Original Research

Mentoring in the workplace: Exploring the experiences of mentor–mentee relations

Jennerdene L. Rubbi Nunan, Aysha B. Ebrahim, Marius W. Stander
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 49 | a2067 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v49i0.2067 | © 2023 Jennerdene L. Rubbi Nunan, Aysha B. Ebrahim, Marius W. Stander | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 October 2022 | Published: 01 August 2023

About the author(s)

Jennerdene L. Rubbi Nunan, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa; and Optentia Research Unit, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Aysha B. Ebrahim, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa; and Optentia Research Unit, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Marius W. Stander, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa; and Optentia Research Unit, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: The way work is performed changes continuously and mentoring is becoming more prevalent in the workplace and this rapid modification of work profiles mentoring relationships as vital.

Research purpose: This study explored the mentor’s and mentee’s experiences in the same relationship at a construction firm offering a formal mentoring programme.

Motivation for the study: A more comprehensive understanding of the mentoring relationship was required to aid organisations with agile and robust talent and skills development interventions.

Research approach/design and method: A qualitative research design was employed and in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted. Data were analysed in two phases: (1) direct content analysis and (2) thematic analyses. The study’s findings are singularly reported to comprehensively understand the mentoring relationship’s lived experiences.

Main findings: The experiences of the mentoring relationship in a workplace context are viewed as informal, mutualistic, and context-bound. Four key themes emerged from the mentoring relational interaction: (1) positive relationship, (2) growth and enablement, (3) psychological safety, and (4) purposeful.

Practical/managerial implications: The findings could assist organisations in realising the importance of mentoring relationships in mentoring programmes, as the interaction proves effective in solving pressing challenges, such as attracting and retaining talent and addressing skills gaps.

Contribution/value-add: This study conceptualises the mentoring relationship from an organisational context and contributes to the limited available literature on the topic. Possible recommendations are offered to improve workplace mentoring relationships.


Keywords

experiences; mentoring relationship; mentor; mentee; organisation.

JEL Codes

D91: Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Metrics

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Total article views: 2020


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