6 Things You Need to Know About Mentoring

Mentoring is a proven tactic for anyone wanting to invest in their own personal or professional development. You might feel like this is a bit of a business buzzword at the moment, however, this powerful strategy is not a Newage Millennial Trend.

Did you know? The word mentor comes from the character "Mentor" in Homer's epic tale, The Odyssey. Mentor was a trusted friend of Odysseus, the king of Ithaca. When Odysseus fought in the Trojan War, Mentor served as friend and counsel to Odysseus' son Telemachus.

So the word is derived from ancient Greek times and since was popularised in the workplace during the second half of the twentieth century. Since then, modern-day mentoring has evolved significantly and I’d like to share with you a few fun facts you might not know about mentoring.

1 - The CEO secret weapon

80% of CEOs have stated they’ve had a mentor at some stage during their career. During a recent Mentorjam survey we learned that more than 90% of startup entrepreneurs highly value the advice and support they receive from their Mentors. With such a high amount of top professionals working with mentors, it’s clear to see that with the support of a good mentoring program we can help create the leaders of tomorrow.

Looking at the corporate landscape mentoring assists employees in having careers that are fast-tracked. They are primed for success with carefully crafted programs that help them develop both personally and professionally. Mentees learn how to problem solve and deal with situations at a much faster rate when they have a mentor.

2 - Millennials must haves

On the other side of the spectrum, 35% of employees who do not work with a mentor are likely to leave their job within their first 12 months. Based on this number alone the value of an excellent professional mentoring program shouldn’t be underestimated, especially for millennials or those entering the workforce.

With 63% of millennials stating their leadership skills aren’t being developed, businesses are missing an opportunity to nurture future talent. It means they risk losing out on staff with high competencies that can go on to lead their company in the future.

3 - Remove your Mentoring age bias

When someone thinks of a mentor, they conjure up an idea of an older, wise person sharing their knowledge and experience with a younger less experienced person. Yes, this might have been the case in the 80s and 90s - luckily we have all moved on a bit since then. While experience is key to being a good mentor, modern-day mentoring is absolutely not linked to age.

Each mentor brings their own unique set of skills, knowledge and experience to the conversations - some will be older, while others will be younger than the stereotype often labelled to mentoring. I was even happy to learn that the concept of mentoring is used in my children's school and amongst the students and teachers.

4 - A new age of Digital Dinosaurs

Otherwise known as reverse mentoring, or when a younger person teaches an older person on new trend topics or technology. With tech evolving at such a rapid pace, it can be hard to keep up with changes and being able to tap into the knowledge and experience of someone at the helm is often priceless.

Typically younger people tend to be more up top date with changing technology, and many companies use their knowledge to teach older execs. The benefits here are two-fold: execs stay on top of latest trends, while the younger generation feel empowered as they share their knowledge with eager learners.

5 - Fortune 500 for a good reason!

71% of Fortune 500 companies offer some sort of a mentoring program to their employees. The reason is simple! Investing in leadership capabilities bears fruits in performance. Those with mentors are more productive, gain the confidence to implement their ideas and grow into leadership roles.

The biggest challenges companies face when it comes to their most valued assets - their employees, are the recruitment and retention of motivated and engaged talent. They realise that the only way to do that is by investing in their employees, not just now, but also in their futures. Providing them with a mentoring program is a great way to show staff their worth and set them on the right track to success.

6 - Stay ahead of the curve

Mentees get promoted 5x more often than those without a mentor, while retention rates are 22% higher for companies with mentoring programmes. It really is all about the value placed on staff and a company’s future.

One of my favourite quotes on this topic: “What if we train them & they leave? What if we don't & they stay?”

Mentorjam is a Dutch startup, founded in April 2020. They were born out of frustration, and their passion and belief in the Power of Mentoring lead them to create a truly unique solution for organizations who want to deliver change through Mentoring.

The team at Mentorjam believes that every person needs a mentor. Sharing knowledge is progress, progress drives change, and change is a motivator. The Mentorjam Whitelabel Saas solution enables communities, organizations, and ecosystems of all sizes to provide mentoring solutions that really add value.

To make a difference in this world we should inwardly reflect on what we can share, teach or learn from others to really deliver change. To find out more or book a demo visit

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