9 Successful Tips for Mentoring in the Workplace

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9 Successful Tips for Mentoring in the Workplace

Posted on December 22, 2018 by Danny Leffel

Seamlessly integrating employees into your company is a critical part of hiring new talent, but with the fast-paced nature of the retail and restaurant businesses, that step is sometimes neglected, which results in high turnover rates. To combat this, companies are using mentoring programs to properly train and support young employees. If you think a mentoring program will benefit your company, check out the below tips for successful mentoring in the workplace.

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1. Set Goals

Human Resources may be able to help you get started, but you should ask yourself the following questions as you plan your mentoring program:

  • Why do you want to institute a mentoring program?
  • What do you hope to accomplish?
  • Do you think you’ll have employees willing and able to be mentors?
  • How much money are you hoping to save by offering the program?
  • How long should it take to complete?
  • How will you evaluate if the program is a success?

Take some time to think about these questions and come up with some ideas regarding how to manage your program. Without a solid plan, you won’t be successful. Keep in mind that not every company will benefit from workplace mentoring, so it’s important to set goals and have an idea for how you’ll evaluate the program’s effectiveness.

2. Create a Matching Program

While having a new hire shadow a veteran employee is a normal practice for many businesses, it’s not always the most effective if the veteran isn’t chosen carefully. For instance, the veteran may be very good at their job but not great at teaching someone else how to do it. Supervisors need to screen for the proper skills and then match veterans to new hires based on their personalities. A simple questionnaire detailing communication styles and personality traits can be filled out by all parties in order to ensure a good mentor-mentee match is made.

3. Strengthen Your Mentoring Program

In order for the program to be successful, management and the staff need to be on board. Stress that participating is voluntary, but ask that those interested give it a chance. Make your mentoring program an important part of your company culture so that you can use it to draw in new talent. Provide the current mentors and mentees the tools necessary to succeed and ask for regular feedback from those in the program. Constantly improving it will lead to happier, more engaged employees.

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4. Remove Scheduling Conflicts

When training a new hire without a mentoring program, it can be difficult to steadily schedule the same people to train them. With your mentoring program, you should have a scheduling system worked out where the mentor and mentee will have the same shifts as often as possible so the training is consistent.

The Crew App is a helpful tool when it comes to scheduling because supervisors and employees can easily keep track of shifts from their smartphones. If something needs to be changed, an employee can contact their team through the app to find someone to cover them and let their mentor/mentee know they won’t be in that day.

5. Provide Mentor Training

Mentors should not take the role of supervisors. They are there to guide and help new hires through the onboarding process and the first few weeks of work; therefore, they should not have the responsibilities that supervisors have. Management needs to set clear boundaries for their responsibilities and maintain that supervisors are the ones tasked with reprimanding the new hires if necessary and checking in with the pairs to make sure the partnership is successful.

6. Establish Clear Boundaries

Mentors should not take the role of supervisors. They are there to guide and help new hires through the onboarding process and the first few weeks of work; therefore, they should not have the responsibilities that supervisors have. Management needs to set clear boundaries for their responsibilities and maintain that supervisors are the ones tasked with reprimanding the new hires if necessary and checking in with the pairs to make sure the partnership is successful.

7. Manage Expectations

Often, a mentoring program may seem like a shortcut to success for a junior employee. Make sure to tell them exactly what your mentoring program hopes to accomplish and what it will not. They will not be in line for a promotion in a month, but they will be on an accelerated path to gaining the skills necessary to be a contributing part of the team, which is a start. Also be aware that not all young workers will be a good fit for mentoring programs, so take that into consideration during the hiring process.

8. Open Lines of Communication

Supervisors should be communicating with the mentors and mentees as pairs and separately. By speaking to them as a pair, they will be able to assess how well the dynamic works and if anything should be altered. Meeting with them separately gives each one the opportunity to speak freely about the pairing and let management know if it’s truly working. Conversations between the mentor and mentee should also be frequent, especially in the beginning. Since messages can be sent directly from employees’ smartphones, the Crew App is great for facilitating any necessary communication outside of the workplace.

9. Evaluate the Results

Once the mentorship is complete, evaluate the results. Were new hires with mentors able to assimilate quicker than those without one? Did the relationship produce the outcome you were hoping for? If it didn’t, you might still be able to gain valuable knowledge from it. Schedule a meeting with mentors and mentees to see how they benefited from the program and if they would recommend it for new hires.

Even if your bottom line wasn’t impacted as much as you’d hoped, your team may have profited in other ways. Boosted employee morale, stronger team communication, and lower turnover rates are all advantages of mentoring programs that may not be financially evident in the beginning. Successful organizations understand that effective mentoring programs help cultivate leadership skills, provide professional development, and motivate employees to better themselves, so be sure to weigh all of the pros and cons before making a final decision on your mentoring program.

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