An effective mentoring programme has the power to boost both productivity and morale in your organisation. Skilled mentors have good boundaries and a grasp of the idea of mentees managing their own learning. Mentors such as these can be a major asset to any business.
Here are five key ways they can begin to add value to your organisation:
1 – Providing Guidance
Mentors aim to assist their mentees find direction in the organisation. They do this by encouraging them to take responsibility for themselves and to learn to work well with others. This may mean you find your next rising star. Or, you may appreciate that you already have just the right person for the job.
2 – The Benefits of Experience
A well-selected mentor will have lots of good business experience. Do you know anyone like that currently working in your organisation?
The point here is not for them to teach the mentee how to do their job. It is an issue of developing their confidence.
Through helping the mentee to make sense of methods and situations they haven’t experienced before, the mentor is facilitating their competence. They are also helping the mentee develop a more realistic experience of their environment and what’s happening around them.
3 – Nurturing & Growth
For the mentor/mentee relationship to be successful there has to be trust and openness from both parties. The mentee has to be able to trust that they are in safe hands. The mentor has to trust that the mentee is willing to grow and develop within the organisation.
These conditions are ideal for the mentor to nurture the mentee in many ways. They can help them to explore their own ideas and expectations, as well as valuing their talents and abilities.
Ideally, the mentor will then encourage the mentee to go into their work environment and stretch themselves personally and professionally in order to grow. This growth may lead to innovation within the role, or a readiness for promotion within the business.
4 – Skills Development
We all know we need a certain set of skills to do a certain job. What a mentor will also appreciate is the value of those additional ‘soft’ skills needed to keep an organisation running coherently and harmoniously.
As I said before, the mentor is there to facilitate the mentee’s own learning. Here, then, they can encourage the mentee to reflect on why things happen the way they do. They can help them identify areas where they need to develop their hard and soft skills to work better with their colleagues.
Mentors have the experience and perspective to more quickly identify what is needed by a certain person to deal with a given situation. They can also provide an environment where the mentee can ‘check in’ on how they’re progressing.
5 – Performance
We are all measured on our performance in the workplace. Do well and you might get on. Do not so well and you might find yourself stuck for a very long time, or worse.
A good mentor will be well aware of this. They will encourage the mentee to keep to a realistic and achievable set of goals, without actually setting those goals for them. Remember, the mentor is a facilitator not an assistant.
The mentor will also discuss with the mentee how they are managing their workload and their resources such as time. They may suggest re-evaluating ways of working or allocating time.
Finally, the mentor will encourage the mentee to stay motivated through positive action. They will understand the value of not ‘putting the cart before the horse’ i.e. that action precedes motivation.
I hope this has helped you get a picture of what mentoring is all about. Let me know what you think of this or my other posts by leaving a comment below. Or, tell us about your mentoring experiences or hopes.