- In order to continue to grow in a career, sometimes it's required to look for mentors who are outside of your immediate company of employment, Kathleen Pytleski writes for Star Tribune. This form of mentorship program is known as cross-company mentoring.
- "Cross-company mentoring offers the greatest benefit because this formal way of learning lends itself to more objectivity", Pyleski says. In this method, employees are matched with mentors at non-competing firms.
- Several benefits of cross-company mentoring for employer have been documented: Talent development that happens naturally; employees who are self-motivated to become future leaders; and workplaces that are more engaged with many active participants working toward long-term career success.
There's something to be said about matching the right employee with the right mentor. For the most part, this happens within companies, but it can also happen when an employee actively seeks out a mentor in his or her industry from another organization.
What is suggested here, however, is that companies support cross-company mentoring so that they can gain the maximum benefit. Mentors can be a valuable source of industry knowledge and support, enabling employees to move up the ladder faster and with a solid foundation under them.
A structured mentoring program can be an integral part of any employee learning and development plan. An earlier study that showed 98% of all managers desire additional training in leadership areas and soft skills. These can be easily attained through cross-company mentoring programs.