Topic: Mentoring, Job Performance
Publication: Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (DEC 2009)
Article: What can I gain as a mentor? The effect of mentoring on the job performance and social status of mentors in China
Authors: D. Liu, J. Liu, H.K. Kwan, and Y. Mao
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger
Generally, mentoring relationships are intended to develop younger and/or less experienced employees. However, research has shown that mentoring relationships benefit mentors as well as their protégés. In a recent investigation, Liu and colleagues (2009) found that mentoring relationships relate favorably to mentors’ job performance ratings and social status within the organization.
Using a large sample of mentors from a Chinese manufacturing firm, Liu et al. found that mentors who engage in more mentoring activities tend to have higher job performance ratings. This relationship appears to be due the increased learning opportunities made available to mentors through the mentoring process. Thus, mentoring activities offer mentors additional opportunities to learn which may influence their job performance.
Additionally, mentors who engage in more mentoring activities tend to have higher social status (as rated by their supervisors). Importantly, mentors who engage in more mentoring activities report better social interaction with others in the workplace, which relates directly to the social status of the mentor.
Based on Liu et al.’s findings, organizations can be confident that formal mentoring relationships benefit both mentors and protégés. Organizational mentoring programs appear to be win-win-win situations as they help develop less-seasoned employees, improve the job performance and social status of experienced mentors, and ultimately contribute to organizational effectiveness.
Liu, D., Liu, J., Kwan, H.K., & Mao, Y. (2009). What can I gain as a mentor? The effect of mentoring on the job performance and social status of mentors in China. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82, 871-895.