Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: March 4, 2024 Opinion

Viewpoint: Mentoring is good for your career and your soul

Growing in your career often comes with increased requests for your time, including requests to mentor others. Whether the request is from the workplace, your alma mater, or with a local nonprofit, people often hesitate, wondering what makes a great mentor?

A woman with glasses wearing a blue jacket and a blue shirt looks at the camera.
Connie Askin

There is no common definition of mentoring. If you ask five people to define it, they will most likely describe it in five different ways. Just Google “mentoring” and see the depth and breadth of definitions. This is because mentoring happens every day in formal and informal ways. The inconsistency of the definition only highlights the many dimensions one can grow, learn, and benefit from these kinds of relationships. I like to say being a mentor just means you are a couple chapters ahead in the book; the most important factor in being a good mentor is simply that you care.

In the workplace, employees and employers benefit from implementing corporate mentorship programs and engaging as volunteer mentors in their communities. Research firms Gartner and Capital Analytics conducted a five-year, 1,000-person case study that found employees who participate in mentoring programs are five times more likely to receive a salary increase in relation to their peers who are uninvolved. Participation makes employees more adept in their roles and improves leadership and decision-making. Additionally, professionals with a mentor are five times more likely to get promoted, further emphasizing the importance of mentorship in the workplace.

As an employer, if you implement a mentorship program at your company, you will see significant benefits, including increased retention and decreased burnout. A paper published in the 2022 Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice found employees in a mentoring relationship were less likely to report burnout.

Mentoring can even make you happy! Laurie Santos, the Yale University professor who lectures on the science of happiness said in a lecture, “Helping others makes people happier than they expect.” At its core, mentorship is about giving of yourself to provide support and guidance to a mentee. Literally every mentor I have spoken to at Big Brothers Big Sisters says they find deep meaning from experiencing the world through their Littles’ perspectives.

Embracing mentorship is not just about doing good; it's a strategic move with a double bottom-line impact. By fostering a culture of mentorship, you not only enhance the effectiveness of your workforce but increase employee engagement, retention, and satisfaction. The power of mentorship lies in its ability to transform individuals and organizations. It's not just about guidance and support; it's about growth, development, and creating a positive impact felt through your community.

Connie Askin is CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & MetroWest.

Sign up for Enews

WBJ Web Partners


Order a PDF