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Mentoring is paramount to leadership excellence. Here is why

Mentoring is paramount to leadership excellence because it provides a critical link between leaders and their followers. Mentorship also helps in the development of the mentee's skills through the provision of guidance and support. In turn, this nurtures individual growth and leads to better team performance.

A study shown in the Academy of Management Journal found that those who had received mentorship from more experienced leaders were three times more likely to be promoted than those who had not. Moreover, these individuals were five times more likely to be appointed as senior executives in the company than their counterparts.

Let us look into why mentoring is essential to leadership excellence.

Encourage Innovations And Try Out New Ideas

Mentors provide feedback and guidance on developing one's skills, knowledge, and abilities. They help identify growth opportunities and provide a sounding board for testing new ideas. With the mental and emotional support from their mentors, mentees tend not to be afraid of making mistakes.

Identify Weaknesses And Strengths

Good mentors can help the leaders identify their strengths and address their weaknesses with the best possible approach. They encourage the mentees to try new things and challenge their assumptions. Therefore, companies can grow further and faster due to the individual progress of the leaders under mentorship.

Make Better Decisions For Company

Mentoring can also help individuals improve their communication and decision-making skills. This builds trust and facilitates cooperation among team members. Leaders will then be able to deal with demanding situations more successfully. The mentees will learn to work better with others, build consensus, and manage conflicts. They will hence become great leaders and great learners.

Mentorship Encourages A Smooth Career Path Journey

Mentors often offer advice to their mentees to help them advance smoothly in their careers. The mentees can benefit from the experience and insights of the mentors. In the process, the mentor-and-mentee relationship builds trust and loyalty within the setup. Individuals under a good mentor will be looking forward to coming each day and confident that they are on the right path to career advancement.

Develop Future Leaders

Mentors share their experience and knowledge with younger or junior colleagues. Mentors also listen to mentees’ feedback and concerns. Such interactions can help promote team collaborations by sharing ideas, solutions, and best practices within the organisation. This enables employees to achieve their goals more satisfactorily. They will be developed into future leaders of the organisation.

Giver Of Emotional Support

In times of uncertainty or doubt, mentoring provides certain emotional support to the employees. Mentors can help mentees navigate through challenging times faced during their professional development at work or any personal grudges with other colleagues.

A staff may face personal problems at home, which might affect work performance. Having a close mentor to be connected shows that the organisation supports employees’ emotional well-being.

Hence, companies should incorporate a mentorship culture within the workplace.

When Leaders Become Mentors, They Also Learn

There is a saying, "those who give will gain the most." Mentors within the organisation gain much more in terms of leadership capabilities, management skills, and organisational communication skills.

A study shows that 87 percent of mentors and mentees feel empowered by the relationship, reporting greater confidence and career satisfaction. They will also strive to learn more and as a result, they advance at a relatively faster rate (5 to 6 times) in terms of promotion than those employees without mentors. (Source)

Mentorship Reduces Company's Turnover Rate

A mentor is like a good friend or literally a teacher for an employee in an organisation. Mentorship not only improves one's work performance, but also builds comradeship within the team. Studies showed that employee retention rate was increased by 16% for those corporations that practised good mentorship work culture. Moreover, for employees with 2 years or less at their current organisations, the turnover rate for employees without mentors was 26%, while with mentors 8%. (Source).

Still Not Convinced? Here Are Some More Interesting Statistics About Mentoring:

  • 67% of businesses reported an increase in productivity after implementing mentoring (Source)

  • More than 4 in 10 employees who did not have mentors claimed they had considered quitting their jobs in the past three months (Source)

  • 94% of employees recorded that they would have stayed at their current companies longer if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow under a good mentor. (Source)

  • A survey was conducted by interviewing a large group of employees who had worked for more than five years in the company: 68% of them agreed that there was a lot of support for those who want to take on management roles. 68% agreed that younger staff were actively encouraged to aim higher for leadership roles (Source)

  • Of employees who have left within 2 years: 71% think that their leadership skills were not satisfactorily developed. 57% claimed that their abilities were being overlooked and had not been considered for potential leadership positions (Source)

  • 82% of Gen Z employees believed it was vital that their superiors helped them establish performance goals through mentoring. (Source)

  • 21% of Gen Z employees expected their bosses possessed and practised good mentorship instead of micro-management. (Source)

  • 87% of Gen Z employees desired jobs where they worked, contributed, and learned new skills at the same time. (Source)

  • 83% of Gen Z employees appreciated their supervisors for caring about their lives and not just work and numbers. (Source)

  • 79% of millennials considered mentoring as a crucial factor in their career success. (Source)

  • The top reasons for resignations sited by millennials: there were not enough opportunities for them to advance (35%); there was a lack of learning and development opportunities in the organisation (28%). (Source)

  • 89% of employees with mentors believed that their companies valued their work, compared to 75% of those without. (Source)

  • 71% of Fortune 500 companies had mentoring programs. (Source)

  • 89% of those who had been mentored would progress to mentoring others. (Source)

  • 25% of employees under mentoring programs had achieved a salary-grade change, compared to only 5% of workers who were not in any mentoring program. (Source)

Right Attitude Determines Right Mentor

Having a mentoring work culture has many advantages. It is essential to find someone you are compatible with, and you feel comfortable sharing your journey with. The question is, how do we choose a mentor for the employee? Employees have diversified needs and goals within organisations. So how do we ensure that a manager is the right mentor for a particular employee?

The key is to have the right attitude for both the mentors and mentees at the same time. The mentors also need to be willing to commit time, effort, and attention to the mentees, not by spoon-feeding them but by guiding them and acting as role models. Moreover, it is essential to create an amicable and trusting environment where they can communicate freely with mutual trust. Ideas and innovations can then be explored and implemented. In this way, the organisations will grow with excellent mentoring work culture!


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