Thank You for Being a Friend
Workplace Mentorship and Its Many Benefits
Hannah Gardner | Business Development
Life, one might argue, is ultimately made up of a collection of relationships spread out across time. We define ourselves in these relationships, mark successes and failures by them, learn lessons and make memories surrounding them. There are those crucial personal relationships: siblings, parents, friends, partners. And professional relationships, too: bosses, clients, colleagues. But it stands to reason that the most special and impactful of all professional relationships is the one between a mentor and a mentee.
When I got my start in the travel industry, I worked at an educational travel company that had a structured and well-organized mentorship program. On my first day of work, I was introduced to my mentor, a woman working in my same department who would go on to teach me just about everything about the role, from organizing my email inbox to handling travel crises. She trained me in the job, but she also set an excellent example for me as to how to carry myself with clients, how to work closely alongside colleagues, and how to position myself for opportunities and growth. We checked in frequently with each other, chatted often about our personal lives, discussed our goals, and even traveled to China together.
After my first year at the company, I was then selected to become a mentor. I was paired with a new employee, and, following in the footsteps of my own wonderful mentor, I did my best to guide my mentee as she settled into the job, the workplace culture, and her own book of business. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to see both sides of the relationship, which were key factors in my professional development.
Of course, not all companies have explicitly defined mentorship programs. This is not always conducive to a company’s culture, or the structure of departments and roles. However, even in these circumstances, employees often forge mentor relationships of their own, motivated by a desire for learning and growth in a company. This can be as simple and informal as a new employee grabbing a cup of coffee with a more establish colleague and seeking advice. And of course, it would behoove an organization to encourage and support this! It has been proven time and again that close relationships, such as the mentor/mentee relationship or even between “work best friends”, result in increased productivity, employee retention and successful collaboration. The benefits are many and shared by all.
Do you have a mentor or mentee at work? How can you promote these relationships in your workplace?
Talk to your colleagues about incentive travel with Livalit; our intimate group sizes and innovative itineraries help forge bonds, encourage collaboration, and make wonderful memories that will last all the way back to the office, and beyond.