What do you say when someone offers to mentor you?

Anyone can write a thank you message. Your mentor is likely to receive tons of them from time to time. Make sure that yours reflects genuine gratitude. If you treat it as a homework rather than a sincere token of appreciation, it will be reflected in your message.

Be sure to let your feelings shine through. According to the American Training and Development Society, 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer mentoring programs to their employees. What new mentors need to understand is that mentoring is not only good for the mentee, but also good for the mentor. Offering them help with a project or with some other commitment they have are also tangible ways to show your appreciation.

When a mentor invests time and effort into your success, gratitude is a small but meaningful way to appreciate it. According to data that Cardinal Health collected about its mentoring program, employee engagement and retention increased for both mentors and mentees. It's also useful when you have virtual tutoring and don't have the opportunity to meet as much physically. Mentoring can seem overwhelming, and many first-time mentors express concern about having enough time or the right skills to provide value to mentees.

For example, Cardinal Health, a MentorCliQ client, recently won the bronze medal for “Best Advancement in Coaching and Mentoring” at the Brandon Hall Group Awards for Excellence in Leadership Development. With effective mentoring programs, companies can increase employee retention rates and generate leaders who know the company's culture and experience well. When a mentoring relationship is effective and both partners get along well, opportunities arise and networks expand. Great mentors significantly shape the professional lives of their mentees by pointing them in the right direction.

While it may seem that rising stars are the primary goal of mentoring programs, the reality is that mentors themselves are honing their leadership skills, harvesting new knowledge, and rediscovering their passion for work. As you prepare to meet with an apprentice and over the course of the conversation, you'll also discover your own areas for improvement, giving you an unparalleled opportunity to close those skill gaps. As organizations large and small discover the power of workplace mentoring to address far-reaching workforce management issues, such as retention, leadership development, and diversity and inclusion, successful leaders like you will be asked to step forward and guide others.

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