Fast-Track Mentoring: Sparking Ideas for Collaborative Conversations
by Beverly Kaye
The case for mentoring in organizations is now more compelling than ever. It is clear that mentoring supports the retention, development, and engagement of today's workforce. It is a direct link to an organization's productivity and, ultimately, profitability. No one really needs to be convinced as to what a powerful and dynamic process mentoring can be for both employees and organizations. It has the potential to elevate corporate dialogue from the mundane to the truly transformational. But the key concern has always been how do managers learn the skills, find the time, and build the relationships necessary to make it successful.
Many mentoring programs begin with high energy and good intentions, but end up with little impact and less long-term follow-through. In our current organizational climate there is a pressing need for a practical way to educate managers and leaders quickly so they see mentoring as a positive experience rather than a burden. The task is to integrate a simple and effective method to give managers, team leaders and individual contributors the basic skills and practical how-to's of mentoring others that makes it part of their on-going responsibilities and not an add-on.
It's a rare organization today that can afford to take mentoring partners offsite for extended training. The alternative is to provide an easy self-study process or brief facilitated program that highlights the most important aspects of the mentoring process and gets mentors started immediately.
What Mentors Do
Everyone brings unique experiences and expertise to the mentoring relationship. Allowing mentors to begin with their strengths gives them confidence and comfort with the process. Here are four different ways mentors can work with their partners. Mentors can try on each of these to see which works best for them.
A practical and direct process for use by new or seasoned mentors can be mastered in four simple steps.
How Everyone Benefits
While the time-honored practice of mentoring has always been with us, it is now more than ever a dynamic tool for building collaborative relationships. Organizations need a simple but elegant that demystifies the mentoring journey. It also should work to develop the mentor as he or she works to develop others.
A successful process should provide mentors and their partners with specifics on what to do, what to talk about, and how to take action. Mentoring in this fast-track format may well be one of the most powerful ways to engage and retain both employees and managers. It should also provide a payback for the organization so that talent can be recognized and grown.
Beverly Kaye, co-author of bestseller Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay (Berrett-Koehler, 1999 & 2002) and author of classic career development book Up is NOT the only Way (revised, Davies-Black, 1997) is internationally recognized as one of the most invested, knowledgeable and practical professionals in the area of Talent Management.
Copyright Beverly Kaye. All Rights Reserved.
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