While it may be easy for companies to adopt the “workhorse” mentality—i.e. you just need bodies to churn out work—the reality is that as human beings, people would like more from their employers. After all, it’s human nature to want to feel appreciated and respected for quality work, and when a person feels appreciated and respected, he/she will produce higher quality work.
Still, developing your company’s junior employees can be a daunting challenge. Where does a new employee go if he or she wishes to gain from the experience and wisdom of a more seasoned manager? Yes, new employees can always turn to their immediate supervisors and HR directors, but there is an inherent hesitation to do this because the new employee doesn’t want to appear “incompetent” or “weak.”
Mentoring is a strategic initiative that will pair newer and junior employees with those senior employees and managers who can provide not only the experiential wisdom they have, but also a supportive environment whereby the newer employee can share the real issues affecting success.
It might not be obvious at first glance, but these pairings will have positive effects on your company as well. During the mentoring relationship, mentorees and mentors will discuss important issues, such as how to interact and work effectively with your top clients; how to get along and communicate with peers and upper management; how to understand and fit in better with your organization’s “corporate culture”; and how to deal with increased scrutiny; plus so much more.
While baptism by fire often remains a popular strategy for getting new employees up to speed, it still makes sense to provide a safe haven—the mentoring relationship—where the associate can relax and let down his or her guard.
Why will this investment in mentoring help your company in the long run? Studies show that organizations that make a commitment to mentoring produce appreciative employees who show their gratitude through hard work, loyalty, and longevity. Make the investment in your best and brightest now, and reap the awards immediately as well as years down the road when they become senior managers (and then “pay it forward” by mentoring the next crop of new and junior employees).Edite Artmann | Dreamstime.com