Providing mentors for employees is a key part of helping them move forward in their careers. Mentors provide insight into getting promotions, solving problems, learning from mistakes and more. Because finding the right mentor and knowing how to ask for guidance can be challenging, it is in your best interest to determine which seasoned employees are up for the task and let employees know whom they may ask for help. Here are three tips for finding great career mentors in your office.
Determine the Qualities of a Great Mentor
The best mentors make a significant difference in mentees’ careers. They offer support and motivation for all types of circumstances and answer questions about career transitions and challenging situations. Top mentors listen more than they talk and help mentees navigate toward solutions and next steps. They help mentees learn from their own mistakes and hardships as well as successes. True mentors provide honest feedback and constructive criticism to help mentees improve performance and reach high expectations. They influence mentees to become strong, confident, thoughtful leaders by leaving their comfort zone and reaching their full potential. The best mentors establish relationships based on mutual respect, trust and support, cultivate acceptance and open communication. Top mentors enjoy learning from mentees with different backgrounds and watching them grow in their careers.
Remember That a Mentor May Work in a Different Department
As long as the mentor takes an interest in a mentee’s career goals, their activities outside the office, and how the mentor can assist with career development, they should be a good fit. The mentor’s main focus should be the mentee’s long-term success and development, not just their job responsibilities. Relationships need to develop organically for the best odds of being successful.
Ask Seasoned Employees to Become Mentors
Find out which seasoned employees want to mentor less experienced co–workers. Be sure that employees seeking a mentor can demonstrate why mentorship will benefit their career development and what they want to gain from mentoring. Examples may include supporting career goals and offering sound career path advice, or taking with someone who has subject matter expertise to help navigate a specific problem. Also, teach employees to properly reach out to potential mentors. They may start by mentioning they admire the coworker’s work or career trajectory and ask whether they can request advice on their own career. If the potential mentor agrees, they can sit down for a discussion. If things go well, they may set up a recurring meeting for a set amount of time every few months or so.
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