Mentoring new managers to help them develop into leadership roles is an important process for businesses who need strategic succession planning. Whether the business is expecting key personnel to retire, trying to manage attrition or forecasting expansion and growth, developing talent from the inside is an important component of talent management, recruitment and benefits the organization’s operations.
The four pillars of mentoring are commonly known as trust, respect, expectation and communication. When developing a mentorship program for your business, the four pillars serve as a solid foundation for both the employee and the managers responsible for developing their skills.
The following are a few ideas to strengthen your current mentorship program, develop a plan to implement a program, and even assess your current program.
- Identify areas of weakness or vulnerability. Is there a particular position or department at risk of turnover due to upcoming retirements, personnel moving to another area, or just people leaving the job? If so, start succession planning now. It’s better to be prepared for the transition than to wait until significant vacancies occur.
- Identify existing managers who would make good mentors. Are they capable of fostering the pillars of mentoring? Beyond knowledge of the job, are they capable of teaching the soft skills and demonstrating how those skills are applied to the job day in and day out? Recruiting the right team of mentors is critical to the success of any internal training program.
- Identify key personnel to be mentored. Start with those who have expressed a desire to “move up” the ladder and talk to team members who have demonstrated a dedication to their job with good attendance, exceeding deadline expectations and who proven to be reliable. There may be un-tapped talent within your organization who have simply not had a chance to express an interest in a leadership role.
- Highlight the organization’s mentorship program in company communications, when speaking with potential new hires, and during company meetings. Shining a bright light on the mentorship program, and those who participate, may inspire others within the organization to get involved.
- If your company is in growth mode, you will need the appropriate talent to expand. This will likely require recruiting new employees who need the guidance of existing personnel to assimilate. Have your “team of experts” in place and ready to spend time to enculturate the new recruits to help develop their long-term success. The faster new employees are able to contribute and thrive, the better it is for all involved.
The attitude of existing leadership is also important to a mentorship program. A total team commitment creates a company culture that supports listening, learning, models behavior to the organization’s objectives, and has the potential to create long term success for employees and the company alike.
In other words…it takes great leaders to develop great leaders.
If your business has an existing mentorship program or is contemplating developing a mentorship program, consider creating expectations and key milestones to achieve during the process. This will help mentors evaluate employees’ performance, provide feedback and coach areas in need of improvement. Having a program in place to document performance will also help address any pitfalls in the process.
If your business is considering implementing a mentorship program into your employee handbook, Contact Us for a complimentary 15 minute meeting with one of our HR experts. Our HR Service plans can help your business implement and manage your workplace and workforce.
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*Southland Data Processing, Inc. (“SDP”) is not a law firm. This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other SDP materials does not create an attorney-client relationship. SDP is not responsible for any inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process.