Your employees want:
- Personal Ascension.
- Boredom Prevention.
- Career Extension.
They’re thinking, “Offer me these things, then I’ll talk employee retention with you.”
Leaders, if you’re not proactive, what happens? Your treasured employees hop on LinkedIn, post their resumes, and check them every few hours. They might be giving you a decent day’s work, but their thoughts are flirting with the new start-up on the other side of town.
You’ve trained, invested, coached, counseled and challenged.
And still they leave.
It seems so unfair!
- Didn’t you offer them the best your learning and development team had to offer?
- Didn’t you send them to that pricey business charm school to prep them for greatness?
- Didn’t you personally (albeit with a little bit of your fingers crossed behind your back) tell your management that all is well and employee morale is solid as a rock?
Yet, statistics say that a fair percentage will leave your company. Research shows that ~70% of all workers would be willing to consider leaving their current jobs and 31% are actively looking.
Leaders — Here’s one gold-plated action, if creatively and intentionally done, that will keep your employees growing, interested…and with you.
That action is: Good Mentoring.
Here are three tips to Good Mentoring, the kind that engages and enables employee retention.
1. Direct mentoring to the total person – cognitive, emotional, social.
Do more than sit at the conference table once a month and chat, sometimes wandering down random roads that don’t really evolve the relationship or help the mentee.
I recently worked with a design company client that carved out some “fieldwork” for their mentoring pairs. One afternoon, the mentor/mentee duos took a trip to the local museum, walked through, analyzed and discussed the art forms they observed. They thought this to be more connecting and informative than sitting at the conference table talking about design theories.
2. Model a mentoring process.
If the idea of mentoring is to eventually pass the learning baton from one person to another, then teach your mentors and mentees basic steps that will lead them to this kind of “transference success.”
Total Quality Management Thinker, W. Edwards Deming, stated, “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
There’s some wisdom to that idea.
When you learned to drive a car, didn’t you learn first to start the ignition, back slowly out of the driveway (hopefully not hitting your mom’s flower planters), turn into the correct lane, then proceed down the street to your destination? It took knowing some steps, a process, if you will.
Mentoring is no different. You would be amazed at the number of individuals that reach high levels within their companies, can tackle and lead critical projects, book some breathtaking bottom line numbers, and yet don’t know how to mentor another person effectively.
A logical, practical process can help.
3. Equip, equip, equip.
If you’re thinking about hiking your first fourteener (yes, I live in Colorado so this is everyday stuff!), then you make sure you are equipped with everything you need to make it up and down the mountain in one piece. Layers of clothing? Check. Plenty of water? Check. Buddy to hike with? Check. Smartphone for capturing glorious, Facebook-worthy summit photo? Check.
You wouldn’t dream of embarking on your journey without your map, compass and all of the above. And believe me, when I take a new hiker, or one of my kids with me, I make triple-sure that they have everything they need.
Who knows, they might opt to hike on their own someday.
You get the mentoring analogy. Set your mentor and mentees up with reasonable expectations, useful materials, activities to make it fun and not boring (!) and a pathway so they could turn around and teach mentoring to someone else.
That would be real success. Real employee engagement.
The MentorShift Group can help you with these three hallmarks of good mentoring. Check us out at loribachman.com.
We know how to help you grow, challenge and improve your employee retention rate!