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National Mentoring Month: Redefine Mentoring


National Mentoring Month

January is recognized as National Mentoring Month and organizations should take this opportunity to redefine mentoring at the workplace by launching new mentoring programs or campaigning about existing mentoring programs. Learn more about how and why this awareness month came into being and its importance in a post-pandemic world.


History of National Mentoring Month


Just over two decades ago, in 2002, the National Mentoring Month was launched in January by the Harvard Mentoring Project, an initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health, with an aim to provide underprivileged children with much-needed mentoring which would result in positively impacting public health. 


Since then, National Mentoring Month has been observed and celebrated every year in the month of January across the country. It is celebrated in schools, universities, educational institutions as well as in workplaces. This month seeks to create awareness for the need for more mentors in all streams while also recognizing the indelible impact of mentors on the lives of their mentees. 


Importance of Mentoring 


Remote Work Woes


With many employees working remotely and often across the globe, it is challenging for them to connect with leaders and managers beyond work. As all interactions are only limited to meeting over screens, the personal connection that is made possible by in-person interactions and water cooler moments is lost. A mentoring program provides an opportunity for mentors and mentees to connect beyond work albeit virtually. With dedicated time allotted to discuss career progression of the mentees as well as the rich experiences of mentors, a feeling of belonging at the workplace is created culminating in overall employee satisfaction. 


Personalized Guidance


Two individuals with the same educational qualifications and similar work experiences can have personal experiences that are poles apart. That is why a one-size-fits-all knowledge sharing session may not be an ideal solution. Mentoring programs such as ERG mentoring take into consideration the unique experiences of mentors and mentees and match them based on additional attributes such as ERG membership, personality types etc. When mentors and mentees have similar backgrounds, there would be a deeper understanding of similar challenges encountered by both parties. This leads to a more nuanced and personalized mentoring experience.


Bridging Generational Gaps


Most workplaces have four generations (Baby Boomers, generation X, Millennials and Gen Z) working together. Each generation has a distinct style of working as well as some strengths and weaknesses. Traditional mentoring programs and reverse mentoring programs can help bridge this gap between multi-generational teams and work better with each other. Mentoring provides a unique opportunity to understand an individual irrespective of their nature of participation as a mentor or mentee. In this way, mentoring plays a critical role of building cohesive teams that can collaborate to succeed even while working from different locations. 


Succession Planning 


Mentoring plays a crucial role in succession planning by facilitating the development of high potential individuals to take on leadership roles within the organization. Mentoring allows experienced leaders to impart their knowledge and insights with mentees. It helps create a strong succession pipeline to handle transitions efficiently. Mentoring top talent for leadership roles also boosts the morale of mentees and helps retain top talent in the long run.


Reignite the passion for mentoring among employees and provide opportunities for them to become mentors as well as mentees with a centralized mentoring platform with advanced mentor-mentee matching algorithms. 


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