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Do Mentorship Programs Always Work?

  • 8th Dec'21

Mentorship programs serve a purpose to organizations. They tap on the skills and knowledge of the experienced and strategically infuse them in the less experienced or recruits. The intention behind introducing mentorship programs is to motivate the employees and assist them in their career advancement. Mentoring does have not only tangible benefits but also personal benefits. It helps shape individuals by directing them to do the right thing and focuses on their overall development.

But with all of its ensured benefits, could mentoring fail too? According to research, yes! 

While good mentoring can maximize employee potential and help them conquer the most challenging goals, bad mentoring can negatively impact them. The shocking revelation shares that a maximum of professionals from a control group experienced little or no benefit from any mentorship programs. What could be the reason? When mentoring software and related techniques bring unique solutions to our workplace problems and our conflicts, what factors lead them to be a failure?


Why Do Mentorship Programs Fail?

Pushing Less Enthused Seniors to Mentor

The organization structure may mandate leaders to take up mentoring after a point of time in their careers wherein they might not have an actual interest. Without the zeal, a mentor cannot positively impact the individual's intellect to direct them to do better in life or career. Mentoring calls for exceptional bonding among the mentor-mentee to make sharing more effortless. The mentor's job is primarily to gel with the employee and recognize the hidden potential through programs and discussions. And when there is no intention, the whole idea fails terribly.


Lack Of Training

Leaders in vast organizations fail to train prospective mentors and hone their mentorship skills. They lack the resources needed to make mentors out of senior employees effectively. What's more, they do not even appreciate the efforts of the ones who excellently carry out mentoring responsibilities. Most leaders simply assume that mentoring is a strategy that senior employees have acquired over the years. While this isn't justifiable, it also crushes employees' passion who even wish to volunteer for mentoring.


Lack Of Vision

Many organizations simply accommodate mentorship programs, seminars, leadership events, and webinars in the office charts to look more competitive. However, in reality, they lack proper planning and execution of the mentoring duties. As a result, it does not generate the desired outcome and sometimes affects the mentees negatively. Bad mentoring is worse than no mentoring at all. Mentoring should increase the individual's effectiveness and self-worth, leading to two-way learning between the mentor and mentee. Lack of vision in phasing out proper mentoring techniques only leads to bigger problems.


Glanced Off Skills and Techniques

Mentoring programs might look easy and fun, but they are backed by many supporting elements like active listening skills, networking, empathy, socializing skills, approving attitude, and inclusivity factors. Training helps mentors gain an in-depth knowledge of these skills that are more than just a brief notion of the same. Once the techniques get instilled through training programs, it prepares the mentor to deliver fruitful sessions and create a great experience for the mentees.


Lack Of Emotional Intelligence in Mentors

In this age of rat race, people tend to forget how to empathize with someone. They lack basic emotional skills like listening and understanding another person or managing stress levels by distracting the mind through positive actions like meditation, sharing with friends, etc. Emotional intelligence shapes an individual. A mentor who lacks that fails to drive employees. It all comes easily through practice and by being responsible. When an experienced individual reinforces employees' mental health through genuine, engaging conversations, that helps in the success of the programs.


Lack of Updated Strategies

A mentorship program will fail if there is no accommodation of recent updates. What social conventions are favorable and what has become obsolete must be in the knowledge of such mentors. Moreover, such programs must be followed by team events, effective communication skills, games, and informal activities that encourage the mentees to open up and self-reflect in a better way. The sooner they gel in, the easier it is to project a successful strategy to achieve success.


What is the Solution?

There isn't one answer to this. There are many solutions that organizations can put in place to create the best mentorship programs and create a horde of mentees who benefit from these programs. It does not have to be formal or theoretical, and organizations can research the evolving mentoring trends and train senior employees accordingly. Meanwhile, they must also ensure rewarding mentors for following best practices, taking feedback of mentees, and developing the process from time to time. 

If you haven't been assigned a mentor already, start looking for one by doing a series of analysis and careful selection. You have to look up at the background briefly, and take note of the values they depict. Is the mentor motivated enough to pull you through from your lower points in life? Can you trust the person to guide you to become the best version of yourself? Before venturing into the corporate world, you must consider all these questions to find a suitable mentor. 

After all, in the end, we all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how!


Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in careers and life. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.

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