Mentoring is as old as humanity. The oldest references to this topic can be found in literary sources that date back to before our era. This word comes from the name of the mentor – a mythical figure, whose teacher was Odysseus – the personification of life experience, prudence and knowledge. Today, we use what our ancestors started, using mentoring primarily in business, but not only. The mechanism and principles remain unchanged for centuries. Mentoring is a unique relationship between a student and a teacher. The benefits of these relationships are mutual. At Int4 Academy, we care primarily for beneficial relationships for everyone – mentors and employees. About the culture prevailing in our organization you will learn later. Now, let’s take a closer look at the issue of mentoring itself.
What Mentoring is?
There are many definitions and approaches to mentoring, but they all go in the same direction – to the relationship between the teacher who is called the “mentor” and the student. Most often we associate it with business, but the truth is that we use the help of a mentor also in other aspects of life. At the beginning the mentor is the parent, then the teacher, and finally we come to the most important stage of our life – professional work. Mentoring is most associated with this sphere, especially the one offered by us at Int4. It is most often used in business relations and we will focus in this area above all.
Business mentoring in a nutshell:
- a natural way of transferring knowledge, experience and skills,
- giving tips on both – professional and personal life,
- answer to the question who I want to be / what I want to be.
Mentoring in business is the relationship between an experienced employee who is the authority for the person who has just been employed. Simply put – mentoring is a tool for transferring knowledge. The whole mechanism is a bit more complicated. The goal of a mentor in a company is not just to provide information to a new employee and to leave him alone. The premise of mentoring is cooperation to achieve a common goal. They work together for the success of the company, so everyone should care. The mentor is responsible for his student, while the student should provide feedback to the mentor. The mentor’s task in this situation is to show support in the practical application of knowledge. Mentoring is currently one of the most effective development methods available to both – organizations and individual people.
What are the benefits?
Everyone benefits from mentoring – the mentor, his student and the organization or company that uses this mechanism. Here are the basic advantages of introducing mentoring in a company.
The most important mentoring benefits for a student:
- access to non-standard knowledge that goes beyond what is available in courses and training,
- access to mentor’s know-how,
- consultation and verification of ideas,
- discovering own potential,
- broadening horizons,
- increase of motivation to develop.
Basic benefits of mentoring for the company:
- good preparation of employees for duties,
- the possibility of using the employees’ potential,
- improving communication,
- good knowledge and practice transfer.
Important benefits for the mentor himself:
- development of the most important leadership and interpersonal competencies,
- better chance of being promoted,
- greater prestige and recognition,
- personal development,
- feedback about yourself and competences, not just in a professional context.
At Int4, the basis is employer branding, i.e. company activities that are aimed at building a positive image of the company. The result is that, in the eyes of a potential employee, it is the employer of choice. It is nothing more than an attractive work environment, ideal for development and career.
What are the drawbacks?
Mentoring seems to have only advantages. Unfortunately, the truth is different. There are some negative aspects that you should pay special attention to.
Here are the biggest risks of mentoring:
- causes conflicts or leads to nepotism,
- the possibility of romantic relationships between mentor and student.
The mentor himself can also be a big problem – if he is chosen incorrectly, it may turn out that instead of helping. He can cause negative feelings in his students. The too talkative, fatherly or demanding mentor can have the opposite effect than intended. In Int4 such situations will not take place – we focus primarily on mutual knowledge sharing and focus on ensuring that employees and mentors learn from each other.
Who can be a Mentor
The mentor must be objective and above all have the right character. A good mentor is a good listener, a good guide. He should be a person who can make decisions and gives good advice. The mentor should be emotional support, help in every situation and motivator for action. A mentor is a treasury of knowledge, a competent person and aware of their own limitations.
The mentor must be objective and above all have the right character. A good mentor is a good listener, a good guide. He should be a person who can make decisions and give good advice. The mentor should be emotional support, help in every situation and motivator for action. A mentor is a treasury of knowledge, a competent person and aware of their own limitations.
A mentor should only be a person who:
- has proven professional experience as a manager or company owner,
- is or has been a leader of universities, organizations or informal social environments,
- is an expert in his field, which is characterized by well-established theoretical and practical knowledge,
- is an open person who can build good relationships with people,
- is a person with experience in advising, conducting development processes and sharing knowledge.
Mentors at Int4
Our company has a so-called mentoring culture. Our main goal is to focus on sharing knowledge both inside and outside the organization. We help each other and organize regular internal trainings for teammates (technical and non-technical), during which we pass on our knowledge to others.
The specialists employed in our company also publish tips on blogs, of course on SAP Integration, and are even the authors of professional books. Our team includes 8 authors of SAP Press books. We also lecture at conferences and industry events around the world.
Int4 is an excellent work environment for anyone who wants to have the opportunity to develop a career. As a group of specialists, we have extensive experience in both internal and external employer branding. Mentoring in our implementation is an absolute sharing of knowledge. We do not keep information for ourselves – we always share knowledge with the SAP world. We are distinguished by active participation in global conferences and industry events (e.g. TechEd). Regular internal training focused on obtaining knowledge from mentors and employees is an important element of our business.
We do everything to make our employees feel the best. Mentors are prepared to share professional information, but they are not only unilateral to provide information. As professionals and intelligent people, they know very well that mutual knowledge sharing is very valuable, which is why they also listen to employees’ comments and advice.
Why should you trust Int4 Mentors?
We have two SAP Mentors on board – Michał Krawczyk and Eng Swee Yeoh. They are specialists and real experts who deserve this award as one of the few in the whole world. Michał and Eng Swee constantly share their knowledge in lots of publications, articles and during events around the world. Thanks to cooperation with mentors prepared in such a way, we can use SAP ERP with a clear conscience and offer you professional implementation.
This is an integrated modular ERP software package created by SAP, which supports management in large and medium organizations of various industries. The implementation of SAP allows you to increase the competitiveness of the company on the market and build lasting relationships with customers, and effectively gain new ones. Feel free to contact us to learn more!