September 2, 2009
Developing Leaders With Professional Mentoring
“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without
brightening our own.”– Ben Sweetland
More than ever before organizations need to develop future leaders, managers and workers who can adapt to constant changes in the marketplace, competitive and environmental threats, and rapid advances in technology. Overloaded managers and flattened organizations mean there is no career ladder for young people to climb. An effective mentoring program provides the experience that climbing that ladder used to provide.
Mentoring is one of the most effective ways to ensure that once you’ve hired the best and the brightest, you retain them long past the training period. Mentoring enhances loyalty by placing high potential employees on the fast track with the extraordinary benefit of senior level guidance. Solid training ensures your mentoring program’s participants will be able to make the most of the relationship producing the highest possible level of results.
Professional associations that offer mentoring programs are providing a member benefit that sets them apart. Regardless of where members are employed, they can take advantage of this opportunity to grow and develop within their profession. Their mentors will be leaders in their respective fields, people they might never get to work with under any other circumstances.
“…we must become more capable of handling change than ever before if we are to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century.”– Alvin Toffler
Mentoring programs deliver three proven outcomes:
1. Research has shown that training improves productivity by an average of 22.3%. Training combined with effective professional mentoring improves productivity by 88% or more.
2. Protégés form stronger bonds with you and your company. That means you will be able to count on them during tough times.
3. Costly employee turnover will be reduced because employees will themselves as and integral part of the organization’s future. They will feel appreciated while they enhance their skills, develop their ability to step into senior roles and responsibilities and increase their confidence and sense of satisfaction with their job or career.
Unfortunately, nationwide, more than 90 percent of professional mentorship program participants when asked rated their programs to be ineffective. The primary reasons are a lack of training for mentors and a lack of structure for the overall program. Just because a person knows how to do something, doesn’t mean they know how to pass that knowledge along. In the most effective mentoring programs, mentors learn how to develop high-level thinking skills in another, how to overcome generational and cultural differences and how to effectively share their network with their protégé.