Mentoring makes a difference
Want to set up a mentoring program within your business, but not sure where to start? Mentoring programs are a great way to invest in the professional development of your staff and can have a positive impact on your business in many ways.
There are two types of mentors; internal mentors which are usually senior staff from within your own business and external mentors which are professionals from outside of your business. Smaller businesses tend to look to external mentors due to constraints in resources, whilst larger organisations have the ability to set up internal programs, providing external mentors for senior staff.
To start with you should establish exactly what you want to achieve out of a mentoring program.
We asked Phil Harris, Managing Director for Harris Real Estate the reasons for setting up their mentoring program. He poetically said ‘We are sowing the seeds for our future. We view our younger demographic of employees as the future of our business.’
Then have a think about all the positive implications a working mentoring program could have for your business, such as:
- The growth and development of your employees, personally and professionally
- Development of leaders within your team
- Improved staff retention
- Greater loyalty within your team
- Improved performance and productivity
- Expansion of your business networks
Here’s what a great mentor can provide to an employee:
- Greater accountability, responsibility and confidence
- Guidance on how to think ‘outside the box’ when problem solving
- How to set goals and be accountable for them
- Reassurance they are on the right track
- A fresh perspective
Once you’ve established your aims for the program, you will need to determine which staff will be involved in the program and find any external mentors required.
Edge Recruitment has an established mentoring program and Director Gary Beesley gives some sound advice to businesses wishing to do the same. He says ‘As a responsible employer we have an obligation to help our employees grow in their careers. You need to choose a mentor that is not only a good match for your employee’s personality but also a good cultural fit for your business.’
How do you find a mentor?
The best way to find a good mentor is to explore your business networks or contact your relevant industry association. In the property industry you could try the Real Estate Institute, The Property Council, The Urban Development Institute or the Facilities Management Association. Remember, a mentor does not necessarily have to be in the same industry, but will need to have a good understanding of the role of their mentee.
Some food for thought:
- Will your program be formal or informal?
- How much time will employees dedicate to the program?
- How will you measure the success of the program?
A good mentor is not only someone to bounce ideas off, but also acts as a guide on your trip to career success.