In any company, there is no more important task than business mentoring, especially for your young employees. While inexperienced employees often feel unsure of their duties and roles in a company, executives who mentor those employees find the results can be outstanding. By providing feedback, insight, and support, companies find that these employees begin to take on additional responsibilities and eventually move into high-level positions. For example, the tech industry is one of the fastest growing globally, and in 2015 more than 86 percent of all executives in digital marketing agencies started out in junior positions working their way to the top while being groomed by a mentor. By looking at business mentoring as an investment in the future of the company, executives realize young employees can adapt and learn much easier when having the help of a mentor. If you find yourself leading a group of eager young people whose goal is to take on more responsibility and someday be a mentor themselves to help your company grow, here are some tips to make the most of your opportunity.
Develop the Business Mentoring Relationship
For any mentoring experience to be successful, it’s crucial to develop the mentoring relationship from the beginning. By now you have likely succeeded in finding the right creative people in group interviews, so now you will need to start nurturing these new creatives from the start. To do so, you’ll need to not only assess your business leadership, but also begin building trust with your employees. Finding common interests, setting goals for the mentoring experience, and viewing the organization with a fresh eye can result in a renewed understanding of how different generations can achieve the same goals and find success within an organization.
Business Mentoring and Networking
If you really want to help young employees get ahead in your company, take advantage of your network to let them meet a variety of new people. By doing so, you can begin advocating for your junior people and help them open new and exciting career doors. Once you get started on this path, you’ll be able to help them become involved in new types of training and develop new skills, which may eventually result in greater visibility and new chances for employees to connect with others in conventions, networking events, and much more. Business mentoring can arm the newest members of your team with the insight and drive to become hungry in your industry, and drive future success.
Know Your Organization and its Players
Even if you are the CEO, an executive director, or a member of the senior management team it’s still important for you to take a hard look at your company and assess its effectiveness in many areas. You’ll be able to examine both positive and negative situations that may affect the business mentoring process. Whether it’s rumors, adversarial relationships between co-workers, no-win assignments, or other factors that may come into play, it’s vital to steer young employees clear of these situations. In doing so, you will allow your protege to remain focused on the important tasks at hand, rather than get caught up in potentially career-damaging situations.
Guiding and Counseling
Perhaps more than anything, as a mentor you will be responsible for guiding and counseling young employees as they begin their career journey. In your business mentoring role, you can expect to serve as a confidant, personal adviser, and sounding-board for times when they may become frustrated on the job. However, as your mentoring relationship grows stronger over time, you can come to help your younger employees gain a better understanding of business leadership and how to deal with problems they may face on the job. And along with this, expect to act as an adviser when it comes to discussing behavior that may be considered a poor fit within the company culture, since this is a common problem for young employees in today’s corporate world.
Be a Role Model
The best mentors are not only counselors and advisers, but also role models for how young employees should handle all aspects of business development. Whether it’s displaying the ethics, values, and high standards that lead to success on and off the job, imparting your knowledge through teaching, or sharing experiences that let young employees realize how a career path can twist and turn, chances are they will follow your lead, adapt their own style, and gain confidence thanks to your efforts. By being aware of your own behavior, you will teach young employees to do the same, helping set the stage for success now and in the future.
Motivation and Inspiration
If you’ve done everything that’s been discussed so far, chances are you have already provided motivation and inspiration in ways you never expected. By supporting, validating, and encouraging young employees to follow their dreams and set goals for their development within the company, you will have served them well as they take their place within the company management structure.
As today’s workforce gets younger and younger, companies that realize the important role business mentoring plays in helping young employees are one step ahead of the competition. While all mentoring situations are different, always remember that mentoring is a shared responsibility between you and your young employee. However, if both of you are flexible, honest, and open to constructive criticism and feedback from one another, both of you will see your goals realized. When this occurs, you’ll discover mentoring is indeed a rewarding experience that can have a profound impact on young employees.