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Why mentoring is key to successful leaders

Written by Paulette McCormack on 06/05/2015 11:59:00 AM 0 Comment
Richard Branson, one of the most influential business people of our time, said “Whenever I am asked what the
 missing link is between a promising business person and a successful one, mentoring comes to mind.

This week’s blog is about why mentoring in the workplace is essential for developing great leaders.

Ask countless successful entrepreneurs about mentorship, and they will always tell you they had a great mentor at some point along the road. 

Ultimately, the goal of a mentoring program is to consistently provide fully-trained, qualified candidates to fill leadership positions as soon as they become available, minimise the learning curve and maximise organisational efficiency.

Mentoring in the workplace is essential for developing great leaders and its benefits are twofold – it increases efficiency for the organisation while leading to improved job satisfaction and the achievement of long-term career goals for the individual.

The benefits of mentoring for the individual

  • Personal development opportunities
  • Exposure to senior personnel
  • Exposure to new ideas/innovations
  • Heightened self esteem
  • Recognition
  • Insight into their performance from a non-critical perspective

The benefits of mentoring for the organisation:

  • Use of existing skills and opportunities for cross-discipline of knowledge and skills
  • Development of competencies across personnel
  • Happier staff
  • Improved productivity and organisational efficiency

Effective leadership and mentoring

Training one’s successor and being surrounded by a well-trained, effective team is a hallmark of great leadership. When a leader has the ability to select well-qualified employees, train them to their highest level of capability and foster a learning environment, their team performs at a higher level. It also reflects well on the leader and creates an environment conducive to success.

Structured mentoring programs in the workplace

One way to provide this training is through a structured mentoring program where an organisation seeks out its most promising leaders to serve as mentors for the next generation of leaders. Mentees, or protégés, are the people within the organisation that offer great potential to fill future leadership positions, or in some cases, they are already leaders that will be groomed for the next level. It may be a supervisor being mentored to become a future manager, or a manager which the company expects to become a director.

A well-structured mentoring program should include:

  • Clear objectives/goals and expected outcomes with measurable evaluation methods
  • Structured activities with clear outcomes
  • Development opportunities for the mentee

Mentoring doesn’t need to strictly adhere to a one-on-one model where typically a senior member of staff mentors a junior member. Depending on your organisation’s needs, mentoring may take place under several leaders within a company.

What can happen when an organisation lacks mentoring?

Without mentoring promotions may be decided on which candidate seems most qualified, although they haven’t been introduced to the functions and expectations of their new role. In such cases, the new leader typically receives a few weeks training which is exclusively based on teaching the basics and addressing whatever random situations arise. Unfortunately, they are not completely ready for the position. This invariably leads to a longer learning curve and it may take several months, if not a year or longer, before the person becomes proficient in their new role.

Conversely, a mentoring program allows for multiple candidates to be groomed at the same time, and also increases their level of preparedness, which means the learning curve will be shorter once they assume their new role, and the organisation is less likely to experience a performance drop in a given department or division.

Fresh HR Insights Exclusive Training Special

Fresh HR Insights is offering an Exclusive Training Special for Bartercard members in the month of May that will show you how to implement and execute a successful mentoring program in your workplace.

What’s included?

You will work through an online training program that establishes the need for mentoring in your workplace, develops a tailored mentoring framework, facilitates and monitors the mentoring relationship and evaluates its effectiveness.

The program will be assessed by one of our experts at Fresh HR Insights and forms part of an accredited qualification which is also offered as a standalone program for professional development in the workplace.

The normal cost of this package is $395 +GST but all those who use the code BARTMAY2015 will receive this Bartercard exclusive for T$199.

Email with the subject line “Teach Me to Mentor - BARTMAY2015” to take this special up. (Offer valid from 1st May to 31st May 2015)

Author: Paulette McCormack, Director at Fresh HR Insights.
Helensvale Town Centre, Queensland
M: 0452 471 960

About the author

Paulette McCormack is the Founder and Director of Fresh HR Insights. She started the business three years ago out of the belief that supporting staff will help to motivate them and strengthen their employer’s reputation as an organisation committed to the well-being of its employees.

Paulette holds a Master in Human Resource Management, a Diploma in Business and Management and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She is currently completing a Master of Employment Relations.

Topics: Leadership, Mentoring

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