In today's business climate, staying competitive will allow you to seize the market. One way to be competitive is to spearhead the next batch of talent that'll revolutionize your business.
You're probably wondering what the best way to do that is - as luck might have it, we have something to say about it.
In this article, I’ll focus on:
- What mentorship is
- Creating a culture for learning from mistakes
- Why respecting mentees is important
- How to be a source of empowerment for your mentees
- Setting goals
What is mentorship?
A mentor is a professional that helps you excel in your role by offering guidance, assistance, and feedback and can boost your confidence and professional development.
Companies are launching internal mentorship programs to get the most out of their employees. This Forbes article says 70% of Fortune 500 companies have mentorship programs. The article also says that 90% of employees with a mentor are happier and develop at a significantly higher rate.
It’s a no-brainer decision to become a mentor to your employees. But unfortunately, not everyone is cut out to be a mentor. However, if you're determined to do so, here are a few tips to help you be a better mentor to your employees.
Create a culture for learning from mistakes
We all strive to develop new skills and one way to develop talent internally is to create a culture for learning.
It’s also important to remember that learning stems from failure, and employees must learn from their mistakes. However, you must enable the failure to happen so an employee can thrive.
Failure shouldn't be encouraged, necessarily, but people should be encouraged to challenge themselves even if the odds are against their favor. Even if the task seems impossible and above their pay grade, create a culture where past failures help employees uncover their true potential.
This one is a critique of the concept of mentorship. Professional mentors have a preconceived image of what their mentees are. As a result, they expect the mentee to have certain character traits that resemble their own. But unfortunately, the chances of your mentee being the same person as you are incredibly slim.
Don't fall into the traditional mentorship trap of expecting your employee to be the perfect human. They're not, and that's precisely why they need your help. Chances are, they’re entirely different from you. So if you have entirely different methods for creating an onboarding funnel, don't scold them for trying something different and new.
Instead, be respectful, get into a conversation, and try to understand the thinking behind their decision. Ultimately, your mentee is a human who you should treat with respect.
Be a source of empowerment
A mentor is a person that empowers mentees to take calculated risks. In an overly competitive industry, taking calculated risks can revolutionize your business. When the risk pays off, it can be advantageous for both the business and the employees to come up with new ideas.
Taking risks is one way to push your employees forward and unleash their potential. Being a good mentor that empowers their employees to take this risky step can lead to building trust. When taking risks, there are two outcomes.
One outcome is a success, while the other outcome is a failure. But remember the previous point we made; the point of learning from failure. Employees want to find mentors that will push them forward and learn from past mistakes. It's the only way to learn on the job and improve professionally.
But without a source of empowerment, employees will rarely try a risky move that might be potentially rewarding for all parties.
A mentor is supposed to set goals for their mentees. In the professional world, goals are essential for measuring the success of a business. For professional development, we can set goals to reach our target destination. Goals are another way for your employees to reach their potential.
Even more so, you should set goals right from the start. First, speak with your employees about where they see themselves in the next five years. Then, set goals to help them reach their destination. But don't stop there. A good mentor constantly evaluates the situation and monitors how their mentees progress towards achieving each goal.
If they're falling short, offer advice and guidance on getting back on track. Make sure your employees aren't getting overly burdened with the concept of achieving goals. Instead, nurture their talents and work together on innovative ways to reach the target destination.
There's a difference between being a mentor and being a good mentor to your employees. A good mentor doesn't stop even when the odds are against their favor. A good mentor wants his mentees to succeed. They take huge pride in knowing they've helped someone achieve their goals and dreams.
More so, you can be a mentor to your employees and develop a culture of success and learning. It's one way to win over your competitors and put your company on top of your industry.
What steps are you taking to be a great mentor to your team? Need advice? Join the conversation with a global network of CMOs and marketing leaders at the CMO Alliance Community Slack channel.