The biggest problem with mentoring is that it gets marginalized as an HR-collar job. It’s not seen as a game-changing initiative that impacts culture and revenue. Instead it’s seen as a benefit to the individual participants when in actuality the biggest winner is the organization.
It’s time we turn the kaleidoscope and evolve mentoring into Strategic Mentoring. By driving organizational priorities, the executive suite will be sure to sit up and take notice.
- Use Mentoring to Increase Sales
Your mentoring program can literally increase sales. Veteran salespeople mentoring junior reps will not only close sales skill gaps but will increase sales.
- Use Mentoring to Increase Innovation
Give a Mentees a problem to solve in their mentoring relationship and they will generate new ideas. Not only are you giving them the opportunity to solve it, you’re giving them a Mentor’s guidance, fresh perspectives, requisite accountability, and a deadline – all essential elements for innovation.
- Use Mentoring to Prepare People to Lead
Why do you keep promoting people to manager without preparing them? It happens constantly but you can set them up for success. Give them a mentor, a leadership project, a competency assessment, and a structure. You’ll not only prepare them to lead, you’ll weed out those who should not be leading a group of one.
- Use Mentoring to Protect your New Hires
Hiring costs a lot of money. So does attrition. The cost is not only monetary but also time, energy, effort, productivity, distractions, and morale. New hires need to get acclimated, connected, and productive asap. That’s impossible without mentoring.
- Use Mentoring to Fix Customer Service Issues
Are your customer service reps discovering issues that people in sales and product development need to know? Or are your sales teams learning about customer service issues from being in the field? These worlds need to come together and quickly. Through structured peer-mentoring, you can create the collaboration needed to delight your customers again.
- Use Mentoring to Fill the Holes Left by Retirees
When the retirement party is over, you’re left with a gapping hole in knowledge. The people who know how to run the business are heading out of the office and onto a beach somewhere. Before they go, create the structure in which institutional knowledge is transferred from one generation to the next.
- Use Mentoring to Improve Execution
Recently one of our clients launched a leadership program focused on implementing leadership projects. They were “so busy” that only 4.5% of the participants executed. The next group to go through that program were assigned mentors. 93.75% executed. Why? Because mentors bring valuable advice and perspectives, offer guidance, and create essential accountability.
Mentoring is one of the most powerful tools an organization has. But it’s only powerful if you apply it in powerful ways. It’s time to forget about mentoring and focus on creating Strategic Mentoring!