Mentorship Matters

Words by Dora Milan, Senior Project Manager
Published January 27, 2022
Last Updated July 3, 2024

In January, we’re called upon to make resolutions, assess habits, and invest in personal improvement, all in an effort to live a better, healthier life in the new year. What’s more, January 2022 has been proclaimed National Mentoring Month, a lesser-known reason to celebrate personal and professional development.

Here at NJI, we’re proud to announce the formation of our own mentorship program in 2022, aimed at supporting the personal and professional development of our panda colleagues by fostering strong, collaborative working relationships amongst our diverse team.

Why Mentorship?

Mentorship is a key facet of career growth for mentees both inside and outside the workplace. Mentors come in all shapes and sizes: supervisors, someone on a team outside of your chain of command, a person from another organization, even your wise old neighbor who once led a cross-functional team of hundreds.

No matter where you find yours, mentors are undoubtedly a formidable force in many professionals’ career paths and personal lives. To complement that, corporate mentorship programs are proven to improve the success of organizations themselves.

Make It Personal

Whether you’re a student, entry-level worker bee, mid-level director, or senior executive, working with a mentor is key to sustainable career exploration and growth. Working out those growing pains on your fast-paced team? Consult a mentor. Looking for the latest and greatest read on brand building? Consult a mentor. Need an empowering coffee chat before tackling a first-round interview with your dream company? You guessed it.

Research shows that mentorship in the workplace increases positive motivational and career outcomes for mentees. Individuals with mentor relationships work fewer hours, have better pay and promotion rates, have more motivation and aspirations, and possess stronger problem-solving and communication skills. In the age of endless Zoom calls and solving complex, multi-stakeholder problems via Slack, we’ll take all of the above, please!

For All

But mentorship isn’t only a benefit to individuals. When employees thrive, organizations thrive. Research shows that mentorship in the workplace increases positive outcomes for employee behavior, attitude, and relationships. What does this mean for the organization? Individuals have higher job performance, satisfaction, organizational commitment, and better peer and supervisor support.

Mentorship is also a vital component of successful diversity and inclusion initiatives. A recent study indicates that women and minorities are more likely to say that mentoring is extremely important to their careers. As a top priority for these groups, mentorship presents the opportunity for organizations to attract diverse talent. What’s more, successful mentorship programs breed allyship between diverse participants and their peers. When it comes to attracting and retaining diverse talent, organizations must prioritize opportunities for mentorship to foster a growth-oriented working environment for all.

E-mentorship

At NJI, we’ve looked at 2022 as an opportunity to challenge the status quo and expand our commitment to individual and team wellness, coaching, and professional development. We remain committed to these initiatives while also maintaining a flexible workplace environment.

With the rise of remote and hybrid workplaces, organizations large and small must generate opportunities for employees to engage and collaborate beyond the call of the client. Mentorship programs provide an opportunity for teammates to interact both formally and informallyvirtually (e-mentorship) and in person, with the purpose of developing skills, identifying areas for growth, and fostering a team environment.

Ultimately, the spark of a strong mentor has the power to unlock endless opportunities and nurture close relationships amongst peers and leaders. In January and throughout the year, we encourage all to look to a mentor, supervisor, or wise old neighbor for a coffee chat or otherwise; you never know what wisdom awaits.