Communicating a Mentoring Culture
The following article was inspired by IABC Seattle’s recent webinar, “Communicating a Mentoring Culture.” It recently appeared in Catalyst, the official publication of IABC.
I wanted to share the piece as it offers helpful content. I serve on the board of IABC Los Angeles (IABCLA).
By: Lisa Z. Fain
In a nod to the widely accepted truth that mentoring has tangible benefits for mentors, mentees and organizations, more than 71% of Fortune 500 companies now have mentoring programs. For many of these companies, however, mentoring is just that — programmatic.
Outside of the formal mentor/mentee relationship, there is little commitment to leveraging the benefits of mentoring for the greater organizational good. This means that companies are leaving potential benefits on the table by limiting the rewards of mentoring to the few who are participating in a formal mentoring program. For organizations to take full advantage of the benefits of mentoring, they must develop a mentoring culture.
What Is a Mentoring Culture?
Ultimately, mentoring is impactful because it fosters learning, encourages development and creates connection. According to Dr. Lois J. Zachary, author of “Creating a Mentoring Culture,” mentoring creates more organizational resiliency in the face of change and contributes to organizational stability by managing knowledge and facilitating communication. To create a mentoring culture, mentoring must be embedded into an organization’s ecosystem, which is where communicators come in.
Here are three ways for communications professionals to promote a mentoring culture:
1. Create Anchors. To make mentoring stick, it must be connected to the cultural attributes and established systems in the organization. To do this:
2. Talk about it. To create a mentoring culture, employees must trust that their organization has a commitment to the development of and creation of space for mentoring. Build the following into your communication strategy for leadership.
3. Foster Community. There are no better ambassadors for a mentoring culture than people who are already committed to mentoring in some way. Harness the enthusiasm and momentum of current mentors and mentees by creating a sense of community. Here are three ways to do this:
Like any systemic change, creating a mentoring culture happens gradually, with time and intention. Communication is a key component of this change. These tips will take you far.
Image: Nappy via Pexels.com
I'm Eli Natinsky and I'm a communication specialist. This blog explores my work and professional interests. I also delve into other topics, including media, marketing, pop culture, and technology.