The Value Of Mentoring

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As a business evolves, those that work within it, at all levels become part of a unique community. Those that accompany the business on its journey are almost as critical to its success as those who established it. Investing in developing your staff through supports such as mentorships have strong long term benefits for what you can offer to retain your best staff, and how you can continuously develop to serve the needs of your customers. 

 

In terms of younger recruits to a company, particularly graduate hires, support in terms of career development is particularly important. A study released by Deloitte in the US said that graduates feel far more valuable to the organisation when the employer is making a conscious investment in developing them on a path of management and leadership, the same study also revealed that graduates are likely to stay longer with companies who offer mentoring opportunities. So what are the different methods of mentorship that they can add to your business. 

 

Developing future leadership 

Mentoring sets a great example in terms of company culture. By displaying the background to the company’s success and your role in it, you display creativity, work standards, culture and ambition. For HR Departments, it gives them an opportunity to select talent that align with the vision, culture and objectives of the company. 

 

Retention 

Employees who feel invested in will obviously be more loyal. A mentoring programme engenders a sense of ownership within the employee and committed employees are more likely to be loyal too, reducing the need for turnover. Mentoring encourages employees to expand the scope of their projects and push their professional boundaries. 

 

Communication 

Developing a connection with employees, particularly Generation Z and Millennial recruits, is vital. For these employees, learning how to communicate in an effective way with those who are more senior in the organisation is particularly valuable. In these times of crisis, remote conversations and working on projects remotely can be hugely challenging and isolating for many. By mentoring them in how to deliver effective verbal and written communication, you will be providing them with an invaluable tool that they can then bring into face to face conversations, when such elements are possible again.

 

Altruism

Both inside and outside your business, mentoring can have a powerful impact. For those who you work alongside, if you mentor them in a constructive, non-intrusive and consistent way, they will shape many of their career and related life decisions with considerable influence from the direction that you have provided. Mentoring can also work outside the business too. By providing assistance to startups, business incubators, sole traders and charities you are helping build a healthier and more considerate business ecosystem where competition is not the only watchword. If you’re providing advice and support to charities, be particularly aware of how susceptible some groups may be to influence and be very considerate in terms of how you impart direction or supervision. 

 

Collaboration and challenges 

Of course, not every mentorship programme or initiative will work perfectly. While they may be started with the best intentions, they can be sidelined, curtailed or abandoned. This can be obviously more of a challenge for those in SME’s or smaller companies. For it to succeed, the mentorship must be collaborative. The mentor should feel energised and invested in the experience and they should feel that they are learning and developing themselves as they provide guidance. They also need to be open to questions which may cause them to reflect on why certain things are done certain ways. If done correctly, this opens the conversation and engenders trust on both sides. New recruits can often be intimidated by those in senior positions and can view the position of management or leadership as almost unattainable. If a mentor can discuss failure alongside success, setbacks alongside achievements then they will seem like a far more plausible role model as a mentor. 

 

Of course, a successful collaboration isn’t just the role of the mentor. Even the most dedicated leader or mentor won’t be a success with everyone they engage with, the personality dynamic is complicated and there are of course clashes and resistance that can be part of the process. In order for a programme to work for the mentee, the recipient, they need to pursue the guidance they need and be eager and receptive. They also need to respect the mentor’s time, which is a finite resource. They need to help the mentor best understand how they learn most effectively and how they deliver the best results for the organisation from the training they are receiving. 

 

An effective mentoring programme can bring the work and the purpose of the company to life for those in junior positions, and help develop a valuable resource for the future.  It is far more engaging than an email packed with PDF resources on all aspects of the company. It can also be a hugely enjoyable and rewarding process for both parties, bringing a sense of purpose and direction to those who can benefit from it most.

 


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