Of Fortune 500 companies, 96% have implemented some form of programme for mentoring in the workplace as part of their overall people and organizational development strategy. The concept of mentoring in Vietnam is more common in multinational corporations and large local companies than in smaller enterprises.
To date, there is scant statistical information on mentoring programmes in Vietnam because it tends to be included as part of training programmes or activities in larger companies.
Even though mentoring is not used so much in smaller companies, most workers know someone who they turn to on occasions for professional advice and guidance.
The mentor/mentee relationship does not necessarily have to take place in an office, or even in the same time zone — it can be done via Skype or a phone call. It’s more about the importance of sharing experience from older to younger which creates a value-added culture and a give-back feeling.
It’s also an opportunity for the barriers of hierarchy to cease to exist for a little while. A mentor may be another employee of the company or a professional from outside the company. Mentoring relationships benefit the employee, as well as the employer and mentor, and have long-term advantages.
Benefits to the Mentor
It encourages the mentor to share knowledge, which helps increase the mentor’s sense of self-worth, including the following:
1) It strengthens the mentor’s interpersonal relationship skills
2) It teaches the mentor about other areas and departments within the organization
3) It helps to re-energize the mentor’s career
4) It leads to personal satisfaction
Benefits to the Mentee
It educates the mentee on how to accept feedback in important areas, such as communications, technical abilities, change management, and leadership skills, including the following:
1) It improves the mentee’s interpersonal relationship skills
2.) It provides an important networking contact
3) It helps the mentee better understand the organisation’s culture and unspoken rules, both of which can be critical for success
4) A mentor provides an employee with tips on career growth and introduces the employee to other professionals. As an employee matures in their career, a mentor may remain a valued adviser to the employee.
Benefits to the Organisation
The employer of a mentored employee gains from greater productivity in the workplace. As employees turn to their mentors for advice, they tend to make fewer mistakes. Employees in mentoring relationships tend to have greater job satisfaction as well, which means a more positive work environment. Employers might also notice less turnover of employees as workers feel a greater loyalty to the company. A company might even use its mentoring programme to attract new employees.
Mentored employees value collaboration and sharing of information, which can lead to a stronger organization. Mentored workers are also apt to become involved in professional organisations that further both their careers and the profession itself.
You can inspire people by getting them to remember those managers who helped them develop their own skills, confidence and careers. They may not have had formal mentors themselves, but most successful managers can recall someone who helped them along the way and the difference that made to their professional performance and self-development.
Noelle Iles is Head of Business Development for talent acquisition at Talentnet Corporation with qualifications in international relations and 20 years’ experience in corporate training, marketing, and business development in the Asia-Pacific region
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