My fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. celebrated its 112th anniversary on January 5, 2023. A key principle in our frat is, “developing the next generation of leaders.” We sponsor, in every chapter around the world, mentorship programs targeting middle and high school students. These programs have over a 50-year history and have impacted hundreds of thousands lives.
Mentorship in our larger society and in business is crucial, if done with great intentionality and purpose over a significant period. Colorado Access is fortunate to have a mentoring program.
Regardless of how much we know, who we know and who knows you – receiving guidance, feedback and coaching enables each of us the opportunity for continuous personal and professional improvement and growth.
Mentoring is important in today’s hybrid workplaces because of the impact on organizations and their employees. Mentoring is increasingly becoming an important engagement tool to retain and engage top talent. Skills development and career progression are top concerns for employees, particularly younger generations, and corporate mentoring programs are key to addressing them according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
According to Harvard Business Review, over 60% of employees would consider leaving their current company for one with more mentorship opportunities.
There’s what’s called the three Cs of mentorship:
When engaging in a mentee-mentor relationship it is important to have clarity regarding goals and outcomes, as well as roles in terms of who is leading/navigating versus the role of the guide/coach. Agreements need to be made regarding the frequency and methods of communication. Commitments should be made initially relating to the investment being made by both parties as well as the sponsoring organization and/or department.
Mentorship training to mentors and mentees typically contains the following:
- the goals of the mentoring program.
- mentoring participant roles.
- mentoring best practices.
- your organizational mentoring processes.
- clarifying mentor and mentee mentoring objectives.
There are four pillars of mentoring:
Whether you’re a mentor or mentee, be mindful of the four pillars of mentorship: trust, respect, expectation, and communication. Investing a few minutes to explicitly discuss the relationship expectations and communication logistics will pay dividends in decreased frustration and improved satisfaction.
Eight Professional Mentoring Activities that Boost Mentee Engagement
- Kickoff your mentoring relationship with coffee (or tea)
- Have a goal-planning session
- Create a vision statement
- Do a mutual job shadow
- Discuss goal-related news or events
- Read a book together
- Attend a virtual or physical conference together
The three Cs, training, four pillars, and the above activities are all found in the public domain.
What’s found here at Colorado Access is the opportunity to participate in our own mentoring program. It’s been my experience that Colorado Access is dedicated to developing talent. Mentorship is an important and significant way in doing just that. Lean in if you haven’t participated in mentoring or at least speak to the many who have.