Impact Of Mentor And Mentee Relationship On Organizational Commitment

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Impact Of Mentor And Mentee Relationship On Organizational Commitment


Abstract


A survey research design was used for this study. The survey design was appropriate for this study because it allowed investigation of possible relationships between variables as well as data collection from broader category and comparisons between variables. The study population was 25workersat Deltaafrik Engineering Limited, Lagos.
All the workers were sampled for data collection making the sample size 25. The data was collected by use of a questionnaire. The data analysis involved frequencies, means, percentages, analysis of variance and bivariate analysis in form of cross tabulations. The findings were presented using Tables and figures.

On the role of mentor and mentee relationship on employee performance the study showed that in general mentor and mentee relationship enhances employee performance in change processes.

Mentor and mentee relationship most likely motivates the top level to be committed to taking initiatives in helping other employees. This case may not apply for the middle level management and the non-management worker. Secondly the study also showed that mentor and mentee relationship enhances employee engagement in innovation. Thirdly, the study showed that mentor and mentee relationship enhances better performance among employee and lastly the study showed that mentor and mentee relationship enhances employee enthusiasm to work.

On the role of mentor and mentee relationship on employee motivation the study showed that mentor and mentee relationship enhances employee motivation as it allows for employee recognition within the organization. Likewise mentor and mentee relationship aligns employees to the organizational goals at Deltaafrik Engineering Limited. On the other hand mentor and mentee relationship enhances positive leadership traits in the organization’s leaders. Lastly mentor and mentee relationship facilitates motivation for work performance.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Mentor and mentee relationship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person (mentor) helps a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The receiver of mentorship was traditionally referred to as a protégé or apprentice. Today, the term “mentee” has gained acceptance and is widely used. The whole process is called mentoring.

Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé or mentee). (Clawson et al, 1984))

This research study is aimed at investigating the impact of mentor and mentee relationship on commitment in an organization using Deltaafrik Engineering Limited as a case study. Deltaafrik Engineering Limited was incorporated in 1993 and 100% owned by Nigerians. The company was set up to provide Engineering Solutions and Services to the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry because organizations in Nigeria and beyond including Deltaafrik Engineering Limited have started to see the value of mentoring for enhancing work life, performance, commitment and job satisfaction. When mentoring is implemented successfully, there are measurable improvements in employee performance, retention, employee commitment to the organization, knowledge sharing, leadership growth and succession planning (Elrich et al, 2008).

A mentor is a person who gives another person the benefit of his or her years of experience and/or education. This experience is shared in such a way that the mentor helps to develop a mentee’s skills and abilities, benefiting the mentee and the organization.

A good mentoring relationship is identified by the willingness and capability of both parties to ask questions, challenge assumptions and disagree. It’s important to note that there’s no one way to mentor. Every mentoring relationship is as unique as the individuals involved (Daloz, 2012).

The mentor is far less likely to have a direct-line relationship with the mentee, and in a mentoring relationship this distance is desirable. Mentoring is rarely a critical part of an individual’s job role, but rather an extra element that rewards the mentor with fresh thinking as well as the opportunity to transfer knowledge and experience to a less experienced colleague, peer or employee.

Over the last 40 years, mentor and mentee relationship in an organisation has been hailed as an important workplace learning activity, and applied in a variety of contexts such as government departments, hospitals, schools and community settings. It has been used to support the learning and development of new employees and leaders, as well as for the purposes of talent management and retention. Not surprisingly, its meaning often depends on the purpose for which it has been used and the particular context in which it has been applied (Daloz, 1986).

Most adults can identify a person who has had a major positive impact on their lives, e.g. a boss, a coach or a teacher, who has acted as a mentor to them. Today, organisations are embracing the concept of mentoring as a professional development tool through which improvements in efficiency, productivity and the passing of corporate knowledge and leadership skills can occur.

Coaching is not the same as mentoring. Mentoring is concerned with the development of the whole person and is driven by the person’s own work/life goals. It is usually unstructured and informal. Mentors focus on the person (the mentee), that person’s career, and support for individual growth and maturity.

Coaching is much more about achieving specific objectives in a particular way. Coaching also is more formal and more structured, usually around a coaching process or methodology. Typically, coaching is job focused and performance oriented.

Mentoring in an organisation is a way of working, embedded informally in our daily operations in the support and guidance we provide to colleagues. It can also be a more formal relationship established in the organisation through specific developmental mentoring programs.

Mentoring is an essential leadership skill and a valuable development option that can be used as part of developing performance and induction processes to help others maximise their capabilities and work effectively to promote commitment in an organisation (Starfield, 2000).

Mentor and mentee relationship has been recognized as a catalyst for organizational and career success, and mentoring relationships have been cited as important in career selection, advancement, commitment and productivity.

Mentoring tends to be broader and more holistic in focus than coaching as it is not only interested in ‘maximizing performance (Fletcher, 2012), but concerned with the person’s overall life development. Mentors are significant others who play many roles and, at times, they can be coach, counsellor and trainer.

While mentoring is an interpersonal relationship, its purpose is likely to depend on whether the organisation has instituted a mentoring program or whether the mentoring relationship is more informal. In formal mentoring programs, the purpose of mentoring is likely to be articulated in a set of guidelines or via training that is provided for both parties, where they are informed of the goals and purposes of the program. As an example, the purpose of a formal mentoring program for beginning teachers might be to help new teachers develop their teaching strategies and skills, become socialised into the school’s values and culture, and develop a good working knowledge of school policies and procedures.

In contrast, in informal mentoring arrangements, the parties may not have any set goals or specific expectations except to get together informally and discuss work-based issues as they arise. The purpose of the relationship may change depending on the needs of either party. Whether the mentoring relationship is organizationally driven or informal and more personally driven, it is likely that the overall purpose of the relationship will be for both parties to learn, engage in knowledge transfer, and support one another’s development and growth (Cohen, 1999).

A strong message in much of the previous research works and literature is that mentor and mentee relationship is a very positive experience. An important scholar in the field, Clutterbuck (2004, p. 7), goes as far as saying ‘I have yet to find anyone who is self-sufficient enough not to benefit from a mentor at some point in his or her life’. Yet mentoring is not without its ‘dark side’ (Long 1997), and there is research that has reported on the risks and shortcomings of mentor and mentee relationships. Hence this research work seeks to find out the impact of mentor and mentee relationship on commitment in an organization.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

As this research identifies the impact of mentor and mentee relationship towards organizational commitment, considering that there are a lot of factors that can hinder the success of mentor mentee relationship, it will also beam a searchlight on previous researches in that direction and identifying the gaps.

Clutterbuck (2004) argues that organizations should provide a set of ethical guidelines or a code of practice to govern the conduct of mentors and mentees who are engaged in formal mentoring programs. Within this code, he stipulates key dimensions such as a relationship that is based on openness, trust, support and mutuality. The relationship should empower the mentee, and the mentor should not abuse or use his or her power in an exploitative way. In informal mentoring arrangements, guidelines or codes of practice are unlikely to be part of the discussions between the parties. However, the dimensions identified by Clutterbuck (2004) are also important for the success of the mentor and mentee relationship.

Clawson et al (1984) argue that both parties in a mentor and mentee relationship need to define the boundaries around which they will work, and maintain professional behaviour at all times. The key to matching seems to be the issue of choice and where mentors and mentees have a say in determining their partner, it is likely that issues such as lack of compatibility or lack of mutuality will be lessened.

There is no magic formula for making mentor and mentee relationships or mentoring programs work effectively. What is known through the previous research is that the effectiveness of any mentoring relationship is contingent on the quality of the relationship between the two parties. Where there is mutuality, respect and knowledge transfer, the mentoring is likely to work well. Where there is little mutuality and a mismatch in expectations, this is a recipe for difficulty. This research study is therefore important as it seeks to look at factors that will promote commitment in the mentor and mentee relationship as a result of benefits of the outcome of the relationship taking note of factors that can hinder the success of the relationship.


1.3 Research Questions

  1. Does effective mentor and mentee relationship improve worker’s performance?
  2. Does mentor and mentee relationship programmes contribute to the attainment of corporate objective?
  3. Is there any significant difference in the performance of mentored and unmentored workers in the organization?

1.4 Objective of the Study

  1. To identify existing mentor and mentee relationship programs at Deltaafrik Engineering Limited , Lagos
  2. To evaluate the effectiveness in improving worker’s performance.
  3. To find out if the mentor and mentee relationship programs have impacted on employee morale and the firm’s overall performance.

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The hypotheses for the study are:

  1. H0: There is no significant impact of job mentor and mentee relationship on employees performance.
    Hi: There is significant impact of effective job mentor and mentee relationship on employees performance.
  2. H0: There is no significant impact of effective orientation mentor and mentee relationship on employees performance.
    Hi: There is significant impact of effective orientation mentor and mentee relationship on employees performance.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will help beam the searchlight on the importance and the need for a formidable mentor and mentee relationship in an organization. It will also help stakeholders in governmental and non-governmental organization to understand how mentor and mentee relationship can bring about commitment and improved productivity in a work place knowing fully well the benefits that both the mentor and mentee will derive in terms of knowledge and professional expertise. It will also help the stakeholders on how to start a good and healthy mentor and mentee relationship considering all the problems that can hinder the success of the relationship.

Lastly, this research work will constitute a body of literature to the existing scholarly materials on the impact of mentor and mentee relationship on commitment to help strengthen and promote organizational development.


1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study will examine the mentor and mentee relationship being practiced in Deltaafrik Engineering Limited looking at how effective it is considering its impact on commitment, Professional development, Personal satisfaction, and reward/growth, Interpersonal skill development.


1.8 Limitation of Study

Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Mentor:

An experienced person in a company or educational institution who trains and counsels new employees

Mentee:

A person who is advised, trained, or counselled by a mentor

Organization:

An organized group of people with a particular purpose, such as a business or government department:

Knowledge:

Facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject:

Mentoring:

Advise or train (someone, especially a younger colleague)

Commitment:

The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc

Relationship:

The way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

With respect to the objectives of this study, the following findings were revealed by the researcher.
Data collected revealed that Deltaafrik Engineering Limited, Lagos started introducing its mentor and mentee relationship program at the time the company began its operations, till date. Most employees have had some form of mentor and mentee relationship.

The research also revealed that the purpose of mentor and mentee relationship and development activities at Deltaafrik Engineering Limited , Lagos is to achieve both individual and organizational performance. However the basic purpose of mentor and mentee relationship as shown from the introduction is to improve the knowledge and skills of employees. It is also to change the attitudes and behavior of the employees for the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the organization as a whole and increase performance.

The rapid changes in technology also require that employees possess the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to handle the new processes and production techniques in order to be ahead of other competing organizations. Thus, there was the need to find out the major purposes for which Deltaafrik Engineering Limited , Lagos trains its employees because reasons may differ per organization.

According to the Human Resources Manager, employees at Deltaafrik Engineering Limited , Lagos are trained in order to improve their skills, knowledge, abilities, competencies, behavior and confidence. The ultimate objective however is to help improve both individual and organizational performance.

Concerning the second objective of this study, the following findings were made:

It is very essential that the employees who undergo the mentor and mentee relationship know the objectives for each mentor and mentee relationship program they undertake. Employees’ knowledge of the reason for which they undergo mentor and mentee relationship will help them be focused and enable them appreciate the program. It will in the long-run also reflect in the growth of the Engineering firm through the profits, reduced time periods on the job among others. The Engineering firm however is also certain and confident of a strong employee base who are ready to work under changes in the Engineering firm sector that may occur and also replace the experienced employees who may retire or leave the business. The Human Resources Management manager stated that the objective for which their employees undergo mentor and mentee relationship is to help them improve on their performance, acquire more skills, meet the required standards in the organization, as refresher courses to learn their processes and procedures so they become more efficient. The respondents also affirmed this, all the respondents said the objectives are to improve on their performance an also enable them acquire new skills. Some out of the 25 also added that the mentor and mentee relationship programs are to enable them work on a higher task based on a promotion; learn a new advancement in the industry and also an opportunity for them to brainstorm in order to develop strategies for the Engineering firm.

Effects of mentor and mentee relationship on employee performance

Employees are motivated to work better on the job if they are made to feel their employers think of their well-being. mentor and mentee relationship is one strategy that employers can however adapt to make employees feel this way. When employers put in place mentor and mentee relationship programs for their employees, they become aware of the desire of their employers to see them improve, thus will be motivated to work better. Therefore, the study sought the opinion of the respondents whether they are motivated and satisfied with the mentor and mentee relationship program of the Engineering firm.

The results shows that, majority of respondents are motivated and satisfied with the mentor and mentee relationship programs provided by the organization. It is very important that the employees are motivated and satisfied with the mentor and mentee relationship programs put in place by the organization. This is because being motivated will boost their morale thus enabling them to work hard to achieve the corporate goals and mission of the organization and help them live up to the institutions corporate values.

It is vital in accessing the effectiveness of the mentor and mentee relationship programs provided by the organization to not only obtain the perspective of management but the trainees (employees) as well. The data revealed that employees were able to identify specific improvements to their development as a result of the mentor and mentee relationship they have obtained and were also able to clearly state that the mentor and mentee relationship provided over the years has been beneficial to them in terms of the improvement as well as the acquisition of new skills and knowledge, improved efficiency and also believed that mentor and mentee relationship had enabled them contribute to the growth of the institution. Their ability to clearly identify these things highlights the effectiveness of the mentor and mentee relationship provided. Labour is a major input in the operations of any entity. Efficient labour has a direct impact on the output of the firm and productivity of the firm. Analysis of productivity can be simplified by accessing the output per unit of input. The more output per unit of input the more productive a firm is. The main focus of this study is on employee mentor and mentee relationship and development and the impact of such skills, knowledge, efficiency and performance on the performance and productivity of the individual employees. This is based on the basis that employees do not perform well until they have become aware of what they are to do and how to do it.

It is therefore essential to note that it is the knowledge, skills and efficiency gained that will make the individual employees more effective. The data revealed that mentor and mentee relationship results in improvement of Skills, Knowledge, Efficiency, and Performance.

It is interesting to note that De Cenzo and Robbins (2001), stated that “mentor and mentee relationship is basically a learning experience, which seeks a relatively permanent change in an individual’s skills, knowledge, attitudes or social behavior.” The elements they highlighted seems to be similar to the aspects of the employee the mentor and mentee relationship program provided by the firm seems to have tackled.

The difficulty has always been the basis for evaluating the impact of employee mentor and mentee relationship on the performance of the firm. The initial approach was to use the productivity approach by evaluating the contribution of each unit of labor to the company’s profit. If each unit of labor was contributing more to profit over time then one could conclude that labor was more efficient and could thus connect it to mentor and mentee relationship. However, the non-availability of information on labor makes this approach difficult to utilize. Thus the new approach to be adopted though not the most efficient but the most expedient based on available information would be to analyze the growth of profit. If profit has indeed grown then we go further to analyze the basis. This could either be an increase in income or decrease in expenditure. I analyzed income per unit invested in the company. If every unit invested is resulting in more income then we can conclude an improvement in efficiency. Since the entity’s main input is labor then we can go further to conclude that labor is thus contributing more to the performance of their firm and then also go further to state the contribution mentor and mentee relationship would definitely have made.


5.2 Conclusion

Deltaafrik Engineering Limited , Lagos has mentor and mentee relationship programs for its workers.. All employees no matter their qualification, age or rank consistently go through mentor and mentee relationship. mentor and mentee relationship has been effective with its core objective being to improve individual and organizational performance as can be seen from the improvement in returns per unit invested in expenditure as well a consistent increase in income and profit. The mentor and mentee relationship program is structured, planned and systematic and has resulted in improvement in skills, efficiency and performance as well as the acquisition of new skills and knowledge. mentor and mentee relationship has had an effect on the performance of the firm with increased profits and income as well as an increase in income per unit of expenditure invested. Deltaafrik Engineering Limited , Lagos however, should consider the possibility of other mentor and mentee relationship programs besides
Since it was discovered that not all employees were motivated with the current mentor and mentee relationship programs an increasing of available options can help to tackle this. Competition in the Engineering firms in Nigeria continues to increase with the continuous emergence of new players. Thus, it is important for Engineering firms to invest if they intend to stay ahead of their competitors.


5.3 Recommendations

  1. Deltaafrik Engineering Limited current in-house mentor and mentee relationship program is effective but the company should also consider enabling employees to further their studies to improve their qualifications.
  2. Deltaafrik Engineering Limited should also continue with its mentor and mentee relationship with periodic analysis of the program to ascertain its effectiveness, the certainty that the program caters to the specific needs of its employees and that program is in line with developments of the time.
  3. Deltaafrik Engineering Limited should increase transparency to let the public know their contribution to the Nigerian system at large

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