean for a business? How is such a culture created?
A mentoring culture is established when an organization actively provides mentoring opportunities to its employees to further educate and develop themselves. It is about a company diligently designing a mentorship structure that helps develop people so that they can become the best version of themselves that they can be. In some ways, this is a commitment to pulling together and leaving nobody behind.
Much like digital transformation needs thoughtful planning and attention to detail, building a culture of mentoring that creates high-performing individuals within the workforce needs proper vision and dedicated execution.
So, how does this work in practice?
A mentor relationship is a formal or informal relationship that forms between a senior employee and an inexperienced or new employee. Excellent mentoring is an art, but mentoring skills can also be developed over time through coaching and increased involvement. Mentoring helps improve communication and employee engagement and enables learning and skill development throughout the organization.
We believe that a great mentoring culture is one where there are multiple opportunities for people to pursue personal growth and career objectives with mentoring support. Ensuring there is an opportunity for anyone in the organization to participate in such a mentoring program becomes important in the journey to create a strong organization-wide culture of mentoring.
What are the benefits?
We have also seen that the benefits of a mentorship culture reach not just the mentees but also the mentors, and the business too. The mentors feel more driven by purpose, more engaged, and challenged.
Codifyd is a technology-driven company. Despite that, we believe that while technical training programs that focus on technologies and methodologies are invaluable, the mentoring program must focus on skills and on providing practical advice on career development.
Mentoring helps new employees quickly absorb the organization’s cultural values and social customs. Mentoring can help a new recruit quickly absorb what they need to know to adapt and thrive in their role. A mentor can also serve as an important ally as the new employee gets assimilated into the company.
For continuing employees, a mentor can help them become more knowledgeable and effective in their work. The right mentor helps the mentee attain higher levels of sophistication and expertise in their job. A mentor will pass on important tips and knowledge to help an employee grow in their current role and be ready for career opportunities as they come along.
What are some of the key considerations to factor into a mentoring culture?
Good mentoring relationships are extremely useful when an employee identifies career skills that are lacking and seeks out someone with those skills. When your employees can find individuals in the organization from whom they can acquire the skills they have personally identified as important, that’s the sign of an effective mentoring culture.
Mentoring programs often work better when employees can seek out mentors based on their interest and choice rather than being forcefully assigned a mentor. The best mentoring relationships involve the exchange of knowledge that helps the new employee quickly become one of the top contributors in the department or team. As we had mentioned, mentoring programs must focus on chalking out career development through a personalized growth plan and developing skills.
Mentoring is only really effective if the mentor can dedicate the required amount of time from their schedule to provide meaningful mentoring. Most C-suite level executives will attest to the value of a mentor had on their career. A culture of mentoring starts to really flourish when these leaders become eager to give back. They must want to provide advice and wisdom similar to what helped them make successful careers.
Obviously, mentoring relationships become richer and stronger when an employee reaches out to a more experienced colleague. Mentoring partners can develop a strong professional bond over time as they share experiences and participate in activities where important knowledge and wisdom are openly exchanged. Mentoring is not just about advising junior employees — it means truly being committed to the development of another person.
A lasting mentoring culture is set up as a mutually beneficial experience – where mentors get as much learning and value from mentoring as the mentees. For an organization, fostering a mentoring culture improves communication and employee satisfaction, while it enables learning throughout the organization.
Mentoring really comes down to recognizing the value of every person in the organization and as a result, forming more inspiring and enriching individual relationships. At Codifyd, this is an invaluable part of the strategy to help each employee get ahead.