So your company has a mentoring program. but you are a line manager and really don't want to lose production time while your employee is off taking a "break." Right?
You will see that in the long run, a company-wide mentoring program will only help to increase production as well as the company's bottom line. In the short term, it may seem like an inconvenience to be short-staffed, but your employees' professional development and devotion/loyalty to the company will increase as a result of a corporate wide mentoring program.
So what can line managers do to support the mentoring process?
1) Get out of the way.
This may sound brash, but line managers shouldn't interfere with the mentoring relationship. One of the cardinal rules of mentoring is that the mentoree's manager should NOT be directly involved in mentoring an employee. This can lead to conflicts as the mentoree is less likely to open up and to be as forthcoming and honest about professional hopes and dreams as well as obstacles faced. Also, although a mentoring relationship is a professional relationship, at times it can also become a personal relationship. Therefore, it is never healthy for a direct manager to be involved in a mentoring relationship with his/her employee.
2) Give employees time to be properly mentored.
This point is mentioned above, but it's important enough to reitereate. Whether your employee was chosen by the C-Suite for the program or you encouraged him to join the program, DO NOT give him a hard time when he has a meeting. Encourage the program and your employee's participation in it. This will not only foster a healthy relationship between the two of you, but it will also prove to your employee that his professional development is important to you, garnering that company devotion/loyalty mentioned above.
3) Give the employee something to work with.
Many mentorees enter into a mentoring relationship unsure of what they should talk about with their mentor. During performance reviews, discuss items that might be good for the employee to focus on during the mentoring relationship.
Remember, it is an honor and a privilege to particpate in a company mentoring program. Employees who are offered the opportunity to take part in one often consider this to be a "benefit" that is provided by their company. Instead of considering a short line staff for an hour, try to consider the professional growth and development of your employee. For more ways that mentoring can help your company, check out our free download by clicking the button below.
Image Credit: https://stocksnap.io/author/19407