Okay – that was a sarcastic remark. Of course its important – but that importance varies person to person, and as you design a role for people in your organization, design the sell of a position to an employee, or think about what you are going to talk to your boss about come review time – MENTORING should be a consideration you are making.
As an HR / talent exec it starts with your employee value proposition, and how important mentoring is to your culture. Do you have a program? Is it formal? do YOU have a mentor? Does the employee take responsibility? Is it frowned upon? Who are the examples of two people with strong mentoring relationships? If you can’t answer some of all of these questions, realize that there are candidates where mentoring is important when considering your job, and there may be top performers who are frustrated with their current job because of the lack of mentoring.
Employees – speak up. Find out if there is a program (if you want a mentor) Are you involved? Do you know any of your peers who talk about their mentors?
Recruiters – find out how important this is to the candidate. A strong mentoring program may actually get you through a tough negotiation for the right candidate, while it may mean ZERO to another. But find out. During recruiting, ask them about what empowers them daily and what resources they use for advice and counsel. If they have a mentor that is an employee at the current job, they may actually lose the ability to talk with that person – especially if the work is highly confidential or competitive. This can make your opportunity not as attractive.
Mentoring is part of the Development category of the employee value proposition. There are Four Corners to every employee value proposition, and a balance across the four is desired to make a strong match from employee to employer. The Four Corners are Development, Work Experience, Personal Match, and Financial.