ROLE OF MENTORING IN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA (Published)
Recently, the death of business organisations in Nigeria is on the increase as business operates in an environment that is embedded with change, risk, high uncertainty, stiff competition, unethical business practices, unfavourable government policies and ignorance of the role of mentors in business development. Mentoring is rapidly becoming recognised worldwide as a highly effective human resource development process. Many organisations have gone through or are currently going through increasing significant change. Generally, people in any organisation react positively to change when they take responsibility for their own development. Mentoring is one way in which organisations can provide this assistance as there is a high degree of trust and mutual regard which will enable the person to become what he aspires to be by realising his or her potential. Mentoring has being identified as an important influence in business development. The major function of mentoring is to promote the mentee’s development in specific areas and to facilitate success in business activities. Mentoring relationship can produce positive development and organisational outcomes and it can sometimes fail due to a variety of causes and problems viz-a-viz lack of participation, absence of leadership involvement, poor planning, setting unrealistic expectation and fuzzy goals. The paper examines the roles of mentoring in business development. It focuses on the stages, forms, reasons, types, roles and characteristics of mentors, fundamental objectives, benefits and keys to mentoring success with a view to accelerate business development through investment in human capital development particularly through mentoring. The paper opines that mentorship and business development offers a wide range of benefits such as welfare, satisfaction, development, progress, feeling rejuvenated in career development, learning how to use new technologies, becoming aware of business issues, methods, strategies or perspectives that are vital to business. Content analysis was used in the writing of this paper. Evidence from the paper on the policies that need to be adopted to improve Nigeria’s business environment includes, the need to address those issues constraining business development. The paper also recommends that mentoring should be based upon encouragement, frank advise, readiness to assist the mentee to acquire needed knowledge, skills and competencies so as to operate functionally in our ever changing business environment, constructive comments, openness, mutual trust, respect, willingness to learn and share ideas and experiences, improve self confidence, job competitiveness and enhanced diversity of the workforce. Moreover, there is need to eliminate negative factors that militate against business growth and development with a view to increase business efficiency. There is the need, therefore for a re-orientation of our businesses because mentoring relationships depends on the people and the character of the organisation concerned. The paper concludes that successful mentoring programs as aid to business development requires proper understanding, planning, implementation and evaluation.
Keywords: Business Development, Career Development, Human Capital Development, Mentoring, Re-orientation, openness