If you have considered being a mentor or are wondering how having a mentor can help you, it may be of interest to find out how it can benefit you. In this article, we want to discuss the impact that business mentoring has on the individual, the business and the community.
Where did Mentorship Originate?
“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”John C. Maxwell
It has been explained that the emergence of mentorship programs can be attributed to three factors (Andrew Miller, Mentoring students & young people, 2002):
- The lack of opportunity for and exclusion of young people
- A trend, among socially aware members of society, directed towards charity and volunteering.
- A need, displayed by more experienced workers, to transfer tacit knowledge to the young, through direct contact.
Today, mentorship is an important opportunity for young people. It gives them the right experience to develop their knowledge, and, therefore, further their careers and businesses.
What are the benefits of mentorship programmes?
The organization, Youth Business International (YBI), did a study on this exact question and it highlighted the benefits of mentorship. It sets out the key findings from case stories around the world and what the next step is for these programs. The following points are benefits that both mentor and mentee can experience when embarking on this experience together.
Increased Small Business Turnover
According to the study carried out by YBI, mentoring resulted in an increase in turnover for small businesses. In this situation, the mentee, by seeking advice and guidance, has seen growth in their own organization. This highlights how mentors bring value to the mentee’s professional development, sharing their own experiences of working in that field.
Additionally, these case studies provide us with examples of how mentoring benefits not only the individual but also the community. In growing businesses, we see the rise of poorer communities. They provide those areas with better jobs and improving the quality of life. The mentor may even choose to invest in the business, and, in this case, would see a profitable return on that investment. This means that business growth, by means of mentorship, can benefit everyone.
Drives Business Creation
They also found that having a mentor increases the progress within the mentee’s business. Therefore, mentors are a driving force behind the development of the mentee’s business, as well as their professional skills. They have proven to give mentees substantial guidance in getting their business into a position that is established and trading successfully. Mentorship isn’t just about personal development but also about business development.
Mentors also Benefit
You may think that only mentees benefit from such a relationship. This is not the case. There is also evidence that mentors can take something away from this experience. Areas in which mentors develop are business knowledge, communication skills and ability to self-reflect. As a result, mentors may find this experience beneficial in numerous ways, assisting their own professional development. Therefore, as an extension of this, their business will also benefit. This is supported by their continued work with young business people and related organizations.
As displayed in the YBI study, mentorship programs must be curated so that both mentors and mentees will benefit. It highlights the need for: good matching of the seekers and solvers, development of the mentors themselves and beneficial evaluation. If all parties find this experience useful, we may even find that those ‘seeking‘ today will become tomorrow ‘solvers’.
Here we can see that mentorship programs benefit everyone. Mentor and mentee can build a relationship that positively benefits business creation, business turnover, and professional development. It is so much bigger than just giving someone advice, as it can create more wealth for a number of businesses and communities.