I'd like to hear from the MIX audience as to how you are using Mentorship in your organization.
- How do you alleviate employee frustration (perceived and/or real) that lead to retention issues?
- How do you get an employee to look beyond the obvious solutions & think out of the box?
Mentoring is one solution - by no means the only one - that I benefited from. Having several mentors to talk to, who have been in the organization & know the ins-&-outs helps not just from a org-agility perspective, but also helps vent out frustrations without disastrous consequences.
Steps taken that I found useful:
* Quarterly 1x1 with the mentor(s), to keep them abreast of the situations and also to talk about things that are bothersome
* Following up on suggestions provided by the mentor
* Closing the loop by providing feedback to the mentor on how the suggestions worked out
Once a quarter meetings are not so frequent that it eats into the mentor(s)' time. Positive impact are:
1. Allows the employee to talk about frustrations in the job - real and perceived.
Employee is able to freely talking about issues/frustations without fear of retribution. Mentor is quickly able to differentiate between the real & the perceived issues (due to his/her experience within the organization) and to help figure out steps to overcome real issues.
This is definitely a big step in ensuring a frustrated employee's issues are taken care of (if steps are followed), potenitally averting an employee exit. (What is the cost of hiring a new employee and getting him/her to perform at the expected level?)
2. Allows the person to talk about projects currently being worked on/ideas that has bigger impact .
Ofcourse, if one is super comfortable with the manager and if the manager is the kind of person who encourages this, then there is relatively little need to look for outside help - though it helps open up the mind and doors
3. Helps with career planning
Looking beyond the current job, Mentor helps with goal setting and to think through the next few jobs in order to hit the goal
Ofcourse, if you are very comfortable with your manager and the chain, the above can be done without the help of the mentor...but the diversity of experience and expertise certainly help.