By Sherif Attar
In a world of ever-changing ambiguity and uncertainty, executives have to face two challenges: excellent performance and people development. Where many managers think those endeavours are “competing”, this author believes they are “completing”. GET DOWN TO BUSINESS argues.
Adapted from Sophia Lee
What makes a great company
stands from the rest?
While there are many ways to answer this question, one thing we’ve seen is that organisations with a strong presence of leadership mentoring, or the practice of having senior executives mentor more junior employees, tend to perform well.
But to get your leadership team interested in mentoring others, they have to understand the benefits. So, let’s explore that.
1. Leads to positive business outcomes
Leadership mentoring isn’t just for the benefit of employees – it can help your company achieve business goals as well. Mentoring can help attract high-quality candidates into talent pipeline. It’s also a great way to nurture the high potential employees that are already at your organisation.
Leadership mentoring improve retention rates and job satisfaction. 91 per cent of individuals who have a mentor being satisfied with their job, and managers are less likely to leave their organisations when their needs for formal development are met.
2. Creates feelings of personal fulfilment
Mentors can gain a lot from the experience. By giving back to the people in their organisation, leaders can discover a lot of personal fulfilment through their contributions. They find it rewarding to see the employees they mentor succeed.
3. Encourages continuous learning
Mentoring can create continuous learning opportunities that go both ways. Mentees are constantly learning new knowledge, skills, and ways of thinking from their mentor. Mentors can also gain valuable insights from their mentees that help them in their day-to-day interactions, decision-making, and responsibilities.
4. Establishes strong relationships
When approached thoughtfully, both mentors and mentees can get matched up to people they otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to at the organisation. The benefits of these new relationships are as follow:
• Create a network and support system for mentees
• Expose mentors to individuals of different backgrounds, interests, and personalities
• Strengthen company culture
5. Improves job proficiency
This is great for mentees since they can demonstrate their value to the rest of their team. It’s also great for organisations since it means their employees are being productive and delivering the maximum impact.
6. Increases professional credibility
Why? It demonstrates confidence in their abilities, indicates strong leadership because of their willingness to nurture others, and builds trust because of their investment in the success of other employees.
7. Builds soft skills
Mentorship often requires mentors to put themselves in their mentees’ shoes. This help them build empathy and open-mindedness. These types of soft skills are critical for leaders to nurture.
Given that only one in three employees strongly agree that they trust the leadership of their organisation, this should be a priority for all organisations – especially since employees who trust their leadership are twice as likely to stay with their company.
8. Develops self-awareness
The mentor-mentee relationship can spark self-reflection on both sides, which will ultimately lead to improved self-awareness. This type of understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses have a huge impact on the day-to-day work. Self-awareness can help mentors and mentees:
• Build better relationships with colleagues
• Develop targeting areas for improvement
• Make valuable contributions
9. Boosts coaching skills
Coaching is a skill that’s critical to leadership. 80 per cent of the workforce who have experienced coaching say it positively impacts their work performance, productivity, communication skills, and well-being.
But coaching is a skill to be learned and developed. Since a large component of mentorship is coaching, leaders can work on building this muscle and bring it to all of their workplace relationships.
10. Produces better leaders
Mentoring help leaders be more effective in their own jobs – whether that’s by building more empathy, providing more insight into the day-to-day of their employees, or practicing critical skills like coaching and giving feedback.
For questions or suggestions, please send your comments.
Sherif Attar, an independent management consultant/trainer and organisation development authority, delivers seminars in the US, Europe, Middle East and the Far East.