Learning & Development

3 Types of Mentors Your Employees Need

Adding to yesterday’s post, here are three more types of mentors your employees need to succeed.


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1. Peer Mentor

Employees should be provided with opportunities to pair up with coworkers who have similar goals and aspirations, as well as temperaments and personalities, or someone who is their “best friend” at work. Such mentorships will help employees navigate new experiences and skills with ease and will provide them with new ways to learn together.
The peer mentor will be someone who understands exactly what an employee is experiencing at work, day to day. He or she will probably go out for coffee or lunch often and will vent frustrations, as well as come up with solutions to his or her shared problems and challenges. Peers will hold each other accountable and push each other to achieve their different and shared goals.
Such mentors endorse a more collaborative work environment. Instead of employees feeling alone or overly competitive, they’ll come to rely on and support one another in healthy and productive ways.

2. Supportive Mentor

Sometimes, employees need a psychological or emotional lift, and they need someone to remind them that they are good at what they do and that they will be able to achieve their goals. Sometimes, they also need an anchor of sorts—someone who keeps them grounded and focused on what matters.
A supportive mentor is someone who acts like a cheerleader for an employee. He or she isn’t necessarily worried about professional skills or attainment and doesn’t necessarily advocate for a mentee to others.
Instead, he or she is there to lift the mentee up when he or she is losing motivation or getting distracted from his or her goals. And supportive mentors are there to remind the mentee of what’s truly important to him or her, such as maintaining a better work/life balance or learning how to better manage stress and so on.

3. Reverse Mentor

Even brand-new employees at your organization have something they can offer others, including their superiors. Employees should be offered plenty of opportunities to be reverse mentors, where they are able to help others too.
For instance, a reverse mentor could offer valuable feedback to his or her manager regarding certain management styles, policies he or she follows, platforms he or she uses, etc. Or, he or she could offer certain technical skills or practices not adopted by your organization yet that management might want to consider adopting.
Employees who feel as if their superiors truly value their unique skill sets and feedback are more likely to stay at an organization long term. And managers will be able to receive feedback so that they can be better at their jobs too.
As you develop your mentorship programs, be sure to consider the five different types of mentors your employees need to succeed—mentioned above and in yesterday’s post.
And for more in-depth information, read “What Millennials Want from a Workplace Mentor.”

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