Is the Art of Mentoring Dead?

You have a problem.

As a manager, you are responsible for making sure your employees have mentors. The problem you have is that your company may or may not support the mentoring process. It’s a shame, and it’s something you’ll have to deal with.

Last week we spend some time talking about coaching, which is great. But let’s not forget that coaching is completely different from mentoring, which is your ability to help someone grow in their immediate, professional career.

There are several reasons why companies today don’t focus on mentoring:

  • Downsizing has increased workloads and people feel as though they simply don’t have the time to devote to mentoring;
  • Upper management doesn’t understand that there really is a ROI when it comes to taking the time out to mentor others;
  • Managers aren’t properly trained as to how to become good mentors, likely because they haven’t received mentoring themselves; and
  • Some employers find mentoring useless because they think their employees will likely move on to another position or company eventually anyway.

I personally think these are terrible reasons to avoid mentoring. They all reflect one problem – a huge lack of committment to your company, to yourself, and to your employees. The same goes for your employees – they lack a committement to themselves. as well.

The truth is that you need to find the time and/or money for mentoring, whether you realize it or not. The benefits far outweigh the risks any day. And not having a mentoring program could prove detrimental to your team and your company as a whole.

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 24 February, 2010

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