Is a Manager Crossing the Ethical Line When They Become a Mentor?

There has long been the debate about mentoring and management. Some of those in the business industry have suggested that managers should double up as a mentor. However, a considerable majority of those managers with vast amounts of experience in the business will inform you this is one of the most absurd ideas they have come across! So, what are the cases for the arguments against the plan based on?

Why A Manager Cannot Effectively Be a Mentor in The Same Role

A manager needs to get their employees focused and ready to improve their work quality. They are not interested in what an employee gets up to outside of work and in all honesty, it is not their place to be concerned too much with their employee’s emotional well-being.

A manager’s relationship with their employees is, therefore, a professional one, and it is based on identifying strengths and weaknesses in the role at hand and working on the results.

Compare this description to that of a mentor and the most significant difference is how a mentor approaches an employee’s well-being.  A mentor works on an employee’s professional and personal relationships with regards to how they feel they are valued in the workplace. This means that an employee should be able to open and talk honestly to a mentor without this discussion being reported back to higher management if that is what they wish.

Above all, a mentor is not concerned with the progress of an employee’s workload or their ability to do their job; they are merely there to encourage them to create a better working environment and feel stronger in their role as an employee when dealing with their allocated work.

Both roles are fundamentally different and therefore when deciding to mix the two, careful consideration is required to the outcome of such a union.