In all irony I just watched the movie “The Intern” which more or less dealt with this exact subject. It features Anne Hathaway as the protagonist, an uber busy e-commerce Founder/CEO and Robert DeNiro as an intern hired through a “seniors’ internship program”.
Now, why is that pertinent to this article? It’s not, I just wanted to give you a glimpse into the exciting life of internet content writing. Honestly though if you are sitting in a cold board room, sweating through your frugally acquired interview power-suit and you are asked if you would participate in an employee led mentoring program what would you do? How would you answer? Well, lucky for you this is exactly what this article is about, even though I started it with an irreverent reference to a movie.
Well, in the movie the reluctant Anne Hathaway mirroring her (apparently) cold, stand-offish real world persona, initially gives good ole (and when I say “ole” I mean old as in old as Moses’ son old) DeNiro the cold shoulder. Through various old and tired movie tropes including but not restricted to: unforeseen father figure/mentor, successful person with seemingly perfect life which is actually in shambles and super old dude that can mysteriously drive perfectly even considering limited reaction time and vision, DeNiro proves his worth to Hathaway and eventually becomes her most trusted confidant. Much like any teaching moment, the teacher learns just as much from the student as the student learns from them.
Thus, a very valid answer would be “Because such a program would be mutually beneficial for all the parties involved. The mentor will offer their knowledge and experience and hopefully the mentee will offer a fresh prospective and creative problem solving”.
2. The Company Will Save Money
The difference between training and mentoring is during training you take an experienced member of your team away from their daily (and considerably crucial) duties, to teach a new employee the ins and outs of their job, were as during mentoring the senior team member can continue their duties relatively unencumbered while the mentee gets pointers and insights in real time. Thus, the company doesn’t dedicate enormous amounts of resources to training those new employees. Furthermore the mentee even has the opportunity to actively participate in their mentor’s daily tasks giving them even further knowledge regarding their responsibilities and job expectations.
3. I Did it For The Kids
No one likes being the new guy/gal, and mentoring programs help introduce new members to their teams as a name than a position. This fast track integration of new members not only helps productivity but the ability of these members to produce beneficial work earlier, than if a frustrated trainer had to drop their work to help the new employees learn the ropes. It’s ultimately a win, win situation. Add on top of that the benefit of having someone indebted to you that will happily fetch both coffee and bagels throughout the day, increasing your own productivity (because you don’t have to leave to get coffee and bagels…duh).
Do you have a different response if you were asked that all-to-long-to-write-again question? How would you respond? Let us know in the comment section below.