Chapter 3: Running an Effective Compliance Program

Mentoring for Compliance Professionals

In the last several decades, mentoring has become a career-related cultural buzzword, discussed everywhere, from coffee shops to college classrooms to leadership meetings. While it is a word we may hear a lot, it may be less clear what exactly it is, why it is important for compliance professionals, and how to pursue it. At its core, mentoring is investing in the development of others. For the sake of this article, mentoring will be discussed as it relates to the compliance profession and compliance professionals. Mentoring is not just one-sided. The Association for Talent Development defines mentoring as “a reciprocal and collaborative at-will relationship that most often occurs between a senior and junior employee for the purpose of the mentee’s growth, learning, and career development.”[2]

While the focus in mentoring is certainly on the development of the other person, a natural byproduct of the activity, when employed successfully, is also the growth of the mentor. The American Psychological Association (APA), which has published a mentoring guide for its profession, defines a mentor as “an individual with expertise who can help develop the career of a mentee.”[3] The APA shares that a mentor’s role is often twofold: career-related, “advi[sing] to enhance the mentee’s professional performance and development,” and psychosocially related, “establish[ing] the mentor as a role model and support system for the mentee.”

This article will discuss various concepts and approaches to mentoring that can be beneficial for compliance professionals as well as for the long-term well-being of the compliance profession. It will discuss why mentoring is indispensable, who can mentor, and who can benefit from mentoring; it will provide methods that may be tailored, blended, and implemented to achieve effective mentoring.

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