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The Benefits of a Mentor at Work

To allow new staff to function optimally as quickly as possible, a good training period is indispensable. By appointing a mentor, you give new employees the necessary, structural guidance and support within the organization.

Guidance, specially with new employees, is necessary for someone to function optimally. If staff are properly trained, they aren't only productive as quickly as possible, but they also feel at ease. To structurally guide someone during his training period, it's wise to appoint a mentor. The new employee can then turn to one person with all his questions. It gives the new employee guidance within the organization. He doesn't feel left to his own devices and doesn't have to feel burdened to harass someone with 'futile' questions about, for example, the operation of the printer.

Characteristics of mentor

If you appoint a mentor, you choose a socially skilled colleague who is suitable to help young or new employees develop professionally. Due to the work experience gained, he is a sounding board that these employees can address with problems during their training period. It's not intended that a mentor takes care of everything to the last detail; he directs and provides the employee with tools and suggestions. This forces the employee to think and propose solutions.

Practical issues

The guidance of a mentor starts on the first day. After you have welcomed the new employee, you introduce the employee to the mentor. He takes him by the hand and introduces him to everyone. He tells all practical matters such as the operation of the printer, coffee machine, canteen and toilet locations, but also informal matters such as lunch times, business habits, breaks, coffee moments and Friday afternoon drinks.

Training employee

In addition to these general issues, the mentor also instructs the new employee. A mentor is usually an experienced colleague who is familiar with the tasks that are required of the new colleague. Even though a transfer has been written by the departed employee, the new colleague often still has the necessary questions and then it's nice if he can go to the same person for this. You can also schedule evaluation moments during the first few weeks. Not only between the new colleague and the mentor, but also with you as a supervisor.


Once you have chosen to use a mentor in the company, you can also deploy this senior in other areas. It doesn't always have to be about training a new colleague. This can also be cast in a slimmed-down form by, for example, letting the mentor guide a reintegrating colleague, by allowing a temporary worker to work in briefly or by making a trainee feel at ease. The better the training period, the sooner the employee adapts and the sooner his qualities are expressed.


You can also use the mentor as a general source of information. In addition to general life and work experience, this colleague has gained a lot of business knowledge over the years. It's a shame not to transfer all this knowledge and thereby to lose it. Certainly in the current spirit of the times in which many younger employees regularly change jobs, it's important to monitor the corporate culture and to employ someone whom others can fall back on.


Also mention the use of mentors during job interviews. Just like, for example, offering home working or flexible working, this support provides extra goodwill. You offer the applicant an extensive guidance period, which can give him that extra boost to come and work for you. The applicant now knows that he is given time to get used to the company and isn't immediately under full (work) pressure.

Own responsibility

The appointment of a mentor doesn't relieve you as a manager from giving guidance. A mentor is an addition to the guidance process, not a replacement. As a manager you remain responsible for the new colleague and you ultimately also count him on the results achieved. So ask regularly how things are going, whether the guidance is satisfactory, hold interim evaluations and also sit next to the new colleague during lunch to get to know him better.

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