Tips for Mentoring Employees
One way to help employees to learn and grow is to mentor them.
Mentoring generally refers to a relationship in which a more experienced person (i.e., the mentor) provides guidance, expertise, knowledge, and skills to a more junior person (i.e., the mentee) in order to help them grow and develop. Below, we provide some tips for being an effective mentor.
Set the boundaries of the mentoring relationship
Before the first session it is important to have a conversation about what topics or subjects can be discussed. For example, are topics outside of work fair game (e.g., personal problems, cultural issues)?
Be available to meet
Mentoring will not be effective if you are not available to meet regularly. Agree to a timeline and frequency that fits your schedule and is sustainable.
Always model good behaviour
It goes without saying that as a mentor you should always model professional behavior. If you encourage your mentees to do something but do not model the behavior yourself they will likely not take your advice and guidance seriously.
Be present and listen carefully
During mentoring meetings be present and listen carefully.
Share your wisdom
Share your own stories and experiences, including challenges and lessons learned.
Provide constructive feedback
Feedback is a critical tool for development, so make sure to give your mentee constructive feedback regularly. You should also ask your mentee to provide you with feedback in case there are any areas where you can improve your mentoring skills or enhance the mentoring relationship.
Help mentees to assess their progress and set meaningful goals
Early in the mentoring relationship you should work with the mentee to set developmental goals. Throughout the relationship it’s important to check in on these goals and re-calibrate as necessary.
Support and advocate for opportunities for your mentees
Support your mentees by helping them get access to learning and development opportunities (e.g., networking opportunities, training opportunities, etc.).
To learn more about best practices in using competencies for all of your Learning and Development activities, check out our Learning and Development Toolkit!