other words, when you explain something clearly to someone else,
you end up explaining it clearly to yourself.”
Mentoring is also an effective way to open experienced minds to
“There are big changes taking place in HR, in part due to
the differing attitudes to life and work between Baby Boomers,
Generation X and Millennials,” said Jane Watson, CHRP, key
contributor to the Toronto Chapter’s Mentorship Committee. “To
keep succeeding in HR, HR veterans need to stay fresh and up-to-
date. Working with younger protégés who see things differently
is a great way to do this – and after all, one day, veterans may find
themselves seeking support from the most successful protégés as
they advance up the ranks.”
Giving back to the HR profession is a third compelling reason
to be a mentor.
“It is natural for people to want to share what they’ve learned, to
help shape the new generation of HR professionals coming up and
to generally give something back to a profession that they’ve built
their career on,” said Jennifer Laidlaw, CHRP, director of men-torship
with the Toronto Chapter. “Being a mentor satisfies all of
HOW MENTORING WORKS
Mentoring can take many forms and intensities. It can be as casu-al
as a chance meeting between an experienced professional and an
up-and-comer, or as structured as a scheduled series of consulta-tions
between mentor and protégé on an ongoing basis.
As befits its role in the human resources field, HRPA is actively
committed to promoting and supporting mentoring, with chap-ters
across the country taking the lead in delivering these services
In Toronto, the local HRPA chapter has an impressive 555 peo-ple
signed up to its mentoring program. Watson serves both as a
mentor and a protégé.
“I have gained valuable knowledge and support both as a men-tor
and a protégé, with learning occurring in both positions,” she
said. “This is something I didn’t expect; I thought I would benefit
from being a protégé, but I was unaware of how beneficial it is to
be a mentor!”
As with other HRPA chapters, the Toronto chapter matches
prospective mentors and protégés using a web-based system that
compares the desires of both classes of participants, putting to-gether
pairs with similar skills, interests and goals.
“Because our members are so busy – mentors and protégés
alike – our goal is for them to interact at least once a month,”
said Sanghera. “We encourage initial meetings to be in person.
However, the advent of Skype and other forms of remote commu-nication
are also proving useful for mentors and their protégés.”
Once the pairing has been established, there are many ways that
the relationship can proceed.
training & development
Illustration by Rafal Olechowski / Photos.com
36 ❚ MARCH/APRIL 2014 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL