The relevance of mentoring and coaching in the 21st century


People sometimes use the words ‘mentoring’ and ‘coaching’ interchangeably, but they do not describe the same type of working relationship. Both mentoring and coaching share the same specific goals including employee learning and career development that leads to peak performance and the realization of full potential.

However, the definition, role, focus, approach and tools are different. Mentoring and coaching are philosophically very similar. The methods might differ between mentoring and coaching but both are centered around helping people get where they want to go by leveraging the experience of the coach or mentor.

Mentoring is defined as a development-focused relationship with a domain relevant mentor who passes on their skills and experience to a mentee. Mostly, a mentor is someone within the same company as the mentee but in a more senior or tenured role but lately, people often find mentors outside of their company through a professional network and these people happen to provide mentorship outside their regular work duties whilst coaching is also defined as a development-focused relationship with a specially trained coach who provides guidance to a client on their goals and helps them to reach their full potential.

Mostly coaches provide coaching as a full-time job and in order to create goals for a coaching relationship, they often use an assessment, like a 360 to get a baseline for where to begin.

Coaching and mentoring serve as learning tools in the workplace that can lead to empowering employees. The employees who are coached and mentored often receive the greatest benefit, but the mentor or coach also benefits and may feel a sense of empowerment from the relationship.

Understanding the dynamics and outcomes of this type of the workplace learning strategy helps to evaluate the need for the mentoring and coaching program in your small business. Coaching and mentoring employee give new employees a hands-on training program to learn job expectations.

Instead of throwing a new employee right into the position, he gets a support system and an interactive learning situation that may engender more on-the-job confidence. Mentored employees may often feel a greater sense of understanding of what is required of them in their jobs because they get one-on-one job training, support and the advice of an experienced employee. When an employee receives the kind of personalized training, he may feel empowered to fully perform the job duties.

Mentoring and coaching mostly includes goal setting for employee. This helps employees set specific goals related to the job. Mentoring and coaching going hand in hand helps in creating a plan to reach these goals. The mentor can customize objectives and support that the employees need for a particular role and are also available as a resource if the employees need support along the way to be successful. Having a set of challenging goals is motivating and empowers the employee to work beyond the minimum requirements.

Mentoring and coaching employees make them more valuable to your organization by developing and enhancing their skills both personally and professionally. By being interested in the growth of your staff, you are showing them that you care about their progress, and this can increase their loyalty to you. When staff commit to learning new skills, they are recognizing that they can increase their value to their employer.

By recognizing their value and their ability, they gain more confidence, and this can lead to a strong and competitive workplace culture. Mentoring and coaching are great for staff to learn new skills or help them to enhance current skills while increasing their confidence. It does not matter who their employee is, there is always something they can learn.

Great business leaders today no longer try to force old management rules deck unto today’s diverse workforce. They do not try to fit square pegs into round roles. Instead, they actively seek out mentoring and coaching opportunities with employees to lead their teams to success. It is through this that your most valued employees can realize their full potential and achieve great things for the company.

Today’s younger generation of workers, the Millennials tend to give their loyalty to their leaders instead of corporations, so taking on mentorship and coaching roles helps to bring in and retain the fastest growing group of talents.

As the Executive Director of Kandifo Institute, we practice mentoring and coaching. Mentoring and Coaching Hub is one of the initiatives of Kandifo Institute. This is to train the staff to help them reach their full potential and bring out their best in their field of work. The Institute has an internal staff training every last Wednesday of every month.

The staff of Kandifo Institute had the first mentoring and coaching session on April 28, 2021, where they were trained on Corporate Communication by Donald Gwira, a Communications Consultant and Kandifo Institute board member. During the session, the Kandifo team were taught that as a corporate organization, we are to have a corporate font to use when communicating as well as have a corporate email address where all information and meetings regarding the organization would be sent to the corporate email and not individual email.

Mr. Gwira stated that as a corporate organization, your communication must reflect your corporate values and also knowledge of your stakeholders. He advised us to be cautious of what we post on social media as it can come back to haunt us.

He made mention of the fact that, as a corporate organization, there should be guidelines to protect ourselves and the organization on how to work and manage our social media platforms (Websites, Linked In, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook). He again stated that the Human Resource (HR) Team owns employees and Corporate PR owns the channels of communication. He ended by stating that, as a corporate organization one needs to ask these questions;

  1. Where do you want to get to?
  2. Where is the end game?
  3. What impact do you want to leave?
  4. What is your Unique Selling Point?

On Wednesday May 26, 2021, Kandifo Institute team had their second mentoring and coaching session where they learnt about the Spirituality of Life in the Corporate Environment with Pastor Benjamin Yamoah, the Country Director for J-life Ghana being the Resource Person / Mentor.

Pastor Benjamin stated that life is lonely and meaningless without God and as individuals we should not sacrifice our family, friends and colleagues in order to get to the top. We should not bad mouth our colleagues just because we want to gain favor from the boss. He used biblical Daniel as an example and advised the staff to live a purposeful life just as Daniel did and go through life’s journey with God, always have our eyes on the ball, set Godly principles and live by them.

Set a standard for ourselves and never compromise. He said, as workers we should be competent. We should make a decision to be extremely good at what we do and not give our attention to things that will not contribute to our personal growth as well as career growth.

Anything we do must be out of love for God and for people and when you are given a role do it wholeheartedly because we are not doing it for our boss but for God. It is important to always start our day with God and involve God in everything we do at work and even out of work premises. He ended by saying a word of prayer for the Institute.

Kandifo Institute has two upcoming mentoring and coaching hub sessions in the month of June and July.  On June 30, 2021, there will be an internal mentoring and coaching session for the staff at Kandifo Institute where we will be trained on ‘The Politics of CSOs in Ghana’ by Patrick Nyarko, the Corporate Affairs Director at GIISDEC and also the Head of Policy Analyst and Strategy at Kandifo Institute.

Also on July 28, 2021, the staff of Kandifo would be trained on ‘Built to Last Think Tank’ with Romeo Djan who is an architect as the speaker. To find more details on Kandifo Institute, visit our website;

>>>The writer is Executive Director, Kandifo Institute. He can be reached on [email protected]

Leave a Reply