Work with a mentor

How to Achieve a Meaningful Partnership with a Mentor

Every employee’s first contact with the company most often involves direct communication with the mentor. How to reach a successful partnership with a mentor?

In a 2011 study, German researchers found that working with mentors improved both employee individual skills and satisfaction with working conditions and productivity levels. It has also been proven that working with a mentor stimulates both parties’ interest in the future of the company. [1]

Working with a mentor is a two-way collaboration

How to become an effective mentor to the newcomer and benefit from this collaboration?

Basic principles of a good mentor

It goes without saying that becoming a mentor already requires some sort of character. The person who has accepted these responsibilities will certainly be a motivated, disciplined and content employee. What, according to a 2012 study among medical sector mentors, mainly motivates employees to become mentors to less experienced colleagues? [2]

– The data shows that the greatest success of mentors is the future accomplishments of their younger colleagues and the awareness that you have been part of the investment.

– In a business environment, mentors are often encouraged by visibility in the eyes of management or colleagues.

– Opportunities for self-growth: promotion of new leadership and management skills, communication and collaboration capabilities.

– Keeping up with current events and new ideas: mentors often recognize that changing colleagues and work environment is the only way to get out of the routine.

– Tactical motivation, for example, promotion.

The same study says that most mentors are the ones who also have had the help of mentors. [3]

The motivation of the new employee is even more important when working with a mentor

A mentor is a great helper to deal with your new responsibilities and help with your adaptation to a new environment. A mentor should be familiar with the internal system of the company and your responsibilities, so your mentor will most likely be an enthusiastic and proven professional. It is also advisable for every mentor to look at the situation from the eyes of the new employee from time to time.

Forget the stereotypes of arrogant and indifferent mentors! Helping a newcomer is in the interest of the mentor and the company, so you will certainly not be assigned to someone who does not want to fulfill these responsibilities to the best.

However, for successful collaboration, you also need to follow a few principles:

  1. Define your personal goals for the company! You need to understand what you want to learn, where you are strong, and what you can bring to the company.
  2. Prepare questions for your mentor before the first meeting! It will be easier for the mentor to offer you different solutions and tasks if he understands what is left unclear or where help is needed. Don’t waste your time with mentor!
  3. Get to know your mentor! Ask not only about mentor’s responsibilities within the company, but also about his interests and stories. The mentor’s experience in solving specific problems can also be useful for you.
  4. Schedule several appointments in advance to establish a healthy and effective relationship! Both you and your mentor can get lost in your work responsibilities and make scheduling future appointments complicated. Remember, it is recommended to meet as often as possible for full cooperation. It’s the best to meet weekly at set times.
  5. Understand the boundaries! While keeping in touch with a mentor is a very useful practice, you need to understand at what point that person has given you all the knowledge and advice he could. Then your collaboration will become the cooperation of two knowledgeable colleagues.
  6. Be grateful! Working with a mentor requires a lot of time and resources on both sides, so remember to thank at the end of the collaboration and don’t forget that the mentor’s greatest appreciation is your future growth. Keep in touch and inform the mentor of your achievements that would be impossible without him!

References:

[1] Erik W Driessen, Karlijn Overeem, Cees P M van der Vleuten (2011). Get yourself a mentor. MEDICAL EDUCATION No.45. Blacwell Publishing. Available: https://www.erikdriessen.com/application/files/7514/2943/9514/2011_Driessen_e.a._Get_yourself_a_mentor.pdf

[2] Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (2012). Being a Mentor: What’s in It for Me? Available: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01258.x

[3] Bradford Laurence (2018). 8 Tips For an Amazing Mentor Relationship.  Available:https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurencebradford/2018/01/31/8-tips-for-an-amazing-mentor-relationship/#4bd738621e2c

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