The Management Blog
Tips & advice to help you improve your performance
Last week we started talking about the importance of mentoring and the development of a mentoring plan for your organisation. Today I’d like to take a minute to talk about some of the things you need to do in order to evolve that plan from a simple idea into a reality.
The first thing you need to do is identify which individuals within your organization would make great mentors. Set up a training program so that they understand their goals as mentors and give them the tools they need to understand their new responsibilities as active mentors. Give them training and ongoing support so that they can meet the company’s mentoring goals.
The next step is to determien which employees need mentoring. You can do this by giving each person a self-assessment form to complete. The assessment form will help them to determine which career paths are actually best for them based on their skillsets and goals.
Finally, you need to get some sort of formal committment from upper management to support the mentoring program. Ask them to ensure there is money in the budget to support the program and ask them to make some sort of formal announcement that lets the employees know that they are supportive.
In many instances, the company HR group will set up a mentoring program but in other instances management is responsible for that task. Don’t panic if you find yourself responsible for setting up a mentoring plan for your group. After surveying the options and making a plan you’ll find the implementation of a good mentoring program is easier than you imagined it to be.
Now that you understand the importance of having a mentoring plan in place it’s time to start building one. In order for any mentoring plan to be successful two things have to happen. First, you employees need to realize they are responsible for their own levels of success. Second, you must have support from upper management in the development and implementation of your plan.
Once you have commitment and support you can start building a mentoring program for each of your employees. You have a choice. You as a manager can do the mentoring work or you can hire a third party who will focus on mentoring full-time. No matter what you choose to do you must make sure your organisation understands the following points:
Is your organisation willing to make a few changes in both mindset and procedure in order to help foster the growth of your current employees? They should. After all, it costs less to keep an employee than it does to hire a new one. Keep that in mind.
You have a problem.
As a manager, you are responsible for making sure your employees have mentors. The problem you have is that your company may or may not support the mentoring process. It’s a shame, and it’s something you’ll have to deal with.
Last week we spend some time talking about coaching, which is great. But let’s not forget that coaching is completely different from mentoring, which is your ability to help someone grow in their immediate, professional career.
There are several reasons why companies today don’t focus on mentoring:
I personally think these are terrible reasons to avoid mentoring. They all reflect one problem – a huge lack of committment to your company, to yourself, and to your employees. The same goes for your employees – they lack a committement to themselves. as well.
The truth is that you need to find the time and/or money for mentoring, whether you realize it or not. The benefits far outweigh the risks any day. And not having a mentoring program could prove detrimental to your team and your company as a whole.
In the past we’ve talked about workplace safety but from the standpoint of employee burnout and, more recently, the importance of having a plan if your organisation is affected by a pandemic like the H1N1 virus. Today, though, I’d like to take a step back and look at workplace safety from a more general viewpoint. You may think that the fact you work in an office exempts you from workplace safety. You are, after all, simply sitting at a desk all day, right? Wrong. Employees trip and fall, burn themselves in the kitchen, and even suffer from health issues while at work.
In the past we’ve had several conversations about knowledge and how to manage the knowledge you have within your ogranization. We’ve talked about auditing information, storing information, and even making sure it gets back out to those who need it.
Today I want to talk about what I consider the four fundamental priniciples of knowledge management. They include capturing knowledge, validating knowledge, accessing knowledge, and then scaling that knowledge down. What do I mean?
The idea of capturing knowledge is pretty simple – in theory, anyway. Capturing knowledge is the process by which you determine what knowledge is available and then bring it together into some form of documentation. Knowledge that isn’t documented can’t be shared or used.
After you capture knowledge you have to validate it. Validating knowledge is about ensuring that the information you have is accurate and relevant. It won’t do you any good to have incorrect facts in your database and it’s just as bad to have completely outdated information as well.
After you capture and validate the knowledge within your organisation you have to create a way that makes it easy for everyone to access the pieces they need at any given time. They shouldn’t have to sort through an entire database. It needst to be indexed so that it can be easily found and used.
Scaling information is the process of making the information you have into something usable regardless of the geographic location of your business. If you are part of an international business, for example, your employees in New York City and Tokyo may need to access the same database. An employee in NYC can’t use one method of capturing, validating, and accessing if an employee in Tokyo is doing something different. If that happens, you’ll end up with a database of jumbled information.
How do your knowledge databases look right now. Could they use some improvement?
I hope you took a few minutes over the past couple of days to think about some of the coaching myths we covered on Monday. I think that after a while you’ll see how important it is to have a professional or executive coach in your life, especially if you want to continue to climb up the corporate ladder. Today I’m going to share 5 more myths and, hopefully, you’ll undertand what I’ve been trying to say. Learn More
Throughout my career I’ve learned two things. Successful people have had (or currently have) coaches and those who seem to be struggling with their careers are usually the ones who do not have coaches (or think they don’t need them). Over the next couple of days I want to take some time to dispell some of the myths circulating about the values of coaching – whether you’re on the giving or receiving end. Learn More
Working as a manager and forming relationships with the members of your team is one thing. It’s easy to communicate with them because you do so on a regular basis. But what happens if you’re called to do a presentation in front of upper management, for a group of investors or – worse yet – for the entire organization?
There are several things you can do before your prentation that will allow you to prepare so that you can give your speach or talk without feeling overwhelmed. Your nerves may never go away but you can learn to control them. Learn More