Mentoring Pays For All Involved

Sunday, September 2, 2012
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The notion that mentoring leads to rewards for the employees being mentored is pretty intuitive. But a recent report from New York-based Catalyst suggests it's also good for the one doing the mentoring, and for the business itself.

The study, High Potentials in the Pipeline: Leaders Pay it Forward, finds those who mentor and build up proteges experience greater career advancement and even receive higher pay than those who don't -- an average $25,075 more between 2008 and 2010 than non-mentoring workers. (The report was based on the responses of 742 people surveyed online who had graduated between 1996 and 2007 from M.B.A. programs at 26 leading business schools in Asia, Canada, Europe and the United States.)

Why the higher salary? Catalyst, in its release about the findings, poses it "may be that developing other talent creates more visibility and a following within the organization for the high-potentials who are doing the developing, which leads to greater reward and recognition for the extra effort."

The study also finds those who have been successfully mentored in their past are more prone to give back by helping others succeed. The men and women studied who are more likely to be developing others have, themselves, received developmental support (59 percent) versus those who have not received this type of support (47 percent).

People who choose to mentor others also tend to be the high-performers who understand the goals of an organization and the importance of bringing the right kind of talent into key roles. Of those respondents now coaching and mentoring, 64 percent are in senior executive or CEO positions versus non-managerial levels (30 percent).

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Ann Rhoads, president and founder of Peopleink, an Albuquerque, N.M.-based consulting firm focused on corporate and values-based cultures, thinks that level of leadership among mentors is precisely what's behind the higher-pay. Mentors, she says, have the more valuable attitudes and competencies.

She also says non-mentoring organizations are missing out on key opportunities to create productive and aligned corporate cultures in which high-performers -- including mentors and their proteges -- are firing on all cylinders; and it doesn't even take much time.

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