How to introduce ‘Mentoring’ in your workplace?

In the 1990s, when GE’s Jack Welch was already a celebrated CEO, he made a surprising move that puzzled the senior executives: he found  twenty five year old computer whiz kid within the company to serve as his technology mentor. He also insisted that his C level colleagues would do the same, as GE was on its way to a widespread digitisation. A relatively senior executives wanted to learn from a young executive who will eventually broaden each others dimensions through collaboration and team work. Mentoring is a process of building great partnerships and collaborations in the workplace and it transform both the mentor and the mentee.

Mentoring builds strong bonding and relationships in the workplace.  It is also an effective way of transferring knowledge and skills. Conventionally, companies employ mentoring as a solution for ‘personalized training’, ‘skill building’, ‘improvement of workplace productivity’, ‘building morale’, fostering of ‘team work’ & ‘leadership’ and for ‘management development’.

Mentoring programs offer companies an efficient and economical way to manage and develop human assets. Mentors can give high potential employees an extra push or inefficient employees some needed discipline in the areas of behavioral adjustments and skill sets. A mentor can transform an average employee into an exceptional performer by shortening his or her learning curve. The mentor-mentee relationship builds strong bonding, which can guide decisions about workplace issues, personal goals and ongoing professional development.

Mentoring, when well designed, properly implemented and adequately resourced can:

  • Attract and retain talented employees;
  • Develop people – those who mentor as well as those who are mentored
  • Facilitate career planning, progression and even succession planning
  • Increase the return on your investment in learning and development and reduce turnover costs.
  • Mentoring allows the transmission of knowledge, skills and experience, in a supportive and safe environment.

Through an effective mentoring process, it’s not only the mentees who benefits from mentoring but also mentors who get a real sense of satisfaction from their contribution.

A mentoring environment makes a workplace a warm and approachable one. The level of comfort with seniors in the organization makes the workplace free from politics.Very often, Mentors and mentees remain close friends, and mentoring continues informally, as needed.

There are different types of mentoring relationships in the work place, ranging from upwards which is usually with managers or immediate boss, peer to peer with subordinates, cross functional with other profiles or other departments and most commonly between an experienced and a novice.

Peer mentoring is increasingly common in organizations. This is a way to ensure that successful knowledge transfer and succession is ensured with less-experienced employees. Mentoring is a great way to boost morale in the work place. People don’t leave jobs, they leave environments that don’t support and satisfy them.

Introduce a mentoring program in your company today and see the transformation in the work culture, camaraderie and co-operation between teams and management.

Paul Robinson is India's leading Keynote Speaker and Business Strategist. To learn more about Paul please visit www.paulrobinson.in

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