Mentorship: Why It’s Important and How To Get Started

May 14, 2019

Mentorship isn’t just for students and interns. We work in a fast-paced, relationship-driven industry, and there’s no better way to expand your connections and learn about the latest trends, techniques and fabrications than by becoming a mentor or a mentee. Yes, the benefits go both ways! You can learn just as much as your protege when you start mentoring someone.

Starting a mentorship initiative within your company is a hot new trend among successful businesses. More than 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have some type of mentorship program in place. Programs like these help onboard new employees and give your people someone to turn to for career guidance and interpersonal development. But even more importantly, company mentorship programs help solidify your company’s culture. In this modern world of high turnover and frequent career switches, creating an atmosphere of mentorship can help guide your employees’ development and show them what a future at your company could look like.

Fostering a healthy mentor/mentee relationship can be tricky when you’re just starting out. Thankfully, the folks over at PromoKitchen have given us these four simple mentorship tips:

  • Keep in touch
    Communication doesn’t have to be constant, but it should still be regular. Set a time every week or two to sit down and catch up, chat, ask questions and give answers.
  • Let them know what you are working on
    Sometimes the hardest time to mentor someone is when everything is going well. When things are running smoothly, it can feel as if you don’t have anything to talk about, but that’s not true. Talk about your projects and the methods you’re using to complete them. Often times you’ll discover something new that makes you more efficient or solves a problem you didn’t know you had.
  • Celebrate their successes
    Mentorship is about raising the water level for everyone. So when your mentor or mentee succeeds, you succeed. Take some time to celebrate your victories, big and small.
  • Friendship comes first
    You should be having fun together! Grab lunch or some dinner. Talk about the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Put those relationship building skills we all talk about to the test. Solidify the relationship and you’ll have already succeeded.

If you’re interested in starting a mentorship program within your company or simply becoming a mentor for other industry professionals, consider reaching out to PromoKitchen, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping industry professionals succeed. They have their own robust mentorship program dedicated to helping others get their footing in the promotional products industry, and they have a strong culture of paying it forward.

You can also read more about the benefits of workplace mentoring in this article from GQR and this one from the PromoKitchen blog.