“I could not be more proud of the countless lives that I have changed since I began my coaching and mentoring career!”
Dan Pena, Businessman
Advantages & Disadvantages of Mentorship
Mentoring (sometimes also referred to as mentorship) can be regarded as relationship in which an experienced person guides a rather unexperienced person with the goal to improve his or her knowledge in the respective field.
Mentorships have become quite popular over the past years since there are many advantages related to it.
However, there are also some problems with mentoring.
In this blog post, the pros and cons of mentoring are shown in detail.
Advantages of Mentoring
- Fast spread of knowledge
- Increase in experience
- Mentoring may facilitate the onboarding of new employees
- Confidence levels may increase
- Mentorships can be important in crisis times
- Bad decisions may be avoided
- Employee satisfaction may improve
- Friends for life
- Also the mentor will earn
- Mentorships may lead to faster promotions
- Honest feedback
- Better standing inside a company or an industry
- Increase in profits for a company
- May be beneficial beyond the job
- Mentoring may strengthen the rights & opportunities of minorities
Fast spread of knowledge
One benefit of mentorships is that the knowledge in companies can be spread quite fast and new employees can learn a lot during their first years.
Their level of experience also tends to improve much quicker if they have a mentor than without.
Thus, in order to improve the knowledge of new employees, mentorships may be a great tool to do so.
Increase in experience
Most often, the level of experience a new young employee has is rather limited and it would take quite a long time to improve those experience levels.
However, through mentoring, seasoned employees can quickly share their experience regarding company policies and many other important things with the new employees and the level of experience of new employees tends to increase much quicker due to mentorships.
Mentoring may facilitate the onboarding of new employees
If you have a good mentor, it will also be much easier for you to onboard and to get mentally ready for the challenging tasks that might lie ahead of you.
Your mentor can introduce you to your new colleagues and may also guide you around in your first days regarding all the organizational stuff that comes along with starting a new job.
Therefore, mentoring may also be great to facilitate the first days and weeks for new employees so that they can integrate themselves into their teams quite fast and become valuable employees for the company.
Confidence levels may increase
Good mentors also know how to push their mentees, but they also know when it is time to build confidence in them.
It is a fine line between being quite demanding and being human at the same time and good mentors know how to do that.
Only if this balance is maintained, it will be possible to get the best results an employee is able to achieve in the long run.
Mentorships can be important in crisis times
Crisis times are a challenge to everyone in the company, even for quite experienced professionals. However, those crisis times are even more challenging for rather new employees and in those times of distress, it is often quite helpful to have someone you can talk to in order to master this crisis period.
Hence, mentoring may be especially valuable in crisis times where it may not be possible for new employees to get through on their own.
Bad decisions may be avoided
Mentors can also protect you against bad decisions you may have taken to a certain extent. Without a mentor, you would have to make important decisions solely on your own.
However, if you can ask someone before making those decisions, the risks for serious problems that may arise out of those decisions may decrease significantly.
Employee satisfaction may improve
Due to the help that mentors can give to mentees, it is also likely that the overall employee satisfaction increases due to the invention of those mentoring programs.
Thus, if you search for measures to improve employee satisfaction right now, mentorships may be the right way to go.
However, you should keep in mind that there are also some problems related to mentoring which are analyzed in the next chapter.
Thus, make sure to check them out in order to make a more profound decision.
Friends for life
Mentorships are not only meant to assist new employees, they often also result in lifelong friendships and connections. For instance, your mentor might leave the company sooner or later and you will lose his assistance in the company.
However, you might still hang out together, watching sports or just doing things you like. Therefore, mentors and mentees often maintain a close relation for many years.
Also the mentor will earn
Mentorships are not only beneficial for the mentee, but also for the mentor since he can improve his knowledge and his experience regarding the development of people in a company.
This will be extremely beneficial when it comes to leading roles in the company since for those kinds of jobs, it is crucial that you understand and navigate people in order to assure the best outcome possible.
Mentorships may lead to faster promotions
If you have a senior mentor who has a leading role in the company, your chances for promotions may be significantly higher compared to a state where you do not have a person who represents your interests. Therefore, your overall career might be vastly accelerated by having a senior mentor on your side.
From time to time, it is also important to get honest feedback regarding where you currently stand, what is already good and which areas need improvement so that you can develop in the fields you still have too many weaknesses.
Only then will it be possible to develop yourself further in a way that may promote your career in the most effective manner.
Better standing inside a company or an industry
Let’s be honest. Your overall standing inside a company does not only depend on your quality of work, but also on the connections you have. The same is true for whole industries.
If you have an industry leader as a mentor, chances are that you will profit from his connections quite a lot and you will also gain attention in this industry much quicker.
Increase in profits for a company
Mentorships also tend to improve the profits for companies. Since plenty of experience and knowledge can be passed on from experienced mentors to new employees, chances are that new employees will become more productive sooner and therefore, also company profits tend to be higher overall.
May be beneficial beyond the job
Mentors may not only be important for your career, they may also assist you with difficult personal decisions you might have to take. Life is not easy sometimes and assistance from experienced people who have much more wisdom may be crucial to master difficult periods in your life. Therefore, mentors may also help you to prevent crucial mistakes in those extreme situations.
Mentoring may strengthen the rights & opportunities of minorities
Especially for minorities, mentorships may be quite helpful since mentors can increase the confidence levels of those people and may also be able to get higher salaries and raises for them. This is especially important in countries where there is still a significant level of discrimination of minorities present up to this day.
Disadvantages of Memberships
- Mentors are often not really skilled to guide people
- Your mentor may be quite bad
- Fake gurus are a problem
- Mentoring is not a magic pill to improve
- You learn most by making your own decisions
- You may soon become better than your mentor
- High level of dependence
- Employees may be treated in an unfair manner
- Promotions may depend on the seniority of the respective mentor
- Mismatches on a human level
Mentors are often not really skilled to guide people
We can see from the previous analysis that there are many benefits that come along with mentoring. However, mentoring also has its downsides. One problem of mentorships is that although mentors are often quite experienced, they often still lack the skill to really guide people.
If a mentor is not able to guide his mentees, chances are that mentorships do more harm than good since mentees as well as mentors will become frustrated over time.
Your mentor may be quite bad
Even though seasoned workers are often quite good, there are also some mentors who are quite bad and really do not know how to handle their mentees and also lack basic skills in their respective fields.
Hence, if you get a mentor who has no skills, it is also quite likely that you will not be able to learn much and it might even be harmful to you since you might adapt some unfavorable characteristics from those poor mentors.
Fake gurus are a problem
The mentorship space is quite crowded and also outside the workplace, there are plenty of gurus who claim to have the answer to a happy life and to wealth and freedom.
They often also claim that all this can be achieved without having to put in the work. While most of us know that this is not true at all, there are some people who really believe those gurus and spend large amounts of money on their courses.
Therefore, this extreme kind of mentorship may become a serious problem for you in case you are naive enough to believe those gurus.
Mentoring is not a magic pill to improve
Although mentors can help you improve your personal skills faster, mentorships are not a magic pill to succeed in life. They are rather meant as a supporting factor, however, it is still you who has to put in the work.
Therefore, mentorships can also be a problem in the sense that mentees might think that having a good mentor is enough to succeed and stop putting in the work. Thus, with the wrong attitude, mentorships can do more harm than good for some people.
You learn most by making your own decisions
Although mentors can you protect from making bad decisions, this also prevents you from making important experiences that would be quite valuable in your later life.
Nobody actually likes making mistakes and failing, however, there is more to learn from failures than from success and by taking away this learning process through mentoring, people may not learn to make important decisions and to deal with the downsides of it.
Consequently, since mentoring takes away part of the responsibility of mentees, it might take longer for those mentees to learn how to deal with failure.
You may soon become better than your mentor
If your mentor is quite bad or if you are a natural talent, you might become better than your mentor pretty fast and your mentor may only be a burden for your personal development.
Moreover, in such a case, your mentor will also likely become quite frustrated and sometimes even envious and the relationship between both of you may worsen quite a lot, which may lead to a bad atmosphere in the company as a whole if there are too many of those mismatches.
High level of dependence
Another problem with mentoring is that mentees become highly dependent on their mentor’s preferences, views on the world, work attitude and so on.
Since the chances for promotions will significantly depend on the relation to your mentor, you might not be able to live your true self if you want to maintain the chances to get promoted soon.
Employees may be treated in an unfair manner
Unfortunately, not all people on our planet have good intentions and a nice character. Some of them may want to hurt your feelings and try to bring you down.
This is a serious problem, especially if you are the mentee of such a person since you might be treated in a quite poor and unfair manner by your mentor.
Promotions may depend on the seniority of the respective mentor
It may also be considered to be rather unfair that the chances for promotions and big raises may significantly depend on the relationship between the mentee and the mentor.
In the long run, this may lead to high levels of frustration for many employees since they feel to be treated unfair. In turn, many good employees may leave the company, which may lead to serious issues in the long run.
Mismatches on a human level
People are different and if the attitude towards life and the core values differ too much between the mentor and the mentee, chances are that there will be a significant mismatch on a human level and the chances for a successful mentorship will be rather low.
Therefore, it is crucial to pay close attention to match the right people with each other so that both the mentor and the mentee can benefit from their connection.
Top 10 Mentoring Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Mentoring Pros||Mentoring Cons|
|Spread of knowledge||Quality of mentors greatly varies|
|Experience gains for young employees||Mentors may lack people skills|
|Friendships for a lifetime||Mismatch of personality types|
|Important for promotions||Bad mentors may do more harm than good|
|Big mistakes can be avoided||Some responsibility is taken away|
|Mentors can be important in crisis times||People often learn most from mistakes without mentors|
|Less need for pesticides||Employees may be treated quite poorly|
|Better standing in a company||Feeling of a lack of fairness regarding raises|
|Valuable beyond the job||High level of dependence|
|Firms may be able to increase profits||Mentorships may not be necessary|
As we can see from the previous argumentation, there are many pros and cons of mentoring.
While new employees can often benefit from those mentorship programs, there are also occasions where mentorships can do more harm than good.
Therefore, companies have to evaluate on an individual basis whether mentorships make sense or not for them.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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