Mentoring is one of the most effective and personable ways to train and engage new employees. Here are five tips to help you along the way to being the best mentor your can be!
1. Listen to feedback and remember that it’s a two way street.
When meeting with a new young employee it is important to encourage their feedback and thoroughly listen to what they say. A new employee’s probationary period is a two way street and it is just as much about them making sure that your company is right for them as it is you deciding if you want them to stay. Scheduling regular one-to-one meetings with them will encourage them to give you their feedback and will help to ensure that your professional relationship is a long and happy one.
2. Be a positive role model and lead by example.
If you are an employer, or have been assigned as the mentor to a new employee, it is vital that you are a positive role model. Chances are, the new employee (especially if they are a young person), will be looking up to you for guidance and they will notice if the advice that you are giving to them is not heeded by yourself. Giving a young person advice on keeping to work deadlines will be taken a lot less seriously if you are continuously late yourself so try to lead by example.
3. Make an effort to get to know the new employee.
It is important to try and get to know the new employee on an individual basis. Ask them how their weekend was or what kind of music they like to listen to. It could even be a good idea to invite them out for a coffee during lunch or after work so that you will have more of a chance to get to know them ensure them that you care about how well they are doing in work.
4. Be empathetic and have patience.
We have all been the new person at work at one time or another so it is important to remember this when mentoring a new employee. Always make sure that your advice and guidance is plausible and try to put yourself in their shoes if you initially disagree with any of their feedback. Having empathy and patience will mean that you have a much deeper understanding of the new employee’s words and actions and will give you a deeper professional relationship with them.
5. Remain approachable and be willing to share your knowledge, skills and experience.
As mentioned earlier, we all know that being a new employee can be a daunting experience at times so it is important that, as their mentor, your remain approachable at all times and don’t bring stressful situations into work with you. Try to make sure that you are always willing to share what you know with them as this will encourage their professional development as well as enhancing communication throughout your professional relationship.