By Telford Aduda
Team development and growth is always critical to every business venture, and retaining the best talent is more important to the organization, good salary may not be enough to ensure that talented workers stay in the organization. According to the research done by the Harvard Business Review, young high achievers value mentoring and coaching and often leave current gigs in quest to have those needs met. Companies such as Microsoft and KPMG have caught on to this need and responded by giving employees exposure to peers in different divisions, to provide fresh ideas and new ways of thinking.
As a business owner, you need to find ways to help your team grow. While many invaluable mentor/ mentee relationships have begun as a magical moments of Kismet, you can reap those benefits more widely by weaving mentorship into the way your team works on a daily basis. This ensures that the more seasoned team members will actively and continually pass on critical skills and knowledge while simultaneously modeling mentorship behavior to junior staff. This is most important and critical because those junior staff will continue to pass the lessons forward to the next set of new recruits.
Here are some of the suggestions on how to achieve long lasting results.
Model the behavior you want to see
One thing you have to acknowledge is that people are sensitive to the actions and energies of others, especially those considered leaders in the organization. Leadership is a very big term and anybody regardless of the position can be regarded as a leader due to their experience in an area, and their actions greatly affects the actions of others. As a leader/owner, you must recognize that the way you behave, speak and engage with others can and will inform these actions by others. Ensure that you are demonstrating positive, respectful and solution oriented approaches.
Know when to manage and when to coach
There is a big difference between managing and coaching, a difference which most of the times is unacknowledged. There is a time when managing is an imperative: navigating a crisis, getting a brand new employee up to speed, executing a quick-turn deliverable. However, to effectively mentor, you need to put on your coaching hat, facilitating trial and exploration. This might take time but the investment is worth it. Provide context around the bigger picture and larger goals, but give your junior team members opportunity to think through potential approaches and solutions themselves and share their recommendations and points of view. As the saying goes teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Expect and embrace failure
You have to convey a sense of belief in your team members what they are capable of accomplishing. Set high goals and expectations and give them a space to rise and meet them. However, know that humans are never perfect and that failure is not only inevitable but can also be a great teacher. Your role as a leader is to push your team members out of their comfort zones to achieve audacious goals and to be there to catch them when they fall. This helps them to see how to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
See the whole person
In today’s world, the lines between our personal and professional lives are never seen. It is always important to consider the whole person and to understand all the forces and pressure that impact their lives, so you can coach them in the most effective way. Be supportive of their efforts to juggle it all, or put them in touch with another colleague who has had a similar experience as the one they are passing through. Know what your team members are passionate about and identify ways to help them tie their interest and skills in that area.
Lastly as a manager, know that part of your job is to make sure you encourage your juniors in order to get most out of their strength, in this way, they will be passionate serving under you, and they will give the best of their strength towards the work you have given them, hence your organization will grow.
You have to make mentoring part of your daily culture.