Mentoring is not a new concept. It dates back to the beginning of times. It became very popular during the reign of the Greeks who had schoolmasters (Greek word – Paidagogos). However, workplace mentoring became very popular in recent times.
There are a couple of reasons workplace mentoring becomes increasingly important. One of them is for proper succession planning within the organization. Another one is for better productivity. But that is not the focus of this article. Let’s take a look at some steps you can use as an HR practitioner to foster mentoring in your organization.
As an HR manager, you are always at least one step away from everyone in your organization in talent managemenrt matters. There are organizations in which the management may think workplace mentoring is a mere textbook idea that will not cost anything to be left unimplemented. Your duty is to do a little research and present facts before management. Organize the facts into slides and present and also print some documents for them to go through later. If you want The Learning Edge faculty to do that, we can handle it for your for FREE.
The culture of workplace management is very important. In fact, it will account for better working relationships that will radiate beyond the organization and attract clients to your firm. But the staff may not like the idea. So, you have to sell the idea to them. Begin with supervisors and see how they like it. For instance, do you know that workplace mentoring will help a supervisor to see himself/herself become a manager in your firm someday? Deliberately send links of articles about workplace mentoring to all stakeholders and bring it up at the slightest opportunity.
If it is not planned, it won’t stick long enough. If it does not stick, it won’t work. Why not come up with a plan with a timeline. Who will you speak to first? Who will you speak to next? What materials will you use? If the presentation idea does not work, what will be your plan b and plan c? If management says for you to go ahead, what will you do first? And how will you go about it all? A good plan – mid and long term – will make starting a workplace mentoring culture work for your organization.
For mentoring to produce maximum results in your organization, there has to be a sort of “corporate matchmaking.” This is where you look out for certain promising stars who are loyal to the firm and pair them with someone that can help them up the ladder. Use a large cardboard sheet to do this. Write the names of the staffs in management and use a marker to connect them to your promising stars. If you think the mentor will feel threatened, then let the mentoring happen naturally. It’s your firm and you should know how to move things around them.
That is very clear. Review your plan with top management every now and then if they have santioned the idea. Let each of the mentees submit a report of what they have learnt from observing (and if possible, working with) a particular member of the management team per week. These reports and review will form a basis for you to check how effective the workplace mentoring is going.
You are going to face discouragement. Some managers will think you and top management have a hidden agenda. While making everyone understand and comfortable with the idea, do not lose track of the push. Don’t stop! Keep explaining, keep encouraging and don’t stop teaching. Work with an organization (like ours’) to make everything go smoothly. Finding the right talents who are experienced and then making them to understand and blend into your organizational culture is not an easy task. Workplace mentoring makes it easier.
It is not very easy to make these things happen. They will require time and hardwork. But with consistency and coorperation of everyone, workplace mentoring will work for your firm.
Hopefully, these tips will help you as they have helped many of our clients and us. Kindly leave a comment below.