Mentorship: Fact or fiction?

When most people talk about having a mentor, they usually are referring to someone who helped them along in their career or gave them good advice. Is that mentorship or just being a good person? It probably constitutes both.

According to Wiki, “‘Mentoring’ is a process that always involves communication and is relationship-based, but its precise definition is elusive. One definition is that, ‘Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital and the psycho-social support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé).’”

 If you or your organization wants to set up a formal program, you should make sure there are scheduled and unscheduled meetings, written and unwritten feedback, written and unwritten action plans and verifiable outcomes. Furthermore, setting goals and timeframes is important.

In that vein, I recently saw a promotion by Fairfield Inn & Suites that talks about working adults helping young people start their careers off the right way. I was impressed that a hotel company would be leading the charge on career advice and mentorship — well done.

I would like to encourage other hotel companies to share their programs and stories about career management and mentorship. After all, so many young people start their working lives in our business.