Mentoring in practice

  • Category:
    Management
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    Assignment
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    Masters
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3Mentoring

MENTORING IN PRACTICE

Submission date

Assessing the impact of peer mentoring on individual and organizational performance and development

Introduction

Typically, peer mentoring is the process through which a mentor helps and supports a mentee to attain their career goals. According to Grant-Vallone & Ensher (2000), a mentor is an individual that supports the mentee; he or she is required to listen, challenge and provide insights and encourage the mentee. Similarly, Bryant (2005) argues that it is a technique that is mainly aimed at helping individuals to cope with diverse environments and their lives being integrated by both large and small organizations. There needs to be an excellent relationship that is built on trust, commitment, respect and confidentiality between the mentor and the mentee to ensure effective mentoring. Based on past studies, a lot of emphases have been on mentoring programs that focus on the mentor-mentee relationships. However, there has been little focus on peer mentoring programs. The outcomes or the applicability of peer mentoring for both individual and organization level has thus not been very clear. It is in this regard that this project seeks to assess the effect of peer mentoring on both an individual as well as at organizational level.

Problem statement

There have been many studies on mentoring. Some of the studies have examined mentoring within the context of higher education, a developmental learning ground. A majority of scholars, as well as academicians, claim that the main purpose of higher education is to further their learning as well as development for persons within our community. In the workplace environment, mentoring is essential. However, most organizations have not understood the significance of mentoring their employees and have disregarded mentoring programs. Mentoring is specifically essential in providing a sense of direction to the employees. Employees that are not mentored tend to lack a sense of purpose and are not certain of their long-term career goals. Similarly, organizations also need to look up to market leaders for direction since they have been in operation for longer periods and thus have vast experience on different operational strategies on how to develop and grow within the market or the industry. Small organizations can thus seek for mentorship from market leaders to seek for direction and developmental strategies. However, most organizations disregard this option. It is based on this background that this study looks at the problem of not having peer-mentoring programs in an organization.

Project scope

Typically, project scope is the area that the research will cover as well as the areas that can be affected by the results of the findings. This study will mainly focus on companies in California with a specific focus on the peer programs in the companies.

Objectives of the project

The objectives of this study are the purposes that are intended to be attained at the end of the study. The primary goal of this study was to examine impact of peer-mentoring program on an individual and organization level. However, the mini-goals or the objectives that will help achieve this primary aim include;

1. Identifying the benefits of peer mentoring programs in organizations.

2. Examining the barriers to developing peer-mentoring programs in the workplace.

3. Identifying the relationship between the mentoring and individual performance.

4. Identifying a theory that can guide in implementing peer-mentoring programs in the workplace.

Project Research Questions

The questions for this project were;

1. What are the advantages of peer mentoring programs in organizations?

2. What are the barriers to developing peer-mentoring programs in the workplace?

3. What is the relationship between the mentoring and individual performance?

4. How can a theory that can guide in implementing peer-mentoring programs in the workplace?

Literature Review

This section seeks to look at past literary studies to have a better a better understanding of the study topic. It will examine the findings of past scholars and academicians on the impacts of peer mentoring in individual and organizational performance and development. It will specifically explore the benefits of peer mentoring programs in organizations, the barriers to developing peer-mentoring programs in the workplace and relationship between the mentoring and individual performance.

Benefits of peer mentoring programs in organizations

Cornu (2005) affirms that a majority of the most successful companies across the world use peer-mentoring programs to handle complex organizational challenges that regard human resources. Glass & Walter (2000) further argues that it is an effective strategy especially when there is need to control the time taken to share a skill or knowledge continuing with the current pace of work. Peer Mentoring programs in the work environment have been instrumental in career planning and leadership development of the employees. The mentoring process is collaborative, and this helps it to focus simultaneously on the development of the employees as well as developing an interpersonal relationship between the employees and the organization.

Peer-Mentoring improves employee performance, boosts employee retention, increases productivity and fosters vision. It thus serves as a foundation, for both leadership development as well as career development. Colvin & Ashman (2010) claims that peer-mentoring is important in internal knowledge transfer. He puts forth that peer-mentoring at the workplace is an effective approach to creating, organize, obtain and distribute skills and knowledge. Furthermore, it supports both long term and short term topical and situational learning between employees thus reduces the average time spent in sharing skills and knowledge in a work environment that supports learning. Smith (2013) also states that peer-mentoring is essential in the development of diverse initiatives. Mentoring empowers a diverse range of workers to exchange their ideas, opinions, experiences and knowledge on a level playing field. Through this an environment of understanding, trust, support, is belonging as well as encouragement for a diverse work environment. Employees have the freedom to voice their concerns and find solutions to their problems. Another benefit that organizations accrue from the implementation of peer-mentoring is onboarding new employees. Getting the right workforce is usually a challenge to many organizations. However, this can be facilitated through group mentoring especially where the new employees are associated with the employees through peer group mentoring.

The barriers to developing peer-mentoring programs in the workplace

Despite the numerous benefits accrued from peer mentorship programs, some organizations intentionally ignore to implement these programs into their operations. Hillary 2007 argues that most of these organizations shy away from implementing these programs mainly due to the implementation processes involved especially when there are limited opportunities for advancement in the company. He claims that where there are no advancement opportunities, mentees tend to be frustrated. On the other hand, Pull (2012) also puts forth that it is not recommended to implement a mentoring program when there is no or limited organizational commitment. He also adds that most organizations have had a challenge in endeavoring to coordinate the ongoing human resource programs cohesively and at the same time manage the new mentoring programs. Similarly, there is a challenge in convincing the management to undertake such programs especially when the viability of the program cannot be justified by hard data. Moreover, another hurdle that discourages organizations to implement these strategies is the complexities and the high costs involved in the administration of these programs that entails cross-sectional pairing. Hillary states that due to the demerits accrued from the mentoring programs, most companies and organizations are discouraged from implementing mentoring programs. He goes ahead to categorize the drawbacks into organizational programs, mentor, and mentee challenges. He claims that the organizational programs include high costs and resources that are involved in administering and overseeing the programs, lack of organizational support, difficulties in managing the programs alongside the organizational initiatives and creation of a climate of dependency. The hurdles when it comes to the mentor, he stated them as a lack of perceived benefits, lack of time, resentment of mentees, lack of time, pressure to take mentoring roles and a lack of skills and knowledge that is needed for the mentoring role. Finally, he stated the challenges experienced by mentees included role conflict between the mentor and the boss, neglect of core job, overreliance on the mentoring relationship, unrealistic and negative experiences.

The relationship between the mentoring and individual performance

According to Pillemer (2001), the mentoring process helps in improving employee’s individual performance. It takes the form of a joint venture where the employees pursue a development plan in an area in which both have interests and all wish to develop. It is no doubt that unity is strength and teamwork is essential for the success of a project. Welsh (2004) claims that peer-mentoring is more effective within employees in the same line of operations. This is because they all share common development needs. Furthermore, when they are imparted with new skills and knowledge from their peer mentors they can easily impart it to new employees into the same line of operations through the daily operations and thus time and financial resources that could have, however, been spent in training the new employees are saved. Sprengel & Job (2004) goes ahead to state that peer-mentoring results to increased work productivity as employees will work as a team. Furthermore, the skills among the peers are shared to other employees and thus creating diverse ideas and opinions in solving a problem (Neider & Schriesheim 2002). Therefore, it is highly recommended to bring cohesion and increase productivity in the work environment; managers need to embrace peer-mentoring programs.

Application of Theory

This poject adopted the attachment theory to show the applicability of peer mentoring programs according to Fabardo (2007) the attachment theory is a psychological model that provides a closer look at the dynamics of both short term and long term relationships amongst humans. It provides ways in which people can be closer to each other and help them in solving social problems. Mentoring programs require the close connection between parties, which is pivotal in creating healthy relationships during and after the mentoring program. Typically, the theory is about a person’s ability to develop trust in their peers or superiors or caregivers. It places a lot of precedence on the need to have a caregiver to help in the development process. The theory is directly relevant to this project as it focuses on the nature of the interpersonal relationship between humans. For a workplace environment, there is need to have peer mentoring program that can enhance the interpersonal relationship among the employees.

Methodology

The main reason for carrying out this project is to assess the effects of mentoring on individual and company performance and development. Allen, Russell & Maetzke (1997) defines methodology as a harmonious collection of goals and assumptions, underlying methods and the outcome of carrying the methods that are being evaluated and interpreted. The researcher understood the need for carrying out a subsequent study to reach an amicable solution to the study problem.

Instrumentation: the project mainly relied on secondary resources to source for information that had relevant information about the research topic. Online journals and peer reviewed materials were used. Data was also collected through interviews that were conducted through questionnaires, and face-to-face interviews. The questionnaire comprised of eight research questions and was administered to five employees. The questionnaires were collected after two days after being fully completed. The feedback in the questionnaires was categorized and analyzed and appropriate conclusions drawn from them. Similarly, a brief face to face interview was also conducted on five employees from different organizations within the area. The participants were requested to state their opinions on impacts of peer mentoring in individual and organizational performance and development. The research questions were administered to them in a bid to seek for more clarifications into the research topic. The obtained responses were used to evaluate and conclusions drawn based on the frequencies received from each of the questions.

Analysis, Findings, and discussion

Based on the findings from both secondary resources as well as from the short interviews and research questionnaires, the researcher was able to ascertain that there are numerous benefits accrued from peer mentoring programs in companies. A majority of the respondents stated that their organizations do not embrace peer mentoring programs only a few of the respondents ascertained that they have these programs in their organizations and have gained a lot from the programs. Organizations that had these program reported a general improvement in employee performance, increased internal sharing of knowledge and skills, improved interpersonal relationships, the introduction of diverse initiatives since the employees learn new skills and gain knowledge from their peers. On the other hand, the respondents that stated that they do not have peer mentoring programs claimed that their managers were reluctant in initiating these programs fearing the costs associated with the establishment and management of the programs. They also stated that their jobs are very demanding and they hardly get time for such programs. A majority of the employees also stated that they would love to have such programs. They are willing, but their organizations lack the requisite resources to aid the programs. There is a lack of organizational support. Furthermore, they have attributed employee poor relations and cause of inconsistency about employee productivity to lack of such programs.

Conclusion and recommendations

Based on the discussion from the findings it is undoubtedly clear that peer mentoring impacts individuals and organizational development and performance. It can be concluded that the benefits accrued from peer mentoring programs include its instrumental nature in career planning and leadership development of the employees, developing an interpersonal relationship between the employees and the organization, improves employee performance, boosts employee retention and also increases productivity and fosters vision. It is also an effective approach to creating, organizing, obtaining and distributing skills and knowledge. At a personal level, the project will be helpful in convincing my future employer on the needs to put efforts on peer mentoring for mutual benefits. Based on advantageous nature of the peer mentoring program, organizations are highly recommended to embrace this program to help them improve their interpersonal relationships and a consequent improvement in the organizational productivity.

Bibliography

Allen, T.D., Russell, J.E. and Matzke, S.B., 1997. Formal peer mentoring factors related to proteges’ satisfaction and willingness to mentor others. Group & Organization Management, 22(4), pp.488-507.

Bryant, S.E., 2005. The impact of peer mentoring on organizational knowledge creation and sharing an empirical study in a software firm. Group & Organization Management, 30(3), pp.319-338.

Colvin, J.W. and Ashman, M., 2010. Roles, risks, and benefits of peer mentoring relationships in higher education. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 18(2), pp.121-134.

Cornu, R.L., 2005. Peer mentoring: engaging pre‐service teachers in mentoring one another. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 13(3), pp.355-366.

Glass, N., and Walter, R., 2000. An experience of peer mentoring with student nurses: enhancement of personal and professional growth. Journal of Nursing Education, 39(4), pp.155-160.

Grant-Vallone, E.J. and Ensher, E.A., 2000. Effects of Peer Mentoring on Types of Mentor Support, Program Satisfaction, and Graduate Student Stress: A Dyadic Perspective. Journal of College Student Development, 41(6), pp.637-42.

NEIDER, L. L., & SCHRIESHEIM, C. (2002). Leadership. Greenwich, Conn, Information Age Pub. http://www.books24x7.com/marc.asp?bookid=8840.

PILLEMER, K. A. (2001). CNA Mentoring made easy: everything you need to run a successful peer mentoring program. Somerville, MA, Frontline Pub.

SMITH, T. (2013). Undergraduate Curricular peer mentoring programs: perspectives on innovation by faculty, staff, and students.

Sprengel, A.D., and Job, L., 2004. Reducing student anxiety by using clinical peer mentoring with beginning nursing students. Nurse Educator, 29(6), pp.246-250.

WELSH, S. (2004). Mentoring the Future: a guide to building mentor programs that work. Cochrane, AB, Canada, Momentum Learning.