Mentoring Programs: Supportive of Success
When we set out to start our own business we tend to look back at our previous experience and how the environment was either supportive or non-supportive of the employee’s success; to see what worked and what didn’t work. One of the elements of a successful business is the openness to share our wisdom and passion of doing what we love with others. One of the easiest ways is to establish a Mentoring Program. Mentoring doesn’t always mean we are ‘grooming’ the new employees for their rise in the corporate environment, it can also mean mentoring high school students to gaining much needed experience in the work place.
Today, I would like to share with you a few of the advantages of how establishing a mentoring program can support your small business success while also touching how setting up a mentoring program in a small to medium sized organization can help you develop your human resources and use these resources in the most efficient manner possible.
First, let’s start with the key advantages of mentoring programs:
Reduced Learning Curve
When an organization establishes a mentoring program this can prove to be one of the most important resources for employees during their initial learning phase or the first six months of the new hire employment period; when an employee is transferred or promoted to a new department having a mentor supports a less stressful work environment.
When the learning curve is reduced, so too is the amount of overhead expenditures required to have the employee fully up to speed and working efficiently at their new responsibilities. We all know, when employees are happier their work performance improves and so too does the bottom line.
As a small business, if you take on a high school student as a mentor you are empowering them to embrace new skills that will be transferrable when they leave high school and enter college or university. These news skills can help reduce their stress of the learning in a new environment which translates into supporting a positive educational experience and potential supportive a better grade point average.
Lower Attrition Rates
When an organization embraces mentoring programs, reports show the employee satisfaction in their jobs increase. When an individual feels supported and they enjoy their work, they are less apt to leave their place of employment. When their loyalty rises, then the costs associated with new hires is directly and positively impacted.
As a small business embracing a mentoring program with young individuals, their business is seen in the local community as a supportive one. As business owners taking an interest in ongoing education and the workforce of the future, clients and potential clients immediately and automatically view the business with greater respect and in turn are more apt to support such businesses.
With frequent interactions and as the mentor shares his experiences and wisdom with the mentees, improves the confidence of both the mentor and the mentee. The leadership qualities in the mentor are improved and as a result the mentor feels appreciated and respected by his co-workers. This confidence and pride carries over into their own regular duty which again improves their efficiency and effectiveness.
Small businesses working with the future workforce also see a rise in effectiveness in their normal job duties as the gratitude expressed by the younger generation supports the mentor’s moral and ethic decision making skills. Businesses again gain good will in the community and are seen as a leader.
This step is more applicable to those organizations considered to be a mid-size or large-size organization where the leadership team needs to ensure they are proactively planning the succession of the team itself. Mentoring programs help senior management spot the best talent and groom them for better roles in the organization. In effect it helps the organization retain talent and allows the employees to grow in their careers.
Succession planning is not only for large companies; those who are starting their business can begin considering their own success and at what point will their business take on a life of its own. When this happens, will you as the entrepreneur be ready to hand over the reins and to whom? As you are mentoring the students you can be identifying what key skills, qualities and work ethics would be necessary for your business to continue to survive after your retirement.
Reduced Stress Levels
A well established mentoring program gives an outlet to employees to discuss their professional and sometimes personal issues (that are affecting their professional lives). This helps employees deal with their stress better and organizations in turn are able to maintain high levels of employee efficiency.
Encouraging an open communication between the mentor and mentee you also reinforce your support of the ‘whole’ person when they work for you. As a small business owner you are able to provide the same type of open communication with the student mentees you are working with. This open communication will support their ongoing success in school and their work careers.
A mentorship program encourages teamwork and allows each person to focus on what he does best. Often employees get stuck when they are faced with tasks that go beyond their skill levels. A good mentorship program can take care of that by providing employees with regular feedback and guidance, thus ensuring that they are able to do justice to their potential.
When working with a student mentor program, teaching and encouraging team work reinforces the skills necessary to be successful in any career they are seeking to work within. Teamwork is a skill set that will not be undervalued and is always transferrable from one environment to another.
The most crucial advantage of mentoring programs is perhaps knowledge management. In most organizations when key people leave they take the knowledge and wisdom they possess with them. By establishing a mentoring program, however, organizations can ensure this knowledge is passed on from the mentors to the mentees.
High school mentees may not be taking the small business owners ‘knowledge’ to immediately support the business but the practice for the business owner to share this knowledge again reinforces the key information that is needed for the business to continue to run without them and how to plan for unexpected events.
Knowledge is power but the power of your knowledge is limited and reduced when it is not freely shared with others. This doesn’t mean give away your trade secrets but it does mean that by supporting others and empowering them to be successful at any job they may applying themselves to can and will support your overall business success. Mentoring others is something that I truly enjoy as it allows me to empower others to step into their full confidence and truly hear their inner wisdom allowing them to follow their hearts and true purpose in life.