What better way is there to improve one’s working skills than to receive instruction from a seasoned senior team member? Mentoring is the perfect way to help your business take a giant leap up the ladder of success by providing this excellent means of personal and professional development.
- How to begin: Post interoffice notice that your organization plans to make mentoring available to those who volunteer to participate. Provide detailed information that explains how the program works and appoint a committee to oversee the program and be available to answer any questions participants might have. Inform both staff members and mentors that each has an advantage by participating. Make it clear that the mentoring process can achieve improved performance and career enrichment. Staff members are able to develop their career goals through mentoring and mentors enjoy the benefit of fresh input and ideas from their charges.
- Consider the perfect match: It is important to make good matches between staffer and mentor. Look for compatible personality traits and make sure each couple spends some time together before the final decision is made about who will mentor whom. The efforts will not be as effective if marked incompatibilities exist between your choices. Make sure your choices are conducive to mutual creativity and have similar work habits. Use your profiles & assessments and observational expertise to make matches that are going to work well together and increase your organization’s workflow. Let personnel reports play a big role in your choices about which employees will work best together. Pair someone with weak qualities in one area with a person who has strengths in that area.
- Encourage open exchanges: It is prudent to observe the discourse between staff members and mentors, especially during the initial periods following the match-ups. Watch for disagreements concerning work habits and stress that both people are there to learn from one another. Encourage new approaches to problem solving and promote the idea that both people are there to learn how to replace inefficient methods of doing things with more productive ones.
It is important to meet with each couple individually and to delineate specific goals and time constraints that should be met. Equally important is the creation of a committee to oversee and supervise progress of the mentoring couple to make sure things move ahead as planned and are goal focused.
Mark the successful completion of the program by some type of party or event that will serve both as a springboard for utilization of the new methods and practices learned during the time spent in the mentoring process. Be sure your employees are aware that you recognize and appreciate their efforts.
~ Written by Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC.
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