5 Ways to be a Mentor and Coach to Your Employees

5 Ways to be a Mentor and Coach to Your Employees

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Coaching and mentoring are at the heart of employee development, creating an agile internal talent pool with the potential for leadership growth. 

However, many businesses fail to see the value of this HR tool, or they simply don’t know what they don’t know. 

Here we share five ways to be a successful mentor and coach for your most promising employees.

1. Use Check-ins to Find Hidden Talent  

Performance reviews allow you to spot talent in the early stages so you can develop coaching strategies to build skills. It’s stating the obvious that top performers are the lifeblood of any organization. 

This does not just apply to leadership roles, but also to identify unused skills that can be developed to fill a wide variety of needs. Reviews not only benefit your company but also create a culture of opportunity and career-building to help improve employee retention. 

You can also implement succession planning to replace key roles during retirement, illness and extended parental leave.

2. Engage Employees in Career Conversations

Pay close attention to an employee’s career aspirations

It’s critical to engage employees in conversations based on their potential or an opportunity that has come up. What you have in mind for a team member might not be something that appeals to them. Some people love continuous education, while others view it as an added burden to their already busy lives. 

Some people view taking on new responsibilities or projects as opportunities while others view them as more work. Get to know your team so you can help them meet their career goals and find opportunities to mentor and coach them to help harness and improve their skills.

3. Identify Employee Specific Learning Opportunities

With today’s diverse workforce, it is important to identify the types of learning and coaching opportunities suited for the individual. 

There are people who prefer hands-on experience with a coach or shadowing program, while others might respond better to self-led training programs. You want to challenge people, but not go beyond what they can handle. 

One-on-one mentoring works best for long-term growth opportunities, while someone preparing to fulfill an overarching management role requires shadowing in different departments or stretch assignments to gain a broader understanding of different business functions.  

4. Understand the Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring

Many people mistakenly believe that coaching and mentoring are the same thing. 

However, they both play different roles. When managed together they provide a deep dive into skill set development. Mentoring is longer term, providing individual development that occurs more naturally over time. 

Coaching tends to be a short experience to develop specific skills or overcome challenges that might hold an individual back.

5. Develop Soft Skills

Soft skills are often overlooked in the employee development process. 

However, these skills provide mental preparedness that helps people build confidence in their own abilities. Soft skills create agile, resilient employees and managers who make better decisions, delegate effectively and learn from their mistakes. 

Examples of soft skills include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision-making
  • Stress management
  • Adaptability
  • Conflict management
  • Leadership
  • Creativity
  • Resourcefulness
  • Persuasion
  • Accepting criticism

Coaching is essential to soft skill development, leveraging teachable moments to address missteps and build on achievements.

Mentoring and coaching are essential to sustainable companies poised to leverage the talent of their team, develop leaders, and utilize effective succession planning to grow their organizations.

About Focus HR, Inc.

Focus HR, Inc. uncomplicates the people side of business by providing small business owners with outsourced HR, project HR, and Leadership Coaching. For more information, please contact us today! If you liked this post, please subscribe to our blog. You can opt out at any time. 

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