Your employees are your greatest resource. Investing in your staff only benefits your business in the long run.
While training programs are a good way to upskill your workers, mentoring is another useful strategy. Mentoring your team will help you draw upon and transfer the existing reserves of expertise and knowledge within your organization.
What is mentoring?
Workplace mentoring is a training process in which a seasoned employee offers professional guidance to a less experienced but promising colleague.
The mentor advises and coaches the mentee when needed. The purpose of the association is to share professional knowledge, provide constructive feedback on performance and help the mentee learn new skills.
What are the benefits of mentoring?
Mentoring can help your business:
Save costs and retain knowledge
When you groom existing talent to take on bigger roles, you no longer waste time and resources looking for external candidates to fill those vacancies and skill gaps.
It helps pass on the knowledge and expertise of senior staff to the next generation. This way you ensure there isn’t a leadership vacuum when senior employees retire or leave the company.
Increase employee retention
Studies show that employees who find mentors at work experience higher job satisfaction. They are more likely to stay longer with the company and advance in their careers. Mentoring is also an effective way to integrate and orient junior staff with your company’s culture and values.
The transfer of knowledge happens both ways and senior staff may also learn from the perspective of younger employees, especially when it comes to innovation and use of technology.
How can I be a good mentor?
Spot your future leaders
The first step is to identify potential mentees. These are employees who are talented, dedicated and show promise. During performance reviews, you could learn more about their career goals and how these align with the needs of your company.
Next, set down the goals or outcomes you both expect from the process of mentoring. Understand that being a mentor does not mean that you’d solve your mentees’ problems. Your role is to guide, counsel, support with resources and coach your mentee on the skills and behaviours they need to learn or the challenges they must tackle.
Set a time frame
When you establish goals, also create a time frame for the mentoring process. This way you can assess and review the success of the mentoring relationship, and whether it is serving its purpose.
Brush up on key skills
To be a good mentor, it is important for you to be an active listener. The point of mentoring is not to lecture your mentee with stories of your achievements. It is to understand their needs and challenges and how you can light their way. To be a successful mentor, it is important that you practice empathy and hone your emotional intelligence.
Provide constructive criticism
Basing your feedback on facts rather than opinions will make it seem fair and the mentee more receptive to it. Appreciate a strength or something they’ve done well before pointing out areas that need work and providing guidance on how to improve.
Find out how to best stay connected
Though mentoring is a long-term association that won’t require daily meetings, taking out time may be an issue for you as the employer. This can be remedied by using other means such as phone calls or emails to help your mentee when they your guidance.
Get peer mentors onboard
You could also assign peer mentors to help your mentees when needed. Peer mentors can coach your mentees on the skills they need to learn.
Lead by example
You can be a mentor to all your employees by being a role model and by supporting them with the resources they need to do their jobs well.
Do you have questions related to HR and employee management?
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