When I reflect on the early days of my career when I was promoted to a manager, I remember how several individuals impacted my career growth. As the executive vice president (EVP) of operations for SGEi, I realize now that their mentorship truly was a learning development tool that helped me advance as a leader and provided direction on how I could be a mentor as well.
How can mentorship be used as a learning development tool within your organization? There are many advantages for the mentor, mentee, and your company. Mentoring can help your teams effectively communicate, improve teamwork, and facilitate internal growth opportunities.
As previously mentioned, there were several individuals who made an impact on my career growth. I was fortunate to have great managers who took the time to provide informal, in-the-moment feedback. Their feedback allowed me to see how a great leader should act and interact with their teams. It made me understand the power of effective communication. Everyone communicates differently; let’s face it, as a new manager, I found that there were times when I was too direct with individuals on my team, and they were not performing to the best of their abilities. My mentor could see this and guided me in understanding the importance of building relationships, which allowed me to learn my team’s different communication styles. Once I started cultivating relationships with my team members, I was able to learn how to best communicate with each and, as a result, saw improved performances. Mentors can truly help recognize the things in ourselves that we may not see.
Mentorship can foster teamwork and team-peer mentoring, which will establish an environment where different perspectives can determine how to accomplish the tasks at hand. If you are working with someone who has less experience in their role, either because they are a new hire or have been recently promoted, it gives you, as a mentor, an opportunity to have a fresh, new perspective. On the flip side, it also provides the mentee a new perspective and viewpoint from someone who has already, “been there, done that,” which will build trust and respect within the organization. In a guide created by the Scottish Social Service Council, they discuss that team-peer mentoring is ideal for environments that have the same goals and objectives. Ultimately, having the support and help from one another makes the entire team stronger.
Training, whether through a classroom or online, is necessary for individuals to move forward in their careers. Individuals can also grow in their career by becoming a mentor. Mentoring has a variety of benefits to your company. Being a mentor helps refine your leadership skills as you can help others learn and grow. Having mentors help onboard your new hires is an excellent tool for professional learning for both the mentor and mentee. When mentors onboard your new hires, it provides your company with a process where knowledge, understanding, skills, abilities, expectations, and company values may be passed on to your new team members in a positive environment. As training and communication experts, SGEi works with our clients to customize their communication and onboarding processes, which allow leadership teams to develop as mentors within your organization. Visit us at sgeinternational.com to learn more and connect with a training expert today!