It is often said that all businesses need mentors. Mentoring is a relationship between two individuals, one with more experience in the field while another has less knowledge or expertise on specific subjects; this can be beneficial for both parties involved because they can learn from each other’s experiences and grow their abilities!
Mentoring is not reserved for any type of business, organization, job position, profession, or size of an entity.
Why is mentoring important? It helps people develop skills and creates an environment where employees can their personal best. Medical doctors have internships and residencies that give them more experience to create excellence among other medical professionals; lawyers train under experienced attorneys so their careers will continue on this path of success- there’s a reason for both these types of training! CPAs are given guidance from individuals with years upon decades worth of knowledge about accounting matters which leads many others down successful paths, and Architects get trained by those who know all sorts, having gone through different levels themselves before becoming accomplished at what they do now.
Mentoring at any Level
While many might think that mentoring is only reserved for the inexperienced, it is knowledge transfer; therefore, it works at any level and in any situation. All employees benefit from mentoring as they grow with a business regardless of the size.
Entry-level employees certainly need mentoring. They should not be expected to step into a job with a minimal amount of training and become top-notch employees on their own. Perhaps this happens, but the odds of success are far greater when there is continuous mentoring. Unfortunately, many businesses have a mentoring program for entry-level and new employees that is only short-term in duration. While this sets employees on the right course, it does little to help them learn the job better and prepare them to accept added responsibilities. With an effective mentoring program, employees increase their skills and, generally, become more loyal, adding to a company’s forward momentum.
Managerial-level positions are no different from entry-level positions for gains that can be achieved through mentoring. Managers at any level still need to be mentored as their job functions and responsibilities change and increase. An ongoing debate has always been whether a leader is born or made. Regardless of one’s opinion, leaders and managers can still improve and become more effective with proper mentoring.
A first-time manager with little or no managerial experience needs mentoring to succeed. Likewise, the most experienced manager becoming a director or being elevated to a C-level position can still benefit from proper mentoring. There are different issues and situations at every level of management that have to be addressed in the best possible manner. Mentoring from an experienced manager is a great asset in this area.
Mentoring is a powerful way to improve both personal and professional growth. Open communication between mentor and mentee can lead the two of them on an exciting journey together, where trust becomes important for success in this new environment that has been created by such significant interaction. Mentors may provide guidance or motivation when needed; they might even offer moral support from time to time! Experienced mentors know-how to relate stories about themselves to help younger individuals see what could’ve gone wrong if not handled properly. This makes mentoring even more powerful when mentees understand that their tutors have been in the same place where they are now.
As a business owner, manager, or supervisor, implement some of the following tips in a mentoring program:
– Be a positive role model.
– Approach each mentee as a unique individual using additional guidance based on distinctive characteristics and experience.
– Work together on common goals to be achieved.
– Show actual involvement and take a genuine interest in the mentee learning about the person, background, interests, etc.
– Allow the mentee to make recommendations and discuss different approaches to a situation before giving advice.
– Share previous experiences, both good and bad.
– Give praise when due, celebrate successes, and learn from failures and/or disappointing results.
– Lead by example.
Efforts Have Rewards
The best way to grow a business is by mentoring employees. With the right strategy, small businesses can still be successful while providing their workers with valuable input and support to make them feel valued in ways beyond their paycheck alone.