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Mentoring Your Staff
In business, the only real asset you have is your staff, the human beings who make your business work. No amount of money will take the place of your long-term interest in their careers and their lives. They need you, the senior managers and leaders, to guide them.
In return you get greater loyalty, better community relations, improved productivity, stronger teamwork, and a healthier bottom line. Want to achieve real success? Try these strategies.
1. Motivation: Use Intrinsic Rewards
An intrinsic reward is the positive outcome you derive from the activity itself, rather than from what you ultimately obtain from engaging in the activity. Get people involved in the cause you are serving, the mission of your business, the vision you have for the future. Once they see your true purpose they can make the choice to commit themselves to your business. When they commit, you begin the mentoring process.
2. Senior Management Commitment
Sign up every senior staffer (by longevity, by title, or both) to work with one or more junior members of the organization. This only takes one hour each month or so, over lunch, dinner, or on the weekend.
Then train the mentors in skills related to developing individuals.
3. Develop A Dialogue
In order to facilitate the process, provide a list of topics to discuss or goals to work on together. Such as: understanding the company's mission statement; goals of the mentee's department; developing networking skills and a network; the mentor's career path (successes and not such successes); personal interests/hobbies.
Give them a place to start.
4. Set Goals For The Program
If you expect great things from the mentor relationship, that is exactly what you will get. So get with everyone involved and create a list of positive outcomes and a list of time lines within which to reach them. Outcomes for the company, for the mentor, and for the mentee. The process works only when everyone wins.
5. Provide Support And Resources
Set aside time, money, and other resources for the mentor and mentee to use at their discretion. Then let them use them, without filling out piles of paperwork or getting a dozen signatures. Mentoring works primarily on spontaneity, on-spur-of-the-moment, exciting ideas. Create the environment for these to thrive.
6. Stress EducationTo advance in any organization employees need classroom and hands-on education. Both mentor and mentee should be learning constantly. Expect it, and expect them to pass along their learnings to everyone else.
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© SMBC Incorporated 2007