When it comes to mentoring, most employees tend to look to their managers as mentors. However, Managing and Mentoring are two distinctly different methods of leading an individual to achieve a specific set of goals, both being of equal importance for an employees' success within an organisation.
The same can be said about Learnerships - incorporating on-the-job practice and mentorship is fundamental to the success of any Learnership programme. The idea is that in conjunction with the theoretical training, learners get exposed to the "in and outs" of an occupation by practicing all aspects on a day-to-day basis under the guidance of an experienced and qualified mentor.
"It is a relationship, not just a procedure or activity. Where the one person professionally assists the career development of another, outside the normal manager / subordinate relationship" -
S Mind, 'Business Mentoring and Coaching', Training & Development, April 1993,p26
According to The Association for Talent Development, incorporating mentoring as part of an employee / learner development toolkit increases engagement, improves productivity and can reduce turnover. Simply put, mentoring can have a direct impact on business growth.
The ABC's of Mentoring vs Managing
Assess Proactively : Mentors guide based on learners capabilities, strengths and areas of growth, while Managers set targets & have a more reactive management technique.
Build A Relationship : Mentoring gets personal, while Managing is organisational.
Collaborate & Listen : A Mentor is usually a guiding figure, asking many questions & allowing for learners' self-discovery. A Manager is usually an authoritive figure.
Benefits of workplace mentoring for the LEARNER:
- Learn & develop in a safe and supportive environment
- Identify one's learning needs
- Put theory into practice with professional support
- Identify opportunities career advancement
- Enhance one's professional competence
Benefits of workplace mentoring for the MENTOR:
- Develop awareness of issues in the workplace
- Generate new ideas & perspectives
- Bring satisfaction & stimulation
- Increase recognition & reputation
- Promote good practices
- Enhance one's own mentoring skills & techniques
By incorporating mentors into Learnership programmes, learners will be accompanied each step of the way & will emerge from the training programme with a stronger sense of self-confidence that will enable them to seize the opportunities that come their way.
For more information on the roles & responsibilities of a mentor during a Learnership programme, download our FREE Mentorship Checklist today!