By Maria Krowicki - While attending a college career fair back in May, the number one question the college recruits had was…. did we have a mentoring program. Throughout my many discussions with students that evening, it became abundantly clear how important having a mentor was to the future accounting professionals. The new generation (and even some of the “old-timers”) need and appreciate the feedback. The new generation expects this type of environment. They want to succeed and they want to succeed fast!!
Our future leaders will only be as good as the time we put into mentoring, coaching and developing them. I am proud to say that my firm just rolled out our first ever mentoring program to much anticipation and excitement on the part of our staff. This really showed me something – no matter how long one has been in the industry – everyone benefits from participating in some form of mentoring relationship.
Mentoring by definition is the deliberate pairing of a more experienced person with someone with less experience. I’m sure almost everyone has had a mentor in their career (although mentor is a relatively new term within the last few years) that has helped shape and guide them to where they are today, and even where they may still like to go in their career path. With today’s changes in the work environment, young accountants appear to learn more quickly with hands-on, on the job training.
The benefits a firm can experience are great. Numerous studies have shown that mentoring and coaching helps develop strong relationships, which binds people to an organization and ultimately strengthens the culture of the firm. In today’s ever changing economy, and shortage of talent (as we all can attest to), this can mean the difference between cultivating the talent you have to the next level or losing them to the competition.
Mentoring is a win/win for everyone involved. The lessons a Mentee can learn from a Mentor could prove to be invaluable, as the Mentor has “been there, done that” and can offer true work/life experience insight.
I would love to hear how mentoring programs are working for your firms.