Guiding Our Future: The Importance of Mentoring New Funeral Professionals
As funeral professionals, we provide one of the most essential services in a community. We act as a link between the deceased and their loved ones, ensuring the wishes of both parties are respected during one of the hardest life events for most people. Consequently, this gives us a wealth of knowledge from which people just entering the deathcare field can benefit. As a result, many seasoned professionals choose to mentor the next generation of funeral professionals. In honor of National Mentoring Month in January, we want to encourage our community to come together to ignite new passion within the funeral service industry and provide guidance in all that we do.
Why We Mentor the New Generation
Funeral professionals are an integral part of any community. If you provide deathcare for any length of time, you get to know a great deal about people’s beliefs and attitudes toward death. You learn to keep their needs in mind when handling their departed loved ones and arranging the funeral service.
Mentorship gives us a way to pass down expert knowledge so that we can all maintain and improve upon the quality of deathcare we offer. When you mentor someone who will work in the same community, you can help them learn to better serve that community and avoid mistakes that could impact the dignity of the deceased and their loved ones.
One funeral director sees mentorship as an opportunity to both teach and learn from the next generation in funeral care. Moreover, it is not restricted geographically as you can easily offer support to funeral professionals worldwide, exchanging insight on how to improve this valuable field.
Benefits of Mentoring New Funeral Service Professionals
Professionals from all industries create mentorship programs to help junior members grow and maintain the industry’s standards. The funeral industry is no different. Here are three reasons why mentorship is vital for the funeral service profession:
- Nurture interest: You can help young people gain interest in this traditionally stigmatized field through mentorship. Your example can show people the importance of our work and encourage others to enter the service to benefit their community.
- Train new talent: Mentorship offers a unique opportunity for new professionals to gain firsthand experience in the funeral profession. You can teach a mentee our industry’s best practices and supervise them as they apply these tips for a more well-rounded and holistic approach to education.
- Offer timely support: As with many other essential services, working in the funeral profession has the potential to impact an individual’s mental health. Funeral directors can experience compassion fatigue, which affects the quality of service offered to the deceased and their loved ones. Mentoring the next generation of funeral directors allows you to help them navigate this type of job stress as you can share the methods that worked for you and guide them to create beneficial mental and emotional outlets for themselves.
What Do Mentors Gain from Mentorship?
Mentorship offers a two-way relationship that benefits both the mentor and the mentee. Some of the benefits that mentors experience through mentorship include:
- Skills reinforcement: As you advance in your profession and delegate duties to other staff members, we all run the risk of forgetting how to apply some essential skills of deathcare. Mentoring a rookie in the business further reinforces these helpful skills and strengthens them through repetition.
- Leadership enhancement: During the mentorship process, mentors get to urge mentees to do their work, cheer them on as they take on new challenges, and lift them up when things get tough. This relationship offers the chance to enhance interpersonal skills and refine valuable leadership qualities.
- Learning: Mentees can teach us about new trends in the funeral profession, including younger people’s views on death positivity and new methods of eco-friendly burial, which may shape how you administer deathcare in the future. Mentees can also be invaluable in making the funeral profession more tech-forward.
Areas of Mentorship in Funeral Services
The funeral profession involves a wide range of services through which we can all guide each other to ensure a well-rounded experience, including:
- Funeral procedures: Funeral professionals handle most of the processes involved in ensuring the deceased is properly laid to rest. Mentees can benefit from lessons on taking care of the body, liaising with the departed’s family, and planning and executing the funeral service.
- Relationship building: There is a symbiotic relationship between funeral services and the community. A good mentor can use this opportunity to teach new professionals how to interact with community members, hospitals, hospices, and grief support services.
- Business management: Although often overlooked, the business aspects of providing funeral services can be complicated for even the most seasoned professionals. Mentorships offer an excellent opportunity to learn more about the laws on business licensing, record keeping, and taxation along with more holistic lessons in carving out a niche in the market, competing ethically, and growing their businesses.
Explore Your Future
You can gain many benefits from a mentorship program, whether as a mentor or a mentee. At Pierce Mortuary Colleges, we have a long history of mentoring the future generation of funeral professionals. You can benefit from our quality programs in any of our three colleges and enter the rewarding world of providing top-notch funeral services to communities across the United States. Contact us today to learn how you can participate in the rewarding community of funeral services.