Developing leaders who truly guide and effectively manage their teams is a perennial challenge for businesses. It’s why our ILM leadership and coaching skills for managers courses continue to be so popular.
One low-cost, high-return management strategy that’s covered in these courses is setting up a mentorship programme.
Mentoring has many direct and indirect benefits:
1. Motivated staff
While directives from the C-suite can light a fire, it is up to managers and mentors to stoke it. One-on-one relationships are key to providing motivation to achieve goals and instilling a sense of team work and responsibility. And we all know the connection between motivated staff and a productive workplace.
2. Better performance, better results
Mentoring builds engagement and motivation through a close working relationship with a mentor who provides clear direction and goals. This mentor also develops a strong knowledge of the mentee’s development needs and career aspirations to ensure desired career progression for the individual and organisation. Nurturing employees through mentoring and coaching increases performance, and enables application of skills to be embedded effectively to achieve results.
3. Value trickle down
Well-communicated policies are essential to any business, but ultimately company culture will be most clearly modelled and articulated by other employees. A mentor can set the standard for a mentee that provides a living example of what it means to live the company’s values in day-to-day work.
“70 percent of mentored businesses survive more than five years, double the rate for non-mentored small businesses over that same period.” –Small Business Administration
4. New knowledge base
Training and qualifications are excellent ways of building a skills base among employees. However, mentoring is another opportunity to deliver broader knowledge and enhanced skills tailored to the mentee’s actual needs. Unlike in off-site training, mentoring knowledge-transfer ensures employees are in a live working environment where they can apply and embed skills to their roles straight away.
5. Management support
Managers are often so busy with their daily work that truly engaging with and listening to their team often falls by the wayside. Mentoring is a chance to ensure employee engagement and that concerns are heard and addressed early. Particularly during times of change, mentors can be a powerful tool for retention and bolstering employee confidence.
6. Builds advocacy to support on-going strategic aims and objectives
Another benefit of mentoring is that it continually reinforces the overall business need to employees who may not be directly involved in decision making and goal setting.
Additionally, a strong mentor will instil an awareness in the mentee that they are part of something bigger than their day-to-day roles.
Consider implementing a formal, tailored mentorship programme in your workplace to start building your 'people power'.