Mentoring is transformative. It turns a negative into a positive and sets people on the right path. It is often seen as the answer to delinquency and at risk youth. But has also become an integrated part of many company's culture and growth strategy. Successful people often cite the importance of their role models and mentors in their own growth.
In 2007 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation commissioned an independent report on the impact of mentoring, which was finally published by MDRC in 2013. The report indicated the following benefits of mentoring on at-risk youth:
- Fewer depressive symptoms: enhanced emotional/psychological well-being
- Better peer relationships, and greater acceptance by peers
- Improved academic attitudes
- Higher grades
- More positive beliefs about their ability to succeed in school
The study concludes that the impact of positive role models is not only visible but quantifiable too. Everyone in society benefits when youth are encouraged to reach their full potential.
This same principle applies to the workplace. While "reverse mentoring" (pairing upper management with younger employees) has now become a common trend at many companies, talent retention is still an important concern for top management. In a 2010 survey of high-potential employees by the Corporate Leadership Council of the Corporate Executive Board, 25% said they planned to change jobs within the next 12 months. Engagement and satisfaction are decreasing. Mentoring is an effective tool to manage this situation.
Successful mentoring creates expectations, reinforces self-esteem and empowers people to realize their potential. This is why it works: