Have you ever been a part of a peer mentoring program? Perhaps you’ve sought advice or guidance from another student or friend during training. Maybe you’ve tutored someone or served as an adviser.
Having a mentor is a great way to learn from someone with experience, and being a mentor is a great way to share your knowledge and gain a new perspective as you teach those who look to learn from you.
What is peer mentoring?
Peer mentoring is a one-on-one relationship that occurs between someone with specific experience and knowledge and someone who is new to the field or industry. It is most often found in those at the same level or similar levels within an organization and can be formal or informal.
Informal mentoring can look more like a friendship and continue well after the mentoring relationship; formal mentoring is structured and follows measurable business objectives based on compatibility of the individuals.
The goals of peer mentoring are to share job-related knowledge from mentor to mentee and help the mentee through the early stages of training and onboarding for a position. It also aims to provide support for the mentee as they begin their new role within an industry or organization.
How is peer mentoring beneficial?
Peer mentoring benefits both the mentor and mentee in multiple ways:
Foster personal growth
Having a mentor can boost your self-confidence and help make you more self-aware. Working on your goals with someone else can result in you becoming more introspective and allow you to assess your strengths and weaknesses, providing ways for you to learn and grow.
Becoming a mentor also provides growth as an individual. As much as your mentee can learn from you, you can learn from your mentee. Listen as much as you speak and learn from those joining the organization having just completed their training.
As you train, having a mentor can be a tremendous help. If you have questions, you can rely on your mentor for answers and guidance. They can help create a smooth onboarding process and help you work out any confusion as you start your new role.
Mentoring new hires in your organization can also help you learn more about your own role and revisit your training to continue to improve your skillset.
One of the biggest benefits of peer mentoring is the transfer of knowledge from mentor to mentee – and the other way around. As a mentee, your mentor can share all their experience and insights with you; as a mentor, you can learn from your mentee based on their fresh perspective and unbiased view of the organization and specialty.
Being a mentee or a mentor will make you a more engaged employee. Peer mentoring gives you access to learning and training you wouldn’t otherwise have, allows you to communicate and ask questions to someone who understands your position, improves relationships within the organization and provides the mentor and mentee additional responsibilities and ways to prove their potential.