What is Mentorship?

Mentorship is the influence, guidance, or direction given by a trusted counselor or guide. This influence can take on many different forms. Mentorship can be either informal or formal. Informal mentoring can develop naturally between mentor and mentee, such as when a more experienced colleague takes a less experienced colleague “under their wing” in order to provide guidance and advice in an unstructured or loosely structured way. Formal mentoring, on the other hand, is structured and usually has a concrete objective and established goals and milestones. Progress towards this objective is measured and evaluated along the way.


Why Mentorship is Important

Mentorship is especially important for people early in their careers. Studies have shown that mentorship leads to improved career outcomes. Mentored employees receive higher compensation and a greater number of promotions. They also feel more satisfied with their career and are more committed. Mentees also show more confidence in their career progression; they are more likely to believe that they will be promoted.

Research also shows that mentorship programs pay dividends for employers. Employees involved in mentoring programs have been shown to be more engaged. These employees had more positive feelings about their organization and its leadership. Mentored employees also felt their employers provided better opportunities for career growth and felt more informed about the direction their organization was heading.

Mentorship has also been shown to improve inclusion and diversity in organizations. A formal mentorship program establishes structure that provides opportunities for racial and gender minorities that may have otherwise been unavailable to them. Having a mentor from the same minority group can empower mentees, showing them a possible path through shared backgrounds and experiences. Mentoring relationships between minority and majority individuals expose both sides to the perspectives and experiences of the other, leading to increased empathy and understanding.

The benefits of mentorship extend to mentors as well as mentees. Mentors also tend to have higher job satisfaction and stronger commitment to their organizations. They also have more career success and are more fulfilled by their work.


Mentorship and CRM

When we talk about Customer Relationship Management (CRM), it means more than the systems and software that track contact management, sales productivity, etc. The relationships you create aren’t just between objects in a database, they’re also the relationships you build with real people – within your company, with your customers, with the CRM community. Mentorship can be a valuable tool in forging and strengthening relationships, leading to better outcomes for your organization and for your customers and collaborators.


About the authorRaj Subramanian is a Salesforce developer with 18 years experience in software development and consulting and is a current volunteer/mentee with CRM Mentors (www.crmmentors.org)