Mentoring in the Workplace: Benefits & Best Practices

Companies benefit from investing in their employees’ career growth. Discover how mentorship in the workplace can improve company culture, employee engagement, and more.

What is mentoring in the workplace? 

Mentoring in the workplace happens when employees work together and focus on education. It can come in many forms, but mentorship relationships are usually a direct partnership between two colleagues. More specifically, a more senior employee guides a team member with less experience. 

Mentors provide mentees with advice on how they can better perform their current tasks, grow their career in the future, and how to build valuable relationships within their industry.  

What are the benefits of mentoring in the workplace? 

When done correctly, mentorship is a mutually beneficial relationship that provides each person with skills to help them further their careers. 

Benefits to mentees 

Mentees in the relationship: 

  • Build relationships that lead to networking opportunities 
  • Potential for a promotion 
  • Develop essential on-the-job skills 
  • Quickly learn the company’s culture 
  • Learn important intangible skills/information from your mentor’s years of experience 

Benefits to mentors 

Mentors also experience their own unique benefits of mentoring in the workplace: 

  • Give back to the company 
  • Develop new talent 
  • View the company from a different perspective 
  • Develop or enhance communication skills 
  • Improve leadership skills 
  • Gain trust within the organization as an advisor 

Benefits to companies 

The benefits of a strong mentoring program in the workplace reach beyond the mentor and mentee. The company itself will benefit from effective mentorship. Organizations can expect these benefits from their programs: 

  • Team satisfaction
  • Team engagement 
  • Team loyalty 
  • Streamlining of onboarding procedures 
  • Strengthening of company culture 
  • A more diverse leadership pool 
  • More efficient knowledge transfer and collaboration 

6 ways to use mentorship in the workplace 

When seeking mentorship, it’s important to remember that you’ll only get out what you put into the process. Here are some tips on using mentorship effectively to help you grow personally as well as professionally.

1. Proactively reach out to potential mentors

If you find someone who inspires you or has blazed a career path similar to the one you’d like to pursue, consider asking them to be a mentor. Don’t assume they’re too busy. You’ll never know unless you ask.  

Try to establish a connection before asking someone to be your mentor. Propose a low-stakes meeting, such as getting coffee in person or over Zoom. Explain what you are looking for and why you are reaching out to them. Above all, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’re not in this alone and having the support of others can correlate to leaps forward in your career. 

Before Nicolette Grannum became a software engineer, she enrolled in Intuit’s Apprenticeship Pathways Program. This program supports people with little to no technical background by offering them a paid, seven-month software development apprenticeship. In addition to technical training, mentorship plays a key role in each participant’s development. 

Nicolette recalls the different dynamics and types of mentors in the program. “Each person has given me something different and made me more well-rounded, helping me realize that even though I just started in this field, I can be here, I deserve to be here.” From practical advice about writing code, to emotional support on fighting imposter syndrome, each mentor supported her career growth.

2. Build a strong network

A robust network can help you grow your career while providing a strong sense of belonging and empowerment. Many companies offer networking opportunities internally. Intuit offers programs such as Tech Women at Intuit (TWI) and Women in AI. 

For a broader network, plug into external organizations such as Athena (the largest STEM organization for professional women), Women in Technology International,, or Girls Who Code, to name a few. If you find going to networking events intimidating, go with a friend.

It’s important to remember not to overlook the power of personal networks. “Being open and trying to build relationships with people who you know is actually what helps you move forward in your career,” said Bridget Kimball, VP of Engineering and Chief Architect.  “You become more aware of what’s going on around you, and people think of you when there are opportunities, because you’ve already shown that you’re open to doing new things.” 

A friend who works in your potential field could help you get your foot in the door. Consider reaching out to your network and try to give back when someone asks you for help– it’s a two-way street.

3. Be open to learning new things

Technology moves fast, so staying open to new learning is essential. When Jin Cheng took on the role of senior technical program manager of Artificial Intelligence, she had to overcome the self-doubt of pursuing a new area of expertise. “Confidence building comes from learning practices,” said Cheng. As such, she took online classes to learn more about AI. Building confidence goes beyond knowledge and includes how you interact and ask questions. No one has all the answers, and you may be surprised to see how many people benefit from the questions you raise. 

You can facilitate your own learning by reading blogs, attending conferences, and listening to podcasts, but it doesn’t stop there. Ongoing education applies to hard skills—such as technical certifications—and soft skills like emotional intelligence and adaptability. Everyone you meet can be an opportunity to learn something or improve yourself.  

4. Eliminate imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome generally stems from self-doubt. There can be the belief that you don’t deserve to be where you are and, therefore, stop trying to advance in your career. Women thinking about a tech career or who are early in their tech careers may need encouragement to stick with it or reassurance that there is a path to success. 

Do what you can to lift each other up and encourage other women in their tech careers. Never underestimate the power of small gestures. If a coworker has an upcoming presentation, offer to give them feedback ahead of time. When a woman says something in a meeting, and someone else changes the subject, it brings the conversation back. Such actions can help others feel they belong and inspire confidence. 

5. Get serious in your job search

If you’re looking for a job, set up your LinkedIn profile to showcase that you’re actively looking for work. You can do this by stating it in your headline and including keywords to make it easy for recruiters to search for you.

Improve your chances by finding someone to refer you. This can be someone you already know like a teacher or former coworker but you can also reach out to people at the company via LinkedIn. In this instance, it’s important to find a genuine connection point. 

When you get in front of a recruiter or interviewer, make it count. Do your research to familiarize yourself with the company, its culture, values, and mission, and read news articles about them. All of this will help you assess whether it’s a good fit.

For virtual interviews, test your mic and camera beforehand, then pay attention and make eye contact during the interview. Don’t forget to ask questions about the interviewer, such as why they joined the company and send a thank-you note afterward.

6. Be your own biggest advocate 

Wherever you want to go professionally, mentoring in the workplace can provide a pathway to get there. Women are constantly blazing new trails and bringing more women along with them.  As individuals, we each have something totally unique to bring to an organization. Resist the urge to downplay your strengths in favor of humility and shine bright. 

You’re not in this alone and we’re always stronger together. Other people are here for you—and you can be here for them!

If you are looking for a job in tech, here are the current openings at Intuit


What is the definition of mentoring in the workplace? 

Mentoring in the workplace is a relationship of knowledge transfer between employees with more experience and newer employees. The relationship is mutually beneficial. It allows newer employees to gain technical expertise and soft skills, like emotional intelligence. Mentors also gain experience in terms of leadership skills and fulfilling the role of a trusted advisor.  

How is mentoring different from coaching in the workplace? 

Mentoring in the workplace relies on sharing experiences. Team members with more experience share their own stories in an effort to help their mentees grow. On the other hand, a coach provides guidance from a position of authority to help team members grow.  

What are the best practices for implementing a workplace mentoring program? 

If you’re thinking about implementing a mentorship program in your organization, here are some best practices to follow: 

  • Define the goals of the program 
  • Plan the program’s design 
  • Map out the mentor and mentee onboarding process 
  • Brainstorm how you’ll go about matching mentors and mentees 
  • Think about how you’ll keep the program going and maintain momentum 
  • Establish a system to measure the success of your program