How to Use a Mentor System
No matter how confident a person may seem, they are still likely to be a little overwhelmed when starting a position. A lot is placed on the shoulders of new employees. They have to get to know a fresh office with new faces as well as get into a routine for their workload. It’s almost as scary as being thrown into a labyrinth with a Minotaur. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they had a specific person in the organization to go to for help when they needed it? Someone who has been there for awhile and knows the ropes?
Mentoring is an amazing way to integrate a new employee, but how does a manager make sure that he creates a successful mentoring program?
The first thing to do is find mentors suitable for the task. These people have to be the definition of your company’s values. The point of initiating new employees is not simply to have them learn the job. One of the main aspects a mentor provides is an example and teacher of what your organization represents. Your mentors should also be able to communicate effectively. It does not help a new employee if his/her mentor does not have the heart to point out mistakes and ways to correct them along with the compliments. Make sure that your mentors have the time to devote to the cause as well. Some employees want to focus on their work and don’t have time for added responsibility. Your mentors should also realize that they are becoming teachers and not royalty with servants. New employee abuse is the leading cause of work related deaths.
The next step is to give your new employee and his/her mentor clear expectations of what they are to expect from one another. Nothing is worse then putting two people in a position in which they have no idea what they are doing. Brightwing’s mentoring program delegates a set time frame for the mentorship period. It also sets clear expectations that the mentor and mentee will meet at least once a week and monthly with the mentor program leaders. Mentors are expected to provide constructive and honest feedback, teach by example, encourage, and maintain open communication. Mentees need to listen and utilize feedback, accept challenges, ask questions, and inspire his/her mentor. These are just a few guideline examples for what each person should get out of the program.
The final strategy is to stress the perks of the mentoring program to keep people interested. Mentors are given personal growth, and the ability to strengthen their communication, leadership, and coaching skills. Mentees get a better understanding of the organization’s core values and how to uphold them. They also develop a relationship with a fellow employee faster and receive more clarity on their job and where to go for help. Wouldn’t it be great if I could end this paragraph there? The truth is that people like physical rewards as well. At Brightwing, there is a Mentor of the Year award chosen from mentee feedback. Each mentor/mentee team is also given a monetary sum to place into future mentoring programs.
A mentoring program can only strengthen the integration of new employees if done right. If you utilize the points I have presented, you will see the benefits firsthand. Picking the right mentors assures that the new employees are in the right hands and that can make all the difference.