Global diversity and inclusion leader Furkan Karayel explores the value of mentorships in creating happier and more inclusive workplaces ahead of the Women in IT Summit Ireland 2020.
Mentorship is a very strong tool that can impact your short or long-term personal or career growth. In other words, it can help you make life goals a reality. It can make things that look impossible possible by grabbing a subject matter expert’s mind. We refer to them as mentors in mentorship. A mentee is referred to a person who requires guidance and expertise in a specific area.
According to Diversein‘s survey on various social media channels, 28.6% of participants didn’t have any mentor in their lives while 58.9% of the participants said that they had between one and five mentors, and 12.5% said they had more than five mentors.
There are many reasons why organisations should start mentorship programmes:
Mentorship makes a win-win-win situation for mentees, mentors and also organisations. While mentees get an opportunity to solve a problem they have, mentors get a chance to share their expertise with them. For organisations here are some of the benefits:
Mentorship increases happiness and satisfaction in the workplace
In today’s world, we are all craving workplaces that keep our moods positive and make us happy and satisfied with the work we do. In fact, 9 out of 10 employees who have a career mentor say they are happy in their jobs.
Mentorship increases employee retention
Happy employees stay longer in their organisations. A seven-year period study shows that mentors retention rate increased by 69% and mentees by 72% with mentorship.
Mentorship attracts talent
Human resources departments and managers consistently look for the best talent to join their teams. This comes with a big cost. Mentorship is also a way to attract more talents, get to know them and their skills first hand.
To be able to get the best out of mentorship programmes and make them more effective, these are the key metrics you need to be aware of:
The mentorship magic happens when there is a good match between mentors and mentees. This match can be done based on skillset and background experience. Both parties personalities, values and communication styles such as extroversion/introversion also play a big role in the success of mentorship.
Trust is the first factor to make mentorship more effective. Without building trust, a mentee might not be able to open up easily, a mentor might miss the underlying issue. Both mentors and mentees start mentorship with very positive feelings. This continues mostly in a professional manner throughout the session.
The advice that we would give ourselves with good intentions is not always the best advice for another person. A good mentor must understand the values of the mentee and put himself/herself in the shoes of their mentees and empathise before suggesting any advice.
During the pandemic days, I signed up for a business mentorship session as a mentee. In that session, I was recommended by a mentor to get my Inclusive Intelligence e-course recorded by someone with a different accent such as an Irish or Canadian accent. The sad fact is that, if this advice was given to me 10 years ago, when I was new in business and with less self-confidence, unfortunately, I would have definitely taken it and my work would lose its authenticity. The mentor was actually a nice person and made good suggestions to me in that session too. However, this mentorship experience and all mentorship programs can turn out to be more effective with diversity and inclusion guidance for mentors.