As a manager, you do everything possible to empower your team.
You learn about the most effective strategies to promote a collaborative working environment, and know that one of the best tactics to do so is to create a mentorship programme.
However, unless you have a very small team (under three employees), you will not be able to mentor them all yourself.
A common challenge for leaders who want to implement mentoring in their workplace is lack of enthusiasm from the more experienced employees.
While the younger staffers are eager to learn from their seasoned colleagues, network with their contacts and get advice, the mentors may not be as gung ho about the project.
As a manager, there are three things you can do to improve the success of this programme in your office:
Tout the Benefits
The individuals who have maintained a successful career for 10, 20 or 30+ years may not see the advantages of becoming a mentor.
It is up to you, the boss, to point them out.
Remind these professionals that they actually may have a lot to learn from the younger generation.
They have likely recently finished university and have studied the latest theories that may expand the older employees’ point of view.
They also likely have the knowledge that the others likely don’t possess, such as more savvy tech skills, and can teach them to their mentors.
Offer Time Off
Employees love to have time off from their regular tasks, especially if it is not at their own expense.
A great motivator for both mentors and mentees to sign up for the programme is to offer them time off for the interactions.
Consider ending work two hours early twice a month to give colleagues the chance to meet and converse with one another.
Although they may initially be doing it for the wrong reasons, it will likely take just one meeting to discover everything they can learn from one another.
Another way to implement mentoring into your organisation with great success is to offer incentives for workers to join.
Work this system right into your corporate policy, so that all employees understand that their support of others and commitment to teamwork is highly valued, and will be looked at when considering that person for promotion.
The chance to get a raise, bonus or a promotion will be a perfect incentive to get employees across the chain of command to sign up for the mentorship programme.
Senior Management Trainer and Consultant
Originally published: 26 June, 2018
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