The roles of allies, mentors and sponsors in employee development


When it comes to their career path, many people feel lonely. A recent survey conducted by my company found that 77% of employees feel lonely in determining their career development. One of the ways employers can address this feeling of loneliness is to invest in employee development by proactively focusing on connecting people with others who can help them grow. .

When employers create a program that connects employees with advocates and mentors who advance their careers, employees feel more connected and empowered in their workspace, more confident to meet their challenges, and more able to achieve. their professional goals. To foster learning and development, it is crucial for companies to cultivate a collaborative support system built from a group of allies, mentors and sponsors.

When a business is filled with interconnected relationships based on positive reinforcement and education, then culture, productivity, and morale improve. Each of the three relationships – alliance, mentoring and sponsorship – helps create a strong and inclusive culture that drives professional development and growth.

Allies proactively support you and help you achieve your goals. An ally is often a colleague or colleague with a similar job title. You respect yourself and know each other’s professional goals and aspirations. You trust them to review your work, to help you when you are in a bind, and to speak positively on your behalf to senior staff. They are your advocate, your cheerleader and the voice in the office saying, “This is what my coworker needs to be successful. Here are their successes, and this is what they deserve.

Mentors are experienced and trusted advisors, often a few levels above you and a few years older. They reserve specific times to advise you on your career, your work and your trajectory. They often have a wealth of knowledge and share their useful experiences with you. Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work with mentors who offered me their time and expertise to help me develop my own career path. They helped me identify ways in which I could be more strategic in growing my job and even brainstormed new opportunities that would match my interests. With each relationship, I became more engaged in my own development, and as a result, I became a more effective contributor. When you’re struggling to navigate a tough work situation, mentors can help you figure it out with their wealth of experience. If you want to improve a particular skill, they can teach you or often know someone who can. At every crossroads in your career, you’ll need their advice and guidance to help you make the right decision.

Finally, there are the sponsors, your ultimate career champions. A great sponsor fights for you with those who have the power to influence your career path. Whether it’s sharing network connections or proactively helping you seek out new opportunities within and outside your current business, sponsors are ready to use their strengths to help you further your career. They often help propel you to the next job, next project or manager, constantly improving your work life. My sponsors have helped me chart my career path, learn new skills, explore other positions, and make new relationships and friendships at work, and have encouraged me to sponsor other people. It’s helpful to remember that in many cases, sponsors choose you based on a positive impression or interaction. Sponsors want to help competent people and do not harm their own brand.

Today’s employees want to connect, share and learn from others at all stages of their careers. Relationships with mentors, sponsors or allies can help them achieve this. Businesses need to proactively encourage and facilitate these types of relationships – they don’t always happen naturally. In my experience, programs that build a network of relationships based on mutual interests and goals will broaden the professional horizons of any employee and make them feel more valued in a company. The challenges of retention and culture, as well as an individual’s feelings of exclusion and insecurity in the workplace, can be addressed with the right system of mutual support, referral and inclusion. . Investing in supportive workspaces to create a strong culture of learning and development will bring significant benefits over time.


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