My point is really that we need to recognize that there are people in every organization whether theyre men or women, minorities, or people who grew up without any business role-models in their lives who dont know how to react in these situations.
And its our responsibility to teach them.
Organizations are only as successful as the men and women who make them work.
So, if we care about our organizations and our people, we have to share our knowledge of the organizational culture; we have to share our wisdom; we have to mentor.
Mentoring Best Practices
If you want to establish a mentoring culture within your organization, here are some mentoring best practices.
- Set organizational goals. Dont establish a mentoring program just because it is a good business practice. Develop a mentoring program based on solid business goals such as increasing diversity or making your organization a better place to work.
- Find out why the talented employees you wanted to keep left you.
- McKinsey and Co. asked top people what they look for when deciding which company to join and stay with. The answer: a great company and a great job. Talented employees want exciting challenges and great development opportunities. They leave because they are bored. Mentoring is a key to attracting and retaining talented employees.
- Develop people to their fullest potential. In order to develop your people, provide training opportunities, challenging projects and assignments, feedback, coaching and mentoring. In one study with people who had experienced real mentors, half of them said the mentoring experience changed my life. Those are powerful words.
- Foster mentoring for women and minorities. Ten years ago, when I began a new job, I sat with female colleagues during company presentations, and wondered, Why are the guys up there and were not? One of my first job assignments was to develop and manage a mentoring program. We included a special group mentoring program for women. Today, many of the young women I knew ten years ago at that company, have, in fact, climbed onto the stage themselves. Mentoring helped move women into the ranks of vice president, senior vice president and division president.
- Point to the money. Losing talented employees and wasting talent costs companies money.
And remember, whatever programs you design; they wont be effective unless there is commitment from the top. Visible, daily commitment.
*Judith Lindenberger is a two-time recipient of The Athena Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Principal of The Lindenberger Group, a human resources consulting firm that, among other things, creates award-winning mentoring programs. The Lindenberger Group works with individuals and organizations to increase productivity and to make their work environments more enjoyable. For more information contact them at 609.730.1049, or send email to: email@example.com.