Research advocates that teaching junior colleagues can decrease the intensity of anxiety. Besides this, it can improve the mental health of the mentors themselves in high-pressure occupations.
The new study by the scientists at the University of Cambridge suggests that passing on knowledge and experience can also facilitate mentors by making their jobs more worthwhile.
Scientists found that mentoring relationships present an exclusive framework for mentors to talk about and control their concerns, to share ideas for managing anxieties, and to find more meaning in their work.
Mentoring relationships became visible to offer an organizational method to prompt supervisor and colleague interactions, which in turn facilitated a decline in the mentors’ anxiety.
The study follows a mentoring programme that was rolled out at one of 43 territory-based police forces in England and Wales since 2013.
In spite of the stress of their roles – including threats, abuse, sudden decisions and the risk of death – police officers lean not to ask for support from other officers, including more senior colleagues, to evade pessimistic stigma connected with mental health disorders. The study says mentoring can help fill this emptiness.
Study co-author Dr. Thomas Roulet said, “The study suggests that a moderately low-cost practice such as mentoring can help reduce anxiety among both senior and junior staff, and this could help organizations address the serious and costly workplace issues of anxiety and mental health. While the study determined on high-stress roles in the public eye, we believe that the findings may also apply to other occupations that also have anxiety-provoking pressures.”
The study noted that mentoring provided hope to the mentors by enlightening how other, often junior officers also experience anxiety thus regulating their own experiences. By admitting that anxieties are ordinary, both the students and mentors in this study emerged to be more secure discussing such issues and therefore in developing diverse handling mechanisms.