Achieving Excellence Through Continuous Mentoring
November 16, 2017
How can an employee be expected to produce quality performance without training and mentoring? Look at some of the most well-respected professions. Medical doctors have internships and residencies. Associate lawyers train under experienced attorneys. CPAs, architects, and insurance professionals all receive guidance from more knowledgeable colleagues. Other professions do the same. There is a reason for this training. It creates excellence.
In short, mentoring can best be defined as knowledge transfer. It is transferring knowledge, experience, and advice to someone less experienced. In addition to simply transferring knowledge, a goal of mentoring in business is to encourage less experienced employees to develop specific skills needed to perform at a higher level, thus, increasing overall operational efficiency and ultimately profitability for the business.
While many might think that mentoring is only reserved for the very inexperienced, mentoring at any level in business is important…from the lowest level to the highest level. All employees benefit from mentoring as they grow with a business…even a small business or SME.
Entry-level employees most definitely need mentoring. Employees cannot be expected to step into a job with a minimal amount of training and be expected to 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 in helping them learn the job better and preparing 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 than entry-level positions when it comes to 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 no managerial experience definitely needs mentoring in order to succeed. Likewise, the most experienced manager becoming a director or even being elevated to a C-level position still needs 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.
Regardless of position, every person in business can benefit from mentoring. It is a very powerful tool to enhance both personal and career development. Although it is obvious that employees at certain levels require less mentoring, mentoring overall benefits all employees at businesses of any size.
When there is open communication and trust built between the mentor and mentee, a positive and enthusiastic atmosphere can develop. In addition to working on skill sets only needed for a particular position, a strong mentor can provide guidance, motivation, and moral support as well as being a role model. Experienced mentors can relate stories of when they were in similar positions and situations, and how their actions proved to be positive or negative at the time. This makes mentoring even more powerful when mentees understand that their tutors have been in the same place where they are now.
Efforts Have Rewards
A business can do nothing or very little to mentor employees and still grow and succeed. The same business, however, can put forth a little extra effort, develop an ongoing mentoring program, and reap big rewards.